16th December 2019
Week 10 has arrived and realistically this is the last full week of training for me before I begin a proper marathon training plan after Christmas, this is on the assumption that training next week will be very hit and miss.
Given that the marathon is on 26 April (I’ve checked) my 16 week training plan needs to start on 30 December. That can’t be right can it? It’s a good thing I’m old and won’t be having too much fun on New Year’s Eve, a bottle of wine and Jools Holland should cover it, allowing me to hit a double parkrun on 1 January to start the year in style. My ‘First Marathon’ training plan does seem to expect quite a lot of improvement over the 16 weeks given the low expectations at the start. Looking at weekly effort I appear to be on around week 10 and I certainly don’t feel like I’m within six weeks of being ready. I’ll also want to revisit the year end goals I set at the end of week 2 a bit early; I certainly won’t be weighing myself for at least a fortnight after Christmas.
No training on Sunday. My daughter had a work experience event in London and I spent time dropping her off and then picking her up in the evening. My legs were still a little achy from Friday’s long run home so I was happy to take advantage of another rest day.
On Monday I brought my running gear into the office with the intention of ticking off another chunk of the marathon course. Now that I’ve downloaded a copy of the route (probably 2019’s but close enough) I can see that it can be split into four parts. You have the first section from the start in Blackheath to Cutty Sark covering 10k. I know this area pretty well, it’s at the top of a hill and the roads will be unpleasantly busy to run during the week so I’m going to leave this for race day. The start looks quite chaotic on TV and the profile shows much of this section as being downhill so I think the biggest challenge will be to hold on to the adrenalin and not go off too quick. The second section runs 10km from Cutty Sark to the north side of Tower Bridge, the third section goes 16km around the docklands and back to Tower Bridge and the final section runs 6km along the Embankment to the finish on The Mall. Having had a crack at the long Isle of Dogs loop last week this time I jogged to the nearest station and got the DLR to Greenwich to head off from Cutty Sark. As usual it was quite busy around the centre of Greenwich but once onto the road towards Deptford things eased and it was quite nice to run. There were many junctions and roadworks to negotiate and despite running with headphones I was stopped twice to be asked directions. I’m so painfully polite I paused to help both times, despite not knowing the area that well. To be fair, because I didn’t know the area I was running with my phone in my hand and Google Maps open so I was actually well placed to help.
I think I detected a slight incline around Rotherhithe but really this is another flat section with only the approach to Tower Bridge affording a couple of hundred metres gently uphill. With roads closed and no worries about getting lost I think this will be a nice, if rather less than scenic, section of the race. I haven’t mentioned pace and in all honesty I wasn’t pulling up any trees but given the many disruptions and still feeling the effects from Friday it wasn’t so bad. It was faster than my expected marathon pace but slower than normal 10k pace and that’s probably about right.
Distance covered 11km
With the lunchtime run and leftover kit from Friday I had too much to carry to be able to go straight to the gym from work so for this week I skipped the pool session. A shame really as I was due to hit the 1k mark this time but hopefully I’ll get that session in soon. I did make the yoga class and this worked out well as once again the focus was on hips and hamstrings and my legs felt much better afterwards.
Tomorrow is club night but given the way I’ve scheduled my runs this week I will be switching this for a spin class.