Sunday, 2 September 2012

Preston Guild Marathon: problems and solutions (week 12)

In 8 weeks time, I should hopefully be sitting in in a warm pub eating my bodyweight in steak (or if I'm unlucky, in a cold bath). Yes, race day approacheth.

I've come a long way from those early long runs when I was struggling at 14 miles with glut pain and odd cravings :) Despite the obvious fatigue and soreness, I've found the 16-18 mile runs fairly manageable. I've made sure I've been well hydrated and carried food with me (or taken money), so I've not had energy issues. And the leg pain seems to have abated.

Today saw my first setback, so to speak, when my planned 18 mile run ended in knee pain at 13 miles. I was disappointed, but on reflection I can take positives.

  • 13 miles is better than nothing at all. 
  • I recognised I was in pain and stopped before it got serious. 
  • I ran the Standalone 10K route twice, so I'm very familiar with the hills and flat sections now ready for that race on October 7th.
  • I had time to think about future long runs, plans for routes, and how to tempt people to join me!

When I've had company on my runs in the past, I've enjoyed them more and run slightly faster than I would on my own, so I'd prefer to do this more often if I can. Also, splitting long runs into several shorter loops means that I can meet people at different points (at an acceptable time for a Sunday morning!), and I can refill my water bottle and pick up food.

Something I still need to work on is my speed work. I'm acutely aware that I have a 10K race coming up, and I would really like to finish it in about 47 minutes (7:30 min/mile pace). To do this I need to work on getting faster but, at the moment, I'm struggling to maintain a fast pace during a tempo run, I'm just unable to push myself on my own. The fastest I've achieved over a mile since June is 7:46 and that was really hard. I've not had much motivation to run during the school holidays. With very little time to work during the day, my evenings (when I would usually run) have been taken up working. I've also gained near on 10 lb since July, which will definitely not have helped. I'm going to have to get to grips with eating and drinking properly and planning speed sessions to do on my own.

Anyway, back to marathon training. (My aim with that is to finish, and hopefully within 4.5 hours.)

Week 12 (Sept 3-9)
Monday: X-training (circuits)
Tuesday: 1.5 mile warm up, 4 alternating 9:30/7:30 pace, 1.5 cool down
Wednesday: X-training (circuits) followed by 3 miles easy
Thursday: 2 miles run-walk followed by 4-6 miles of some description
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 8 miles easy
Sunday: 20 miles: 3x Standalone route (about 6.5 miles each loop), plus a bit :)

I'm hoping to tempt a few intermediate Stotfold Runners to join me on the 10K runs, they need to learn the route anyway ;-)

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