Training Week -29 (previously known as Week -6) Done

14th March 2020

**I wrote most of this post before I heard the news on Friday about the London Marathon being cancelled. The training stands and I will finish the update for this week and then have a think about what this news means for me and my preparation plans**

In the scheme of things this has been a deliberately quieter week and this has come from a couple of directions. From the very beginning of my marathon journey I knew I would have to take a cautious approach to my training. The progression from 10k running to a 26 mile marathon would be a big ask for my body and I measured out my efforts so that I didn’t try to do too much, too quickly. According to the training plan I am now on the cusp of being race ready, with my long run a whisker short of the longest 20 miler required, and so with just a few weeks remaining I am spacing out these longest runs as well. I intend to get in a couple more 20 mile runs in the remaining weeks but don’t want to overload my body so will space these out with a week’s relative rest sandwiched between them. I am also living in expectation that the event will be cancelled, or at best postponed, and this is inevitably tempering my expectations. If I lose my place entirely I will be absolutely gutted, if it is postponed until the autumn or next year then I can live with that. For now I will prepare for a race at the end of April.

Week 11 of the VLM plan looks like this:

DayVLM Training PlanWhat I did
SundayREST DAY – The next four weeks are about getting to know your race pace.Have a target time in minutes and work out your pace per mile.60 Minute Spin Class
TuesdayREST DAYSTEADY RUN 30 Minutes (5km), TEMPO RUN 55 Minutes (8.5km) STEADY RUN 25 Minutes (3.5km)
WednesdayRUN 60 MINUTES – 10-minute easy run, (5-minute tempo run, 3-minute easy run/walk recovery) x 5, 10 minute easy runREST DAY
ThursdayREST DAYINTERVAL RUN 40 Minutes (6km)
SaturdayRUN 2HRS 30 MINUTES – (28-minute easy run, 2-minute walk) x 5, or distancegoal of 14 to 16 miles. Include a few miles at target marathon paceparkrun 32 Minutes (5km)

On Sunday I got up early to fit in an 8:00am spin class, this gave me enough time to get my son to his last hockey match of the season. It was a good session although coronavirus fears meant it was half empty and extra effort was spent cleaning the equipment before and after the class, still I put the effort in and burnt the calories. The hockey match was a little disappointing as they were beaten by a better team. They ended the season with more wins than losses, though, and I think he enjoyed his first year in a new sport and will hopefully be keen to return in September.

On Monday evening I returned to my yoga class at the gym, very odd to see people spraying down the mats and blocks but that’s where we are now I guess. Can’t say I fancy the gym floor at the moment, or the steam room, so will look to replicate more of the exercises at home. The yoga was as good as ever and while not as focussed on the legs as much as I would like, there was enough flexibility work around the hips to feel very beneficial.

I went back to my running club on Tuesday after breaking my recent attendance streak last week and used this to fill in the weekly long run. As before, I met my friend on the way but this time I left home a little early to allow me to fit in some extra distance. Once we met up we headed for the park, he is recovering from a slight injury but still on course to run the marathon, and still capable of a faster pace than me, so I was pushed along at an agreeably quicker rate than if I was on my own. Once there I joined a group going at a Steady Run pace, although the group leader had dropped down from a faster group so I had my suspicions it was going to be a little tougher than normal. We followed a route I seem to have done every week since re-engaging with the club, but it is a really good route with the challenging Summer Hill about two thirds in followed by a long, flat run to the finish. As I suspected, the leader took us through at a slightly quicker pace but as the route was familiar I didn’t mind. Once back at the park I met up with my friend and we headed home, again at a pace quicker than I would have managed on my own. Given that the journey home is mostly uphill there is every chance I would have given in to walking if I’d been on my own so the companionship was appreciated. Maybe there is something to be said for having a training partner after all. The distance was obviously down on last week’s effort but I’m taking it as a positive that I can put in this mileage and still call it a rest week.

Distance covered 17km

I took a complete rest on Wednesday so on Thursday I had another go at interval training while my daughter had her dance lesson. Following a triangular route I jogged up the first side for about 600m before heading down the second at as fast a pace as I could hold for another 650m, faster than my best parkrun pace but short of sprinting, before splitting the final side into two sections; one at a very easy pace the second back up to full pace. I repeated this three times and it was pretty tough going on the final fast section. At the end I took in another, shorter, loop where I did my best impression of lamppost fartlek training. Sprint from one lamppost to the next, jog/walk to the next and repeat until you run out of lampposts. Apart from looking like an idiot this was actually quite good fun and it was very enjoyable to try running at full pace for a change. Not something I do very often having given up competitive sports many years ago. Not quite in the training plan but I enjoyed it more than last week’s attempt at interval training.

Distance covered 6km

On Friday I had no training planned anyway and the news I received on the way home of the postponement only meant that I allowed myself a glass or two of wine with my dinner.

On Saturday morning I could feel the effect of the wine and limited myself to just running a parkrun with no additional there and backs thrown in. It was a return to another local favourite, much smaller in turnout than my main one it is a more robust running challenge. Almost entirely on grass it has many energy sapping inclines and was very heavy underfoot and boggy in places. A tough run, and a time I wouldn’t like to highlight, but it was good to be back there.

Distance covered 5km

Weekly Training Summary

1 Spin class

1 Yoga class

0 Swim session

3 Runs (total distance 28km)

Current weight 12”13’

I’m not sure where this postponement leaves me. Since the beginning I have been more focussed on my journey rather than the endgame and I think this will stand me in good stead. I’m going to give it a little thought over the weekend and come up with a new plan of attack.

Commiserations  to all impacted by the raft of race postponements, especially those who have gone to much more logistical effort than I had to. I guess there are more important things to worry about at the moment.

One thought on “Training Week -29 (previously known as Week -6) Done

  1. I assume that the internet will soon be alive with advice on how folks who were nearly ready for the April marathon should train for the October date? The trick of avoiding burn-out and injury, without have in to start from (almost) scratch in the middle of the summer will be a good one to master.

    Liked by 1 person

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