Virgin Money London Marathon 2017: Week 11 of 18

Well, week 11 has come and gone. Last weeks recovery week didn’t make me feel very recovered, and it definitely carried through into this week.

Day Book Plan My Plan Actual Notes
Monday Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday 7m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) 7m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) 7m Recovery (5 x 100m Strides)
Wednesday 11m (7m lactate Threshold) 11m (7m lactate Threshold) 11m (7m lactate Threshold)
Thursday Rest Rest Rest
Friday 12m Medium-long 12m Medium-long 12m Medium-long
Saturday 5m Recovery 5m Recovery 5m Recovery
Sunday 20m Long 20m Long 20m Long
Total Mileage  55m 55m   55m

 

First run of the week was Tuesday, with 7 miles recovery with a set of strides. I missed the first stride as I didn’t hear my watch beep though! Legs were still pretty heavy and was probably a little bit quicker than I should have done.

Wednesday was meant to be a key session, but it didn’t go to plan at all. 11 miles with 7 at Lactate Threshold. On the surface the splits look OK, but they don’t tell the whole story. I got about 3.5 miles through the threshold section and then my legs just lost interest completely. They were lacking any sort of bounce whatsoever and my heart rate seemed way too high. Looking back on it, I was right.

Looking at the positives, I did manage 7 miles at threshold, and having a sustained high heart rate will be good in some ways for training purposes. Also, last time I struggled with a threshold run was whilst I was in Birmingham, not the flattest route and I perform better on the known route I usually use at home. You don’t lose fitness overnight, and I am probably still recovering from the race last week. After I last struggled with the threshold run, the week after I performed much better. So I am hopeful I can bounce back in a few days.

Thursday was a rest day, which helped me out for Friday’s 12 mile medium-long. I was still a bit emotionally scarred from Wednesday so I wasn’t really looking forward to it. Especially on a frigging Friday! I headed out at a decent clip, faster than I needed to, really – I was targeting just sub 8s – and when I hit the hill I had on the route my mind went into “flight” mode, like I was trying too hard and that I should give up. I managed to shit that nonsense down and once I crested the hill managed to keep the pace up. Mentally, it felt good. Physically, the ball of my left foot started hurting, a burning sensation which was similar to how it felt after Bramley. In the end the average was about 7.42 per mile. That’s some 15s per mile than when I ran this route last month, and I remember I struggled with that too. Also, comparing suffer scores, there wasn’t much in it. So that’s really positive.

On Saturday we visited Southsea parkrun. One of the few remaining Hampshire parkruns we had yet to visit. It was about a 50 minute drive to the event, which was based near the Pyramids centre. We got there at 8.35 and managed to park right by the start though it was £3.10 for 2 hours parking! The event is an out and back along the esplanade. The weather was good, but having visited Southsea before for the Great South Run we expected a wicked wind. It was not to be. In fact, with the course as flat as it was and the weather as good, it definitely had PB potential! The people were very friendly, and we chatted to a few of the locals who welcomed us as tourists. We also got chatting to another lady buggy runner who had her 3 month old with her. The toilets were nearby and the cafe was great, right on the seafront and a really good vibe to it! A top event as ever.

I ran 2 miles beforehand as I needed to run 5 miles recovery for the day. When I woke up though, I felt some weakness in my knee which meant I struggled with the stairs. The first few hundred yards in Southsea I felt it twinge quite a lot and was very uncomfortable but once it loosened up it felt a bit better. I think the combination of a long run the day before late in the evening followed by this early run meant the leg just stiffened up a bit. Saturday afternoon it felt better, and I did some mild strengthening exercises during the day in preparation for Sunday’s long run.

Speaking of which… 20 miles. It was tough. The weather forecast wasn’t great, but thankfully I got away with only a short burst of a shower about 13 miles in. I managed to have a good toilet drop off in the morning so I thought I’d have a good comfortable run… My bowels had other ideas. I was having some very bad cramps and resulted in a  few walks whilst they subsided. You can see the HR dips every time I needed to stop. it was frequent!

I eventually got to a loo at about 9 miles. I was given about 4 miles respite before they started again and needed another loo stop at 17 miles. Aside from that, it was OK. I struggled to maintain pace up some of the hills, but that could have been a combination of fatigue from Friday and Saturday and the tummy aches. So whilst it wasn’t the most consistent of 20 milers, I’ll take it.

Weight

Another week staying the same. It’s hardly surprising, I’ve spent the last 2 weeks “recovering” in more ways than just through rest. I have felt my body has needed more food, so I’ve listened to it. I’m actually quite pleased I am not increasing it, so that’s a real positive.

This weeks training has gone a lot better and I’m feeling a bit more confident, so this week I’m hoping to take another pound off.

Summary

It’s been a tough week. By the book this is the peak mileage week, and no doubt about it, 37 miles in 3 days, along with a mammoth tempo run has been a challenge. The Bramley 20 took far more out of me than I expected, and its been a psychologically (and physically of course) tough 14 days of getting back to where I was. But now, 2 weeks later, I feel like things are back on the up.

Looking at my Fitness Trend I can see a strong push back into overload – that’s a good thing. In previous campaigns I feel I’ve started cruising at about this stage. I want to keep the intensity up and improve every bit I can ahead of the big day so I can ht that ambitious target.

It’s the end of the Lactate Threshold + Endurance mesocycle. The mileage has stopped ramping up, and its now going to be all about sharpening up and building on that base.

I have some mild concerns about my knee, but I’m going to keep strengthening it, and hopefully after a rest day on Monday it will improve.

The big event of next week is my practice half at Silverstone. I’m hoping for a good fast time, 88.xx at the very least and if I can taper in well enough, 87.xx would be dreamland.

Day Book Plan My Plan Notes
Monday Rest Rest
Tuesday 8m (5 x 600m Intervals) 8m (5 x 600m Intervals)
Wednesday 12m Medium-long 12m Medium-long
Thursday Rest 5m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) Switch to Thursday to give myself the rest day closer to the practise race.
Friday 5m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) Rest
Saturday 8-15k Tune Up Race 3m Recovery
Sunday 17m Long Silverstone Half Marathon No good practise races here on Saturdays!
Total Mileage ~52m 42m

 

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