High mileage week!
This has been the highest mileage week for me since my last cycle of marathon training.
Tuesday treadmill intervals
As is now customary, Tuesday saw me complete another interval session on the treadmill.
I upped the pace to 15.6kmph but due to running on a different treadmill and also recalibrating my footpod, my recorded splits looked dramatically faster compared to last week. I’ll try and use the same treadmill again for some consistency, so that it’s at least regularly wrong!
The session was good for dusting off all the speed cobwebs. I felt positively alive at the end of 4 reps and in hindsight, I really should have pushed on and completed 5 to really stretch the legs. Have a gander at the Garmin data here.
6 Hagley Road miles
I haven’t completed the trusty Hagley Road route in a while due to simply feeling whacked come Thursday. Broad Street leading on to Hagley Road is deceptively uphill; not by much of a gradient but there is definitely an incline present. I always feel quite weak by the time I’ve reached the turnaround point on this route, followed by a downhill return to base.
I may just tackle this route at a slower pace and make it a truly easy run in future. Take a look at the Garmin data here.
Cannon Hill Parkrun
Parkrunday rolled around again and a frosty one it was. Lis was in tow having volunteered as a marshal on a beautifully bright but cold morning.
I love the community at Cannon Hill where back in the early days, I’d turn up, run and then go home. Now, I know plenty of faces and part of the draw each week is simply to have a good old natter with fellow Parkrunners. I also finally got to put a face to Ed Barlow’s name! He added me on Twitter several weeks ago but I was only familiar with the name, playing a game of Guess Who on each occasion.
I decided to break from tradition and wore my red vest along with my arm warmers (where have these been all my life?).
Speaking to Nigel beforehand, he was keen to try for a PB whilst I wanted something around 19:4X so I told him to try and stick to me. Once we actually started running, Nigel put on a good burst and lead for much of the first 1.5 miles. Heading towards the triangle portion of the course, his pace slipped a little and I surged a few times to try and regain some lost time. There weren’t many around my pace to run with, so I slogged most of the last mile alone, eventually finishing in 19:58. Nigel was off his PB by only a few seconds but I reckon he’ll crack it by the end of the year.
My Garmin data can be found here.
I was pleased to see Jonny Costello PB by a few seconds, another regular I have recently put a name to after running with him a few times.
I think I’m going to save my next visit to Cardiff Parkrun for when I’m truly 5k fighting fit again, otherwise it’s a wasted opportunity on what is a truly flat and fast course.
15 mile long run
I completed my second 15 mile long run as part of marathon base building. The overall plan is to get to the end of the year and be in a position to begin churning out 18 milers, if I’m not already doing so.
I filled my CamelBak up with 750ml of stronger Nectar Fuel compared to last week and also packed a banana energy gel for the ride. It was cold outside but there was no frost on the ground for maximum traction underfoot.
The route for the day was the northern Birmingham canals again, going past such familiar sights like Star City and a recycling plant – hardly mentally stimulating but I’m throwing it in as psychological training.
Going into mile 5 near Star City, I noticed a fellow runner behind me by no more than 5m. He picked up his pace slightly and closed the gap to maybe 3m, no doubt spurred on by me in front. Initially, I was hoping he would overtake but he never seemed to make a move, always just several metres behind me. I did consider purposely easing off the pace to see if this would push him to make a move but I think he would have just naturally continued to follow anyway. This became a game of cat and mouse where the pace continued to climb until mile 8 when he left the canal and thanked me for the pace-making. It suddenly felt a lot tougher to continue running on my own at the faster pace, which was stupid with another 7 miles to go!
The long run became progressively harder due to fatigue. The final two miles were torture, which you can see from my splits here. I need to learn to endure the prolonged suffering of a marathon again, which is totally different to all other distances I have covered before.
The lesson of the day? Leave racing for race day and leave training runs as just that.
Overall, marathon plans are going well so far. My schedule has been finalised thanks to inspiration from Advanced Marathoning by Pfitzinger and Douglas. I have purposely started base building early where I’m looking to devote two weeks to each milestone to really give my body some familiarity and minimise any bodily breakdowns. Due to the restricted time earlier this year, I felt I increased the mileage a little too quickly at times due to necessity. I want to get to the stage where my five longest runs comfortably add up to more than 100 miles.
Another rule from The Runner’s Rule Book
As promised, here’s another entry from The Runner’s Rule Book by Mark Remy:
Have mercy on the slow
Be courteous when running with others who are slower than you – particularly if you’re running together at their invitation. To avoid subconsciously pushing the pace, make a point to remain half a step or more behind whoever is running at the front.
A civilised runner doesn’t use speed as a cudgel to beat slower runners into submission.
…Except when you’re racing
During competition. It’s perfectly acceptable to use your speed as cudgel to beat slower runners into submission. In fact, that’s half the fun of competition. Just do it with a smile on your face.
Or at least a neutral grimace.