Virgin Money London Marathon 2017: Week 12 of 18

Well, here we are in Week 12 “Race Preparation”. The focus for the next 4 weeks is about pace. With weekly interval sessions and a “tune up” race every other week it’s time to build on the good aerobic base and half decent threshold to smash out some speedy stuff.

Day Book Plan My Plan Actual Notes
Monday Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday 8m (5 x 600m Intervals) 8m (5 x 600m Intervals) 6m (5 x 600m Intervals)
Wednesday 12m Medium-long 12m Medium-long 12m Medium-long
Thursday Rest 5m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) 5m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides)
Friday 5m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) Rest Rest
Saturday 8-15k Tune Up Race 3m Recovery 3m Recovery
Sunday 17m Long Silverstone Half Marathon Silverstone Half Marathon No races on Saturdays around here
Total Mileage ~52m 41m 41m

Tuesday was my first Interval session of the programme.  I was supposed to do one a couple of weeks ago, but it was right after the Bramley 20 and my legs were in no fit state. This session was 6 miles with a set of 5 x 600m Intervals. The programme called for 8, but I was short on time so shortened the warm up and cool down. The intervals were a bit better than the same session last year, though the location I ran these in was covered over by trees so I’m not convinced of the pacings, as I suspect there was some suspect GPS readings. It was still encouraging though, given I still had some fatigue in my legs from Sunday. The intervals were nowhere near as quick as the sessions I was running in the latter part of the programme for Manchester, though I think that my legs need to get used to running faster for sustained periods rather than just strides. I have some tune-up 5ks planned too, which should aid with that.

Wednesday was another 12 mile medium long. Deliberately went out at an easier pace than normal as I was racing on Sunday and wanted to give my legs a bit of a chance to recover. They were far from fresh, that’s for sure and it was all a bit of a laboured effort. Still there was some elevation gain and they were still good miles through the legs. It was definitely harder than it should have been, but my Garmin seemed to go mental with my Heart Rate towards the end – no way was I running at Maximum HR!

On Thursday, I ran my 5 miles recovery with 6 strides at lunchtime. it was a glorious day for a run, though my legs didn’t really agree. I felt utterly drained, no doubt from the previous 2 days. I can see why the book insists this is supposed to be a rest day!

On Friday, Jodie and I treated ourselves to a sports massage. I’ve not had one for over a year and didn’t know where to go. After some research we came across Martin Allen at Andover Therapy. He was reasonably priced and, most importantly, a runner himself – which is the main reason I chose to book an appointment with him. He also suggested we both have half an hour each and just pay for the full hour between us which saved us some money. He was very knowledgeable and did a fantastic job and I will certainly be back, before London as my legs felt fantastic since then! He found my left leg was a lot tenser than my right, which made sense, and explained away a few of my niggles and concerns and I went away with some preventative advise too. Thanks Martin!

On Saturday, we visited Lymington Woodside parkrun, one of only two Hampshire parkruns we were yet to visit (Though another is starting on April 1st!). The directions to get to the event weren’t particularly clear but we were quite early so it wasn’t a problem. it is a relatively new event and had a real sense of community to it. Based in Woodside Gardens, the course was a 3 lapper with about 60% Tarmac, 38% grass and 2% gravel.

There was a lovely pavilion where the event was “headquartered” and provided toilets and the social bar which was opened for tea, coffee and bacon baguettes. A real locals event, though we were made to feel very welcome. The volunteers were excellent, very enthusiastic and supportive. A little gem of a parkrun in all aspects but the course – though that is a personal preference.

Sunday saw me participate in the Silverstone Half Marathon. I have written a full race report here. But to summarise, I smashed it! I ran a  2 minute PB and came in with an official time of 1.27.24. I feel like the massage really helped, as I ran with confidence on both legs and felt a lot more balanced.

This is well in line with my targets and is obviously a HUGE confidence booster! I really didn’t think I’d be capable of running it that fast, and thought sub 1.28 was a stretch goal – but it goes to show, if you go out and have a go, sometimes it pays off!

Weight

Not much to add here – I’ve stayed the same. Not too worried though, I’m running well and in line with where I want to be.

Summary

Put simply, an excellent week. The intervals were tough but I managed them, and in spite of a trickier MLR than I expected I finished out with a flourish and a magnificent Half PB.

Looking at my fitness trend, you can see I had a mini-peak for Silverstone and the race effort has put me back into the Overload zone – right where I expected.

There’s 3 more weeks of high volume training before I taper and 6 weeks until the big day. So far so good!

 

Day Book Plan My Plan Notes
Monday Rest Rest
Tuesday 8m General Aerobic 8m General Aerobic
Wednesday 9m (5 x 1k Intervals) 9m (5 x 1k Intervals)
Thursday Rest Rest
Friday 12m Medium-long 12m Medium-long
Saturday 5m Recovery 5m Recovery
Sunday 18m (14m Marathon Pace) 20m (14m Marathon Pace) Wanted to get in 6x 20+ milers and this is the only way I can fit it in
Total Mileage 52m 54m

 

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