This week’s running – 22nd to 28th of August 2016

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How I’ve felt for much of this summer…

Week 16 of the 22 week marathon schedule was another tough one.

7 mile fartlek (and 2 mile warm-down)

The schedule originally planned for 8 miles with 5x 800m at 5k pace. Phoning around the three different 400m tracks nearby (Fox Hollies leisure centre, Abbey Stadium, Alexander Stadium), all were obviously reserved for local running club use, being a Tuesday night and all.

In place of the 800m reps, I swapped in a fartlek session instead, which better complimented the unpredictable nature of the canal towpath. Also, I found the shorter and longer stretches at effort easier to stomach in the amped up heat versus trying to meticulously hit 800m in 2:55 (and probably fail).

I didn’t fare too badly out there, with a particular highlight being a 400m stretch at 5:42 per mile pace. Expectedly, the fartlek session had taken a lot out of me and I had to uncharacteristically stop immediately afterwards for several minutes before continuing with my warm-down.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

5 miles recovery

Nothing more than a gentle and casual plod home from New Street Station. Keeping me company were snippets of an interview via the Marathon Talk podcast (episodes 70 to 72), with a focus on training and racing in the heat. Two interesting points were highlighted:

  • Only around 25% of the energy output from running goes towards forward motion; the remaining 75% is waste heat generated by muscles
  • Our own effort during a run has a far bigger impact on how hot we get versus the ambient temperature and humidity

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

12 miles from work

Whilst not particularly warm (yessss!), it was still unfavourably humid (noooo!) outdoors to leave me completely soaked in sweat, requiring that I literally peel my clothes from my skin upon finishing.

I really wasn’t in the mood for this medium-long run; my legs agreed with me, feeling particularly tired. And that’s the point of these medium-long runs, where they’ve worn me down for weeks so that I’m almost always in a state of accumulated fatigue.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

Cannon Hill Parkrun

With the impending doom of my lengthiest marathon paced session to date at the end of the week, I knew I had to keep things easy at Parkrun. Dave and I covered the distance at a conversational and leisurely pace of just under 8 minutes per mile, with a faster final km to stretch the legs out. I also achieved a personal worst in terms of finishing position for 201st, even factoring in my early days at the event when I was only capable of running 5k in circa 25 minutes for an idea of just how much the Cannon Hill event has grown in 5 years.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

17 miles with 13.1 at marathon pace (plus up to 15 seconds)

In a bid to make this run as successful as possible, I unusually separated my warm-up from the bulk of the main run. Having set-up a makeshift transition area in the hallway of my house, I used the 10 or so minutes of recovery to swap shoes, tops, re-hydrate and holster some gels.

Carrying some fatigue and with a noticeable cross-wind to contend with, I allowed for around 15 seconds of drift per mile to get the job done. Rather oddly, I couldn’t actually dip into the magical 6:47 per mile pace target, instead hovering between 6:50 and 7:04 as my best and worst efforts. I felt pretty comfortable out there for majority of the distance, though did find concentration was required on occasion to maintain pace, especially when the terrain changed underfoot or elevation increased or decreased. Overall, I felt pretty good and were it not for the steep climb up Brook Lane, I’d have continued all the way for 14 miles at pace as per the schedule.

I had hoped my Adidas Adios Boost 2s had received enough break-in from several 5 mile runs, though was disappointed to experience some major and minor hotspots and blisters on my right foot. Hopefully this run will have done just the job to break them in ahead of the Kenilworth Half Marathon…

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

The road to the Yorkshire Marathon

With a mere six weeks to go, the big day is now fast approaching. I have a few more key runs remaining, including the following:

  • Half marathon (Kenilworth Half Marathon; PB attempt)
  • 22/23 mile long run
  • Marathon paced run (Robin Hood Half Marathon)
  • 5k (PB attempt)

Whilst I’m most certainly tired at the moment, I remain feeling positive. I feel physically fitter than ever before; scoring a number of PBs across different distances during this campaign cements that the training is working and paying dividends.

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