After the bulk of training was completed last week, this week was the start of the taper, with the key sessions being a set of Intervals and a target Half Marathon race.
The first run on Tuesday was 8 miles with 5 sets of 600m intervals. Last time, I nailed the session, and despite running 22 on Sunday, this time was the same. A little slower than last time out but they averaged at 5.30 miling, so I was delighted.
Wednesday I went for a nice recovery run with Jodie, trying to let the legs recover for the race on Saturday.
On Thursday we went to Cardiff for the weekend for the Cardiff World Half Marathon Championships. I needed to get a run in, 4 miles with a set of strides. Whilst out, I saw the Canadian team out on their own recovery run, cruising along barely breaking a sweat!
Well as we had a race on Saturday afternoon, it was our first Saturday morning without a parkrun for a very long time! So that was a bit strange! But it was all because we competed in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. I’ve written a full report on the event here.
My race was a mixed bag. I was targetting 1.27.xx and went out at a pace to achieve that. But after about 7 miles I realised that the pace was too quick and my legs started screaming at me. The awful conditions hit and I was unable to maintain close to the pace I wanted. My heart rate showed I couldn’t go any quicker as my effort was right up there.
I think a combination of the afternoon race which meant my fuelling was well off, plus the weather, plus 22 miles last week all contributed. I think if I had tapered properly and if it was a morning race, I’d have been able to hit that 1.27. As it was I came in at 1.29.27, which was still a 40s PB which I am obviously pleased with – I just wanted to go faster. With this slightly slower time, I’m not sure what goal to set for Manchester now.
Given that I raced on Sunday, I only ran a 5 mile recovery run. The first mile was agony but it got progressively easier, and I certainly felt better at the end.
Well, I am obviously pleased with a new HM PB – I’ve wanted to go sub-90 for a very long time, but I can’t help feeling a little deflated that I didn’t go quicker. But given the stage of the training plan, I haven’t done any threshold/tempo work for 4 weeks – which could also have contributed. The race really didn’t sit well in the plan and if it was 2 weeks earlier it would have been perfect.
My training has been geared around the Marathon, and not a Half Marathon. I still think my original target of 3.12 is viable and achievable. I’m less sure of a 3.09. One thing I was pleased about with Cardiff was that in spite of the state of my legs for the last 6 miles I still kept my pace above the 7.14 per mile that a 3.09 would require.
I think I need to give things a week to settle, let my legs recover (As I write this on Monday, they are still pretty sore) and will reassess next week.
To be honest, I probably won’t make a decision until 8.59 on the morning of the race!