Sunday, March 10, 2019

Marathon Training Week 11

Brighton Marathon 2019 -  Training Week 11

50th Parkrun

 I didn't get my first run done this week until Wednesday afternoon. I'd been intending to run an interval session at the track on Tuesday, but my journey home from work took longer than usual and I'd have been rushing to get to the group session in time. A handy excuse really, because I actually wasn't wanting to run anyway - I was still a bit tired from Sunday's 18 miles, and my motivation was more than lacking. Full honesty here, track sessions have been starting to stress me out. Training is supposed to be hard, but it's demoralising to keep ending sessions early, or to struggle midway. Coping with the mental side of running is part and parcel of the training, and a lot of the time I do manage these thoughts but I just felt like this week wasn't going to be one of them. Life happens. Instead I came home, chilled out and then did some gentle yoga stretches instead.

So anyway, Wednesday afternoon. I'd actually planned to try and do an interval session of some sort and make up for the 1000m reps I didn't do on Tuesday but still wasn't feeling it. At the time it felt a little bit like chickening out - if I don't run the session, I can't "fail" at it, but with hindsight it was actually a really good decision. I just needed to give myself a break this week. So I made the most of being home a little earlier and being able to run down to the lido in daylight. Five easy as anything miles had me feeling far better about running.

Run Talk Run

Thursday was more easy miles - roughly six miles in the drizzly London rain, along the canal and then through Regents Park and down Regent Street to a Run Talk Run/ Twice The Health joint run, and then about three miles with them. Again I was taking zero notice of pace or even distance really, and just made the most of running some new routes and having a good old chat. I was a tiny bit short of the nine miles I'd planned to do, but I'm learning that the exact numbers really aren't that important. (Until race day obviously. Then there's no getting away from the fact it needs to be 26.2 miles!)

Friday I booked myself into another Nuturing Flow at Hotpod Yoga. Last week I'd felt really stiff in the class, but was feeling way better this week - possibly in part thanks to having eased off with the running this week.

Hotpod Yoga Pod

Saturday was a definite running achievement - getting to fifty parkruns! I'd actually planned to either run there, or run two miles on either side of the parkrun, but I did neither of these. Instead, in keeping with the relaxed feel of the rest of the week, I got the train there, and ran a comfortable 22:20 5km (which would never have felt comfortable a year ago).

Parkrun garmin watch

Long Run Sunday. This week called for 20 miles, made much easier by doing the Hillingdon 20 Mile race. Easier in the sense I didn't have to worry about planning a route or carrying water, and easier because there were other people around to keep me motivated. There's still not much easy about running twenty miles! This was another good confidence boosting run. I started steady, chatting with Kimberley who I met at Burger Run last year, then felt able to pick up the pace a little more. It's a hilly course and has four laps, and we were contending with gale force winds at times and this was all reflected in the variations in my pacing! But I felt strong for the majority of it. It wasn't continuous running, but that was almost deliberate - I'd set out telling myself I'd have a low threshold for stopping to walk if necessary. One, because it's a training run and I don't want to absolutely knacker myself during this intense training periods. Two, to show myself that even if things don't go perfectly on race day and I need to slow down, it doesn't necessarily mean game over. I had some difficulties with cramp in my left leg around miles 14/15 and did need to walk for a little bit, and was definitely getting tired in the final couple of miles, but overall I'm pleased for completing my new longest run, and at a very respectable average pace. 20 miles done in 2:50:41 for about 8:33min/mi definitely a good way to end the week!

In all it's mainly been a week of taking it easy, slowing up and turning down the intensity - while still keeping up plenty of running. Looking forward to next week, when my long run is "just" 13.1 miles!

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