My favourite quote of the week; marathon training is hard - if it wasn't everyone would be doing it! These are the testing weeks of marathon training, and as I follow other people's journey's to the start line of numerous Spring marathons, I know we are all pushing and challenging ourselves. But as the weeks get harder, the ultimate marathon goal gets closer - and of course so does the taper!
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: today my plan said fartlek (speed play), which although I acknowledge is a valid training method, I personally struggle to just go out and mix up my paces. Instead I opted for intervals; yes I actually chose to run intervals! With 7 miles scheduled I decided to include 7 x 800m repeats with 200m recovery periods. I ran the intervals very consistently aiming for 10k pace, and I actually really enjoyed it - maybe because I had chosen the nature of the run as opposed to feeling dictated by a plan!
WEDNESDAY: 7 easy paced miles before my Body Pump class. I definitely did not start at an 'easy' pace for the first three miles, instead I was running nearer to 8 min/mile pace. I forced myself to rein it in a little though, and whilst it actually hurt my legs more to forcibly slow down, I knew it was what I needed to do.
THURSDAY: another 7 miles, this time in the form of a progression run. Before I set off I told myself I had to be disciplined. Starting too fast would leave me with no where to go and I would literally be sprinting in the last few miles. I planned my paces in biro on my hand, hoping the visual reference would help me keep on track. On paper (well skin!) the first mile would be at 9 min/m pace... in reality I ran 8:43 min/mile. Not ideal, but with some determination and the help of chasing a super speedy runaway dog on the final mile and returning it to its grateful owner, I managed it with splits of 8:43, 8:30, 8:05, 7:57, 7:50, 7: 42, and 7:15.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: a tough Lincoln parkrun today, but one I was pleased with (see image). I started quickly, but soon realised my legs were not quite at their best and my pace subsequently dropped. I had to really dig deep and at one point I actually contemplated just taking my foot off the gas totally and letting this become an easier run. But my mind won the battle and I refused to give in. Although my legs were totally spent at the finish, I managed to get under the 22 minute benchmark, with a 21:55 time. At this stage in marathon training I cannot expect parkrun to always be a PB challenging run, and I was actually more happy with the mental resolve I displayed.
SUNDAY: I had to draw on some of my mental strength again for today's 20 miler. My legs were definitely not in 8:30 min/mile condition like last week's longer run, but my friend and I opted to take this week a bit steadier anyway, which was a relief! Despite a gusty wind we ran reasonably consistent for the majority and it was pleasant to just be ticking off the miles and chatting away. However the last few miles my legs really began to protest. With four miles to go they were weary, and the final two miles were simply very tough; my legs were uncomfortable and had just a dull constant ache about them. I made it though, and suitably collapsed when I got home! Next week is big mileage week (and I mean big!) - wish me luck!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...