Thursday, 25 March 2010

Marathon Build Up Week 4 of 9

This is the week when I started to feel tired at last as the cumulative effect of the marathon training took hold. This is the position you are looking to get into and its a fine line to tread between staying tired and ensuring you are fresh enough to nail the key workouts. I was probably just the wrong side the line by mid week and Friday's Marathon Pace workout was tough as the legs felt knackered. But at least I was able to pck up the pace on each effort and in the context of a block of hard training the pace was OK on what was a cold, wet day.

On sunday there was still enough in the tank to knock out a solid 5 miles in the South of England 12 stage relays where I was running for my Wells City Harriers club (finish photo left by Ken Hoye). The legs were still a bit battered but I was able to push harder than at Bath a couple of weeks back and although I was on the limit in the last mile the first 20mins felt controlled.
The team put in a solid effort to finish 10th but unfortunately the number of teams in this event continues to decline. I've posted on the 12 stage before so suffice to say its time to change the format before it dies a slow lingering death.
It was a good weekend for other runners from the Harriers as Emily Smith won the Junior Girls race at the English Schools Cross Country in what was by all accounts a mad sprint for the line as she came from way back in the last couple of minutes of racing. For American readers the English Schools is the biggest race for school age kids over here. You have to get through several qualifying races, district, county and regionals to get to race. For many runners it will be their first big race away from home and you get to stay the night before with a host family. On the two occasions I qualified this was the scariest part of the weekend ! I think my best was about 166th at Preston in 1987.

Anyway back to 2010 and the weeks training went

Mon 69 mins and 44mins
Tue 35 mins and a track session of 30x200m with just 100m jog
Wed 1hr 40 picking up the pace after halfway
Thr 42 mins very easy
Fri 75mins of Marathon pace going 3.24/km, 3.22, 3.20, 3.18, 3.14
Sat 35mins and 40 mins
Sun w/u 5mile relay stage w/d

This worked out at about 95miles for the week and looking at the last 15 days its been pretty densely packed with hard runs. This week I will have a few easy days towards the backend before racing the Wilmslow Half Marathon then I will be off to altitude to finish my London preparation.
Really looking forward to getting away and hopefully some sunshine !

Sunday, 14 March 2010

London Marathon Build Up - Week 3 of 9

This week the work started to get serious ! Last Sunday's race in Bath was a bit of a kick up the arse and after 2 days feeling pretty miserable and wondering how the hell I was was going to be ready in 7 weeks time I got my act together on Tuesday afternoon with the help a Swiss Chiropracter and a damn fine spa !

Doing drills and sprints on monday I realised my right leg was barely functioning - I couldn't bound off that leg or get it through when trying to run fast, the glute max was just flapping around and the psoas was as tight as a nun's habit. So tuesday afternoon I went to see a guy who does a lot of work with one of the pro Ice Hockey teams. And it was a huge step forward. He did some work on my upper back and I could walk out a different athlete. A relaxing hour in the spa followed and on wednesday morning I was running with so much more freedom and power. On such small things can a season turn. Anyway the training for last week:

Mon 72 mins very easy + 30 mins easy and 1 hour of drills/sprints/plyos
Tue 96 mins with last 35 a bit slower than marathon pace
Wed 66 mins incl 3x8mins threshold + 50 mins incl hill sprints
Thr 43 mins regeneration
Fri 2hr 15min fartlek - first 70 mins steady and working the hills then 10x1min fast/1min easy then 15mins moderate then 30 min progressive finishing at MP
Sat 45 mins easy + 40 mins easy
Sun 38 mins easy + 80 min incl 12k of reps on grass (2k, 2k, 2k, 2k, 1k, 1k, 2k) Long reps just slower than 10k pace and short reps at 3k pace to put some lactic in my legs

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Marathon build up - week 2

Last weeks prediction of a rollercoaster turned out to be true earlier than I expected as I turned in a horrid result at the Bath Half Marathon on sunday even after a couple of easy days to try and freshen up. The strange thing is that the day before my legs felt pretty good but come race day it was like running with two bags of sand where legs should have been. The modern trend with sportsmen and coaches is 'to look for the postives' in a crap performance and all too frequently this has the ring of banal platitudes. So I wont even bother !

A couple of outstanding runs in Bath worth mentioning came from recently turned V40 Martin Cox who clocked 66.01 and my Wells team mate Jon James who led home the V45 category with a 70.37 effort.

Anyway, the week's training started out quite well with a solid long run and went downhill from there.

Mon 2hr 36 mins hilly course
Tue 54 mins and 61 mins including 12 x 30-45 seconds fast
Wed 70 mins including 6km progressive and 5x250m fast stride. Breathing easily but legs struggling to keep up
Thr Rest day (planned)
Fri 35 and 42 mins quite easy feeling tired and not moving well
Sat 50mins incl. 2km at race pace and 5x200m strides
Sun Bath Half Marathon , 16th in 68.47

Encouragingly I felt pretty good on monday morning after the 'race' and not tired from my exertions on sunday. It would be more worrying if a 68 had taken a lot out of me. So on to the next three weeks block and hopefully a better run in my next tune up race at the England Athletics Championships in Wilmslow at the end of the month.