Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Marathon Training Week 14

Brighton Marathon 2019 Training Week 14

The marathon is feeling excitingly close now! Week 14 was the first of three tapering weeks for me, gradually winding down on the mileage.

As always, I began with a rest day on Monday. I felt like I recovered pretty well after the 22 miles on Sunday - I spend a lot of my day going up and down stairs at work so it helps when my legs are fully functioning!

I was home early on Tuesday afternoon and decided to make the most of it by heading out straightaway, rather than waiting for the evening track session with the club. I'm glad I made that decision because although my legs weren't feeling stiff or painful, they were certainly not ready for an intense speed session. I did start off the run with trying to do some fartlek style training, but couldn't really hit any fast paces. A half-hearted session would only have fatigued me further, while offering no real benefit, so instead I opted for a gentle recovery run instead. 

Wednesday was another rest day for me, and I was working a long day so didn't have a chance to do much else anyway.

Thursday I went out in the evening after work, intending to run about six miles with some of it at marathon pace to try and help myself really lock in what the pace should feel like. However I was starting to get pain in my glute again after a couple of miles and so decided to call it a day. While it definitely felt the sensible decision, it did start to make me nervous that I've had to shorten so many runs recently. I've been reminding myself however that the real big work is behind me already, now it's about keeping myself in good condition to get this marathon done.

Friday evening I was, of course, in the hotpod yoga studio for my Friday-fix of gentle stretching in the warmth. Some sessions my body feels really tight and my mind easily distracted, but this was a good week where the stretches felt good and I was able to really relax.

Saturday I was up and out the house by 5am to get to Bristol for an instagram meet up at Ashton Court parkrun. It was the very first parkrun I ever heard of, but I'd never actually run it until this weekend. I wouldn't describe it as "hilly", it essentially is just "a hill". It's an out and back course at Ashton Court Estate. It's pretty much uphill for all of the first half, and downhill all the way home. I say I like hills, but what I really mean is short steep ones - not long, gradual ones! I did love flying down the hill on the way back though - I've never run a sub-6 minute mile on a parkrun before. My splits were a pretty good reflection of the course: 8:02, 8:00, 5:58!

I finished off the week with my final real long run on Sunday. For the first time this training cycle, I woke up on a Sunday morning and really, really didn't want to get up and run. Normally I'm quite excited to get out and go for a long run, but this week I wasn't feeling it. Luckily I had plenty of people on whatsapp and instagram to encourage me and as soon as I was out the door I was actually quite enjoying it. I ran the first eight miles at easy pace, although was struggling to keep this to a genuine easy pace as I kept speeding up. I chose to run along the canal because it was flat so would hopefully be less likely to affect my injury (which had interestingly been absolutely fine during Saturday's hill run). I then ran back at marathon pace to do a total of just over 14 miles. Again I was needing to slow myself down as I kept going beyond marathon pace which might feel nice now, but won't be a good idea when I've got 26.2 miles to get done! At the 11 mile point I reached a steep hill up through a golf course and the tedinopathy decided to make itself known with pain all down my left leg. It was really frustrating seeing as I'd felt so strong running until then, but I walked for about 1/4 mile to get the hill out the way, then continued running home. Despite this little blip, it was a confidence boosting run in terms of the pacing anyway.

Inbetween running, I've been trying to stick to the strength and condition exercises my physiotherapist recommended last week. I'm doing ok at remembering them, although I wouldn't mind "forgetting" a few side planks...

Next week the tapering continues, with what should be the lowest mileage week I've run since starting the plan before Christmas!

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