This week’s running – 2nd to 8th of May 2016

14 miles - to Brueton Park and back

One lap of the Brueton Parkrun route thrown in for good measure

Mid-week racing, Parkrun record breaking and marathon planning this week.

DK10K 2016 review

Given I had the DK10K on Wednesday evening, I opted to do no training for a sharp several day taper.

Click here for the full review.

The road to the Yorkshire Marathon

Without a big-ticket race to focus on of late, I’ve simply been treading water when it came to training. With an eye on the looming Yorkshire Marathon, that all ended on Friday evening when I sat down with my copy of Pfitzinger & Douglas’ Advanced Marathoning and pulled together a training plan! For the record, I was previously a lot more free form with my prior two marathon outings, with neither performance being representative of my then abilities.

I spoke with Darryll Thomas, who’d just recently finished a marathon schedule that propelled him to a 3:08 at the London marathon, for his view. My query was whether to follow a schedule rigidly, or to adjust it to suit one’s needs. Darryll’s opinion was to follow a schedule to the letter with little to no deviation.

The basis for my plan is the 18 week “Up to 55 miles per week” schedule. I recall listening to a Marathon Talk interview with Pete Pfitzinger, who was positively urging people to make time for the 18 week schedule, citing it truly rebuilds one’s physiology to become marathon focused, as opposed to the 12 week schedule, which is decent but with fewer transformative powers.

Despite sharing Darryll’s view that a schedule should be followed as precisely as possible, looking at the P&D plan and my own needs over the summer has meant I’ve had to fettle with some of the components. The 18 week plan has very little wriggle room for recovery, illness, or life getting in the way. I have a handful of races I’ve slotted in, which I’d like to have a proper bash at, which means slight tapers. So, I’ve stretched the plan out to 23 weeks, accounting for the above but also to ensure I hit the schedule, err, running with a week or two to reacquaint myself with training regularity and normality. One other controversial change I’ve made is swapping out all prescribed half marathon pace miles with marathon pace miles instead. My theoretical marathon pace is around 6:47 per mile, whereas my half marathon pace is 6:25 per mile; I know already that I would not be able to stomach 10 miles with 6 of those at half marathon pace and still be in reasonable shape for the rest of the week. As minor compensation, I’ll frequently be covering Parkrun at sub-20 5k pace, which is very similar to my half marathon pace.

For those that are curious, the plan can be downloaded from here in Excel format. Green weeks are easier; blue weeks are set aside for racing; yellow weeks are tougher; red weeks either feature the longest runs, or toughest sessions.

Wish me luck, folks!

Cannon Hill Parkrun

Stop press! Cannon Hill’s attendance record was well and truly broken with 1,016 runners on Saturday, making it the second largest event after Bushy.

I changed things up by jogging to the park from home to get my warm-up in. It was pretty warm (finally) and left me uncertain of how to approach the run; Wednesday’s DK10K hadn’t broken me and I felt reasonably recovered thanks to the low mileage week. I concluded sub-20 would be enough.

It was the second John Enright memorial run, drawing out large crowds from both Kings Heath Running Club and Bournville Harriers, along with many other local clubs well represented and a healthy number of first timers. Nigel and Dave also returned after several week absences.

I took advantage of the denser field, pushing me along to an eventual 19:04 finish with little stress or dramatics; had my legs have not been subjected to a mid-week race, I’m confident I could have dipped under 19 minutes whilst still feeling in control.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

14 miles – to Brueton Park and back

In a bid to return to normality, but also to best prepare myself for the marathon schedule, I embarked on a 14 mile jaunt that took me to Brueton Park in Solihull and back.

To say it was warm is an understatement. The thermometer reported circa 20 degrees for officially my warmest run so far this year, though I’m sure this record will be short-lived and will be surpassed in due course.

I hate running into headwind, but it was most welcome this morning as a means of regulating my temperature and allowed me to not take on my Isogel. I felt pretty good for the duration of the run, despite the somewhat undulating route and a massive climb in the second half. This was just what I needed to boost low confidence levels and bodes well for the long runs I’ll have to complete over the summer!

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

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