Virgin Money London Marathon 2017: Week 9 of 18

It’s the end of week 9 and halfway through the programme. That means only 6 weeks until the taper kicks in! The weather is improving and the tides are turning. But more on that later…

Day Book Plan My Plan Actual Notes
Monday Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday 6m Recovery 6m Recovery 6m Recovery
Wednesday 14m Medium-long 14m Medium-long 14m Medium-long
Thursday 6m Recovery 6m Recovery 6m Recovery
Friday
Saturday 6m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) 3m Recovery 3m Recovery
Sunday 16m (12m Marathon Pace) Bramley 20 (Race) Bramley 20 (Race)
Total Mileage 48m 49m 49m

Tuesday had a 6 mile recovery run. I was working from home so managed to sneak out at lunchtime. My legs were still pretty weary from Sunday, but this definitely loosened them up a bit.

Wednesday was my least favourite run of the entire program. I’ve always hated it every time I’ve used the schedule. 14 miles medium-long. There’s just something crap about having to run longer than half-marathon distance on a cold winter evening after a full day of work. This time I had the excuse of running it a bit slower than usual, thanks to Sunday’s upcoming race. So I dropped the pace by about 25-30 seconds per mile to how I would have ordinarily run it. My legs were still a bit creaky, but my heart rate was nice and comfortable all the way round and there was some decent elevation in there too. Finishing it was a relief – maximum 12 miles midweek from here on out. What was nice though, was heading out in daylight for 45 minutes. Spring is definitely in the air!

Thursday was another 6 mile recovery run. it was a bit quicker than Tuesdays as the legs were feeling not too bad, even after Wednesdays big effort.

On parkrunday we went to Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun, as we needed to go to Fareham to pick up a parcel, and Fareham is not buggy friendly! Still, this event was on our “to do” list in order to run all Hampshire parkruns! The course was in the middle of a business estate and was an out, back, and out and back again course on cycle path and gravel trailway. It wasn’t the most inspiring of courses but flat enough and buggy friendly.

The people were very nice too. It was a relatively small event with only 186 finishers. I ran it as a 3m Recovery so as not to over exert myself before Sunday’s race. Afterwards there was a nice Starbucks where we had some porridge and a free coffee (Courtesy of our Vitality membership!) and there was a good vibe in the place. All in all, a very nice little event.

On Sunday, the book session was supposed to be 16 miles, with 12 at Marathon Pace. Instead, we went to do the Bramley 20. I had 2 options heading in. I could have run the first 8 with the last 12 @ MP in line with the session, or I could run it as a straight MP effort. I decided on Friday that I would do the latter. I agonised with the decision, but I felt that it would be a good test to see how training has been going.

 

The course is pretty well suited to it as a test – there are some inclines at 6 and 8 miles, and its a 2 lap course, so I figured I’d be 16 miles in before it got really tough. Then if I could handle the hills, perhaps slow down a bit for them, I knew from last year its a pretty fast gradual downhill for the last mile or so. Prior to the race, my form score was just about in the positive, so I was just about in shape to run it well.

You can click here for the full Race Report, but in short I ran it just how I needed to. Bang on pace coming in at 2.20.44, 7.03 per mile. I suffered from some cramps toward the end but all in all delighted, and absolutely brimming with confidence. For a first race of the year, it couldn’t have gone any better.

 

Weight

More good news on the weight loss! Another pound off, which means I’m now 13st 12lbs. Back when I originally mapped out my Masterplan, my target for this week (Bramley 20 weekend) was between 14st 1lb and 13st 11lbs (By March 6th) so I am definitely on track!

Importantly, my Body Fat% is reducing too which is my main measure. Looking at the trend line it looks like I’m set to reach my target weight of 13st 5lbs by 10th March, though I don’t think that’s realistic. The rate of loss seems to have settled at 1lb per week, and although I want to try my very best to re-accellerate that, it would still bring me on target by race day.

Looking at the data though, I’m not sure losing the remaining 7lbs will bring my BF% down to the 17% zone I am after. At the moment, 1lb seems to represent 0.5%. So that means 7lbs should roughly equate to 3.5% which would be 17.8% – so I may need to go to 13st 3lbs to hit that number. I shan’t be breaking myself to get that low or be disappointed if I don’t get there pre-race – but that’s 9lbs with 9 weeks to go. So possible! Especially if I can get a 2lb week!

Summary

Well, what a fantastic week. With the midweek 14 miler I didn’t think my fatigue would go down enough to be fresh for the race – but it did. Now I just need to hope the legs can recover well for the rest of the training programme.

Week 10 is a recovery week (Hooray!) and I definitely need it. But when you look closely, it doesn’t look like there’s much recovery… It’s more just a mileage cutback. Hopefully I can get through the midweek interval session with a good set, but I’ll not be too hard on myself if they are a little slow!

Day Book Plan My Plan Notes
Monday Rest Rest
Tuesday 8m General Aerobic 6m Recovery Following a big 20 mile race I think I need to take this one easy.
Wednesday 8m (6 x 800m Intervals) 8m (6 x 800m Intervals)
Thursday 5m Recovery 5m Recovery
Friday Rest Rest
Saturday 8m General Aerobic (8 x 100m Strides) 8m General Aerobic (8 x 100m Strides)
Sunday 14m Medium-long 14m Medium-long
Total Mileage 43m 41m

 

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