Monday, 1 September 2008

Marathon Training w/e 31st August, back in the saddle

Oh the rollercoaster that is marathon training. From despair to optimism, renewed doubt and finally supreme confidence in a few short days. Money can't buy highs and lows like this ! The week started with painful easy running and a sense of 'will this hip ever heal up in time for my marathon at the end of September' and ended with a flying couple of miles at the end of a solid 2hr 15 min effort and moments of glory once again entering my dreams.

The key has been patience. Religiously doing my exercises to loosen the muscles around hip and get the glutes activating properly again. Its time consuming and tedious but essential. And then the patience to every day just stretch the training a little bit without going over the top. The temptation is to hammer the body back into shape with a few hard sessions. Instead I've concentrated on starting easy and building each day a few more minute of good aerobic running down to marathon pace and then threshold top remind the body how to work. Next week is the time for a really hard effort.

Monday Easy 37 mins and easy 30 mins. Hurting and wondering whether there is any hope
Tuesday 50 minutes with some uncomfortable strides and 30 minutes suddenly feeling much looser
Wednesday 45 mins starting easy but with last 15 mins steady. Still feeling the hip but at last no pain, cautious optimism. Physio and the good news is that everything is still where it should and just need some time for muscles to relax. More optimism !
Thursday 62 mins moderate with the hip feeling OK at last. Evening easy running and 6 hill sprints. Actually able to feel the glutes working on the right side, my arse must have been getting really flabby :-(
Friday 25 mins easy then 40 mins progressive to threshold pace. So hard, blowing out of every orrifice and wondering where on earth all that fitness has gone. Self doubt in spades.
Saturday 50 mins moderate and 30 mins easy. A bit sore from yesterday which is not a good sign after a progression run.
Sunday 2hrs 15 starting easy then at a moderate pace with the last 30mins building to marathon pace. Really helped to have John McFarlane for company on this run especially as I felt pretty rough after about 90minutes before really picking up in the last half hour. Able to change gears in the last couple of miles and felt great. Finished feeling full of belief again.

Not sure I can stand the emotional turmoil of many more weeks like this one so now hoping for a normal couple of weeks then taper down to the race on 28th Sept.

Last night I went to Wembley to support a few of my colleagues at Connectwell as they took part in the Nike Human Race representing London against the rest of the world. You have to admire the marketing genius of the folks from Oregon. Hundreds of thousands of runners all round the world (well at least in their target markets) all wearing Nike T-shirts and just doing it.

It was a c
ool wet night in London and being on the other side of the fence holding kit and dishing out water bottles gave me a different perspective on our sport. Isabel, Kim and Steve (left with supporters) were all so pleased to complete the 10k in 67 minutes, a big achievement for them as non-runners.

Their excitement was palpable as talk turned to 'next time' and beating the hour m
ark. Looks like we have three more potential addicts !

It was great to see so many people participating and actually running at a solid pace and enjoying the experience even although it was a miserable evening for running in and even more miserable for the few hardy souls who left the dry confines of the stadium to get out on the course and spectate. Although one young lady running in wave 4 (bottom left) seemed to be taking things far too seriously as she weaved in and out of the other runners with the Wembley arch lit up in the background.

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