Monday, 25 August 2008

Marathon Training W/E 24th August

After 6 months of trouble free running it all went a bit wrong this week. I've had a tight hip recently and on monday it finally decided that I wasn't going to run another step. Fortunately I've got a great physio in Claire Wheller and she quickly found that my pelvis had upshifted and rotated forward on the right hand side. This was causing the muscles to work in ways they are not supposed to - and hence the pain. The best metaphor I can think of is when you bash your car wheel against a curb and then a few thousand miles later find that the tyres have worn unevenly because you put the suspension out of alignment. Thats basically what's happened. Its not new for me, I did it last year before Toronto but at the start of my taper so it didn't interfere with my preparation beyond forcing me to run the race on one leg. Its a bit annoying because I thought I stopped a recurrence by spending time doing some exercises to keep everything solid but clearly I haven't been doing enough. Must do better !

With 5 weeks to go until race day this is not an ideal position to be in but there are two rays of light. The first is that before my first marathon I missed 10 days with a horrid gastro bug at about the same time in my build up and if anything the break did me some good. The second is that i'm in good shape already so if things come together this week I should have time to get in a few more key workouts then taper though I may need to have a review of my goals. Time will tell !

So after a few days of rest to let things settle training was a 25 minute jog on saturday and 45 minutes on sunday. At least this left me with some time to watch the olympics and enjoy two terrific marathon races.

The men's marathon really was a surprise. Along with most other onlookers I was expecting the fast early pace to really take its toll later on due to the conditions but Sammy Wanjiru just kept pouring it on right to the finish. There's no doubt in my mind that we will look back on this race in a few years time and say that it marked a step change in men's marathon running. Why do I say that ? Until now the fastest 10k guys to move up to the marathon have been Tergat and Geb but they have done it at the end of their careers. A couple of 13min /sub 27 guys like Evans Rutto and Felix Limo made the move mid career but nobody with such speed has specialised as early as Wanjiru. Remember he has run 26.40 for 10k and a mid 58 half marathon. With Bekele crushing the opposition again at 10,000m I can see a few more fast runners moving up mid career (I would expect Zersenay Tadesse to debut this winter) and some of the aspiring 10,000m runners to skip straight to the marathon like Wanjiru and Ryan Hall have done.

If that is not concerning enough for the european/north american marathoners it also seems that the effect of foreign coaching on the east africans is starting to take effect in how they acclimatise for hot and humid championship races. With Rothlin 6th and Ritzenhein and Hall 9th and 10th the african performance was stronger than in recent championships. And when the Ethiopians finally swallow their pride and prepare their marathon runners properly for a hot and humid championship race then there really will be fireworks. The days of relying on superior acclimatisation to beat them may be coming to and end.

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