Manchester Marathon Training: Week 11 of 18

Week 11! Well over the hump of the programme and this was the last week of the “Endurance + Lactate Threshold” mesocycle of the programme. it also happened to be the toughest, for a few reasons. Stresses at work gave me some sleepless nights, which meant I was tired, not recovering properly and didn’t have enough energy to complete some of my sessions.

Add to that the fact that I overate to try and compensate and get some energy on board, I’m not entirely happy with how it went. Not to mention that I totally overdid the intensity at the weekend compared with what I was meant to do, it totally serves me right.

Lets have a look with what I was scheduled for and what I actually did.


My plan matched the P&D schedule, but in practise it just didn’t work out that way.

Tuesday started with an 11 miler with 7 at threshold, but it was a misery. The 7 miles at threshold were, for all intents and purposes, in the zone, but I stopped for a breather about 7 times. My body just had nothing left.

I followed this up on Wednesday with what was meant to be 7 with some strides, but after 3 miles I just had the feeling that I “Couldn’t be bothered” and gave up. It’s the first time that’s happened for a very long time, but it was such a struggle, I literally had had enough and walked back to the hotel. Being away for work I always seem to struggle, not sure if its because the routes are less familiar. I went home and had a good filling carvery and an early night, which definitely helped.

Thursday was meant to be a rest day, but as I was travelling on Friday I had to switch days around. I was naturally nervous about the 12 miles I was meant to do, but managed it. I can’t say I enjoyed it, but It wasn’t as bad as I thought, and I managed it without a struggle which was a bit of a relief. It was also the first evening I’ve gone out for a run in the sunlight – for the first 20 minutes! Spring is springing and its quite nice going out with some daylight.

Friday was a rest, but Saturday saw us head out on parkrun tour. This time to Frimley Green. I’ll write a separate post about this of course, but the intention was to do a mile warm up and down either side of a relaxed run. Due to both the fact that I made a boo boo on the motorway, causing us to arrive just in time for the briefing (But not for a mile warm up) and the weather being lousy, decided just to do the parkrun. I did it more as a fartlek, with some parts being faster than others and the finish being at a decent pace. My legs felt much better and running with some pace gave me a bit of confidence back.


Sunday saw the return of the 20 miler! Being in Basingstoke for the weekend, I painstakingly planned a route that I thought I’d easily navigate myself around. It ALMOST worked, and only had to stop twice to check the map. I rarely looked at my watch. The pace alerts were on but I ran it mostly on feel, and looking back at the splits I was quite pleased. It was about where I needed it to be, and was delighted to make it round on one piece given how I felt earlier in the week. The last 2 miles were tough, but over that distance they always are!

Jantastic wise, I’m up to 25 badges! It looks like with the weather improving the opportunity to get the “Sub Zero” badge has gone. What an unseasonably mild winter we had! Despite a wobble this week, I’m heading into the March phase with a 100% record.


As part of the challenge, I now have to set myself a target time to try and achieve over a distance of my choosing. It needs to be ambitious but achieveable. No sandbagging and no cheating! I’m not sure whether to go for a sub 20 5k or a sub 1:33 half marathon. I have a week to decide.

Next week is the start of the “Race Preparation” mesocycle. It introduces an interval session every week all the way through to the marathon, and also 3 “warm up” races. The first is next week, which will be a parkrun. I’ll be looking for another PB wherever we end up going. It’ll also see my only 22 miler of the campaign.

Its been a wobbly week, but I hope I’ve turned the corner. Work stresses have eased, although I do need to shift te schedule a bit to accommodate for travelling.

4 more weeks til the taper!






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