Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Autumn marathon plans

Berlin ? Chicago ? Amsterdam ? No to all of the above and yes to 50km round Gibraltar at the end of October. Its not April Fools day or a typo, I just fancied something different this autumn and believe it or not there is some method in the apparent madness of racing 50km around the 'rock'.

The race is the IAU World Trophy race and i'm lucky enough to have been selected off the back of five consistent marathons in recent years. So why this one ? Well most of my marathons have been pretty lonely affairs. Its a harsh reality that if you are running the pace I do then there are not many folks for company these days. To be in a group you have to be ready to run 63 for halfway in a big marathon and even the small races will tend to go out in 65 even if the winning time ends up around the 2.15 mark. Last autumn I tried to be clever and run a smaller race in Geneva so that I could actually be competitve and even that turned into a burn up after a steady first km. So with an extra 8km, a testing course and some warm weather I reckon I should have a better chance of being in a decent sized group for at least half the race. And i'm looking forward to the prospect of racing out the second half.

As for preparation, well 50km is fairly similar to 42km so I'm following a normal marathon build focused on being in about 2.17 shape and putting in a couple of longer runs just to get the feel of being on my feet for close to 3 hours. then come race day just run a bit slower to conserve fuel and see what happens in the last 10km ! Training is going well and last week I hit my first long MP session at 3.14/km and felt good which is always encouraging.

Come spring 2010 I will be back to 42km in London and the trials for the Europeans and Commonwealths which should both be wide open with a qualifying time of 2.18

For now my next race will be the Chippenham Half Marathon this weekend which I'm looking forward to.


BrynRunning said...

Well it's certainly different! Having watched London the last few years from the streets can certainly understand your concerns - after the two elite packs come through halfway in something like 61:30 and 63 minutes then the gaps are absolutely huge. The pacing of most runners seems odd as well- why athletes who will end up running 2:15 think something closer to 64 minutes for the half is a sensible opening split is beyond me.

Best of luck though- will you be representing GB?

Adrian Marriott said...

Hi Bryn, dont get me started on pacing in marathons, especially by my fellow countrymen in London most years !

The IAU race is sanctioned by the IAAF but is not an official world championship so its home countries teams - a bit like the mountain running used to be. Its all a bit complicated because 100k (which in my mind is proper ultra) is GB Teams.

Hopefully it turns out to better preparation for next year than getting blown away in Berlin.