Training Week -7 Begins

2nd March 2020

The London Marathon is next month. Not next year; NEXT MONTH. I started preparing for this so early it always seemed so far away but now it feels uncomfortably close and more and more running conversations seem to bring this up with unpleasant regularity. I received my running club’s weekly email this morning and that was the headline statement so I guess it’s now or never as far as training is concerned.

I’m actually in a funny place with regards to the marathon. On the one hand I’m thinking it’s all over and I’m planning the future; should I go for an ultra or should I enter for Paris or Berlin. On the other hand I still have grave doubts about my ability to finish. I have a solid week’s progression in my training diary but even if it all goes to plan there will still be so much left to do. Since the beginning I have been suspicious of the beginner’s training plan that leaps from a 10 mile long run in week 8 to the 26 mile event in week 16. I just can’t imagine that level of progression but here I am at that half way point with just half a dozen runs further than that under my belt and none over 14 miles. Trust the plan, I’m told so that’s what I’ll do.

I have also hit a couple of cautionary notes this week. On the personal front I have detected a pain in my right knee over the last week. Nothing too intense but something to keep an eye on. Injury has always been my biggest worry so I’m hoping this will pass soon. The other note of concern came with my research into the Paris marathon where I saw they had cancelled the Half Marathon warm up event. I can only imagine the Coronavirus issue getting worse before it gets better so there is a worry that my event will be cancelled. If that comes to pass I don’t think I would be so broken hearted, maybe another twelve months of preparation wouldn’t be so bad, but the closer we get the more it would hurt to postpone. The Big Half went ahead at the weekend so that is encouraging.

The VLM training plan looks like this for Week 10

DayVLM Training PlanWhat I did
SundayREST DAY – Race practice – enter a half marathon to familiarise yourself with Race Day routines, such as pre-race meal, race clothing and hydration strategiesSTEADY RUN 65 Minutes (10km)
MondayRUN 35 MINUTES – 10-minute easy run, (3 x 3 minutes at a tempo pace with 2 minute jog recovery), 10-minute easy runREST DAY
TuesdayREST DAY
Wednesday30 MINUTES EASY RUN
ThursdayREST DAY
FridayREST DAY
SaturdayRACE – Race a half marathon, or run for 2 hours 15 minutes, or distance goal of 12 miles

Given the lack of miles last week I didn’t want to miss any opportunities so I skipped my regular Sunday morning spin class for an hour’s worth of Steady Running while my son had hockey practice. It was around my usual route and while the pace was comfortable I managed it several minutes quicker than before which is encouraging.

Monday is a Rest Day and I will take the opportunity to go and visit my dad after work. He’s a generous host and I expect he will have got a few cans of Guinness in for me but I think I will stick to one and then make that my last drink before race day. I always had it in my mind to give up once we got to March and now that has rolled around I really need to face up to it. Time to test that willpower I have so little faith in. 

I’m planning on running home from work on Tuesday. From my new office google maps is telling me it is a shade under sixteen miles but the last time I tried this it took me through some pretty shady parts of London so I’m going to stick to bigger roads this time which will probably make it a little longer. I’m also expecting several sections to be quite hilly so don’t plan to run it all, especially towards the end where there will be a few challenging inclines to overcome. I just want to get the miles into my legs again.

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