Virgin Money London Marathon 2017: Week 13 of 18

Coming into “unlucky” week 13 my legs were still shot to bits following Sunday’s epic PB. All of this with a marathon paced session at the end of the week.

One of the things I did before this week was plug my new Half PB into the McMillan Calculator to give me my new training paces. It was interesting to see how they had changed, my tempo/threshold pace increased a bit as did my Interval paces, but my long run and general aerobic paces didn’t shift too much. Still, I’ll try to run them slightly quicker anyway to increase the training stimulus in line with my new fitness levels.

Here’s what was planned and what I actually did.

Day Book Plan My Plan Actual Notes
Monday Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday 8m General Aerobic 8m General Aerobic 8m General Aerobic
Wednesday 9m (5 x 1km Intervals) 9m (5 x 1km Intervals) 9m (5 x 1km Intervals)
Thursday Rest Rest Rest
Friday 12m Medium-long 12m Medium-long 12m Medium-long
Saturday 5m Recovery 5m Recovery 5m Recovery
Sunday 18m (14m Marathon pace) 18m (14m Marathon pace) 20m (14m Marathon pace) [Part 2] Want an extra 20 miler
Total Mileage 52m 52m 54m

Tuesday was 8 miles General Aerobic. My new paces say I should really try to run my GA runs at sub 7.30s (At least that’s where I’d like them to be) but after Sunday I had no chance! So I tried for 7.45s instead. The first couple of miles my head was a bit all over the place, feeling really woozy. I stopped after 2.5 miles to take a break and after that I felt better. I managed a respectable 7.42 average which I’ll take!

On Wednesday was my next interval session. 9 miles including 5 x 1km. According to McMillan I should have been running these at between 6.05 and 5.50. As soon as I set off, I knew this would be a struggle.  Again, my head was woozy at the start and had to stop for some fuel in Tesco in the 3 mile warm up. The first Interval was so hard I wanted to give up, I even had a brief pause at half way. Everything was so laboured. After the 2nd rep though, things improved (comparatively speaking) and I felt I could at least put in some solid efforts and finish the session. The pace for the intervals were on the surface not very good. But if I take a look at the GAP pace, they actually aren’t so bad at all.

Interval Pace GAP
1 6:13 5:58
2 6:15 6:20
3 6:20 6:04
4 6:00 6:05
5 6.10 6.01

I got better as the session went on and whilst they aren’t where I would like them (I’d have preferred them at the faster end of the range), I have to remember that Sunday took a lot out of me. I think I’ll take them!

On Friday I had a 12 mile Medium-long. As I had the afternoon off I went out at lunchtime and tried a different route to the usual. I decided to take this one quite casually – a marathon paced run was planned for Sunday and my legs were desperate for a bit of a recovery. I targetted 8.15s and had plenty of stops to take some photos. It was a nice pleasant run and found some nice trails and hills to try out in the summer.

On Saturday we originally intended to go to Didcot parkrun, but it was cancelled ahead of time so we went the extra few miles to Abingdon. And we weren’t alone! It seems like most of the Didcot regulars ended up there too! Parking is free for 2 hours (though you still have to get a ticket!) and it is very close to the town centre. The course was really nice. A 2 lapper around a meadow next to the Thames, taking in Abingdon Lock and some good multi terrain running. It was pancake flat but the terrain made it quite tough, especially with the buggy – there was a very narrow gate that it was lucky to get through and there was one section where the mud had been pretty much plowed by tractor tyres and the buggy’s wheels weren’t big enough – I had to lift it across! The people were lovely as always, though we weren’t able to sample the cafe culture as we had to shoot on.

My run for the day was 5 miles recovery and after Friday’s run it was tougher than it should have been!

I agonised over what to do on Sunday. On the one hand, I was due to run another 14 miles at Marathon pace. On the other hand, I already ran the Bramley 20 at MP so it wouldn’t be anything new. My legs still felt in a terrible state and I was conscious that I wanted to do another 20+ miler. Add to the mix that I had no good options for a flattish route with running laps (which I HATE) I was tempted to just go for a straight 22. In the end, I decided I would do the MP run as the legs still need to be trained. I figured I’d run 4 miles to my “laps”, then run MP around those and then run 2 miles back making it 20 in total. A good compromise, if my legs could hold it together.

It was far from pretty. I had a toilet stop, a water stop and a couple of pauses in the last two miles too… but it was 14 miles at MP and given how I was still feeling post-silverstone, I will take it! Most of my splits were under 7m/m and it looked even better by GAP. The route took in 2 minor climbs per lap which I ran 3 times… they were just steep/long enough to take the momentum and life from your legs. Oh and there was a wicked headwind too, though it seemed to drop when it could have been advantageous to me!

I stopped the activity by accident… the other 2 miles are recorded separately

This was always going to be the hardest session of the campaign, and I’m glad it’s over that’s for sure.

Weight

A bit boring but I stayed the same again. At the moment I just can’t stop eating… so it’s a good job the mileage is high enough to support my runger!

Summary

Week 13 hasn’t been unlucky, but it has been the toughest yet – and this is by design. It’s the toughest MP run, on top of 3 runs in excess of 9 miles in the week. I always consider this the peak week, and although week 15 is strictly speaking the (joint) longest week by volume, and I run my last long run to be longer as time-on-feet than target pace, this is still very much at the “business end” of things.

U nsurprisingly, I spent most of this week in the “neutral” zone of my fitness trend. This is because my legs were still recovering from Sunday, I’ve just not been able to get the effort levels up! Sunday’s MP run put me right back into “overload” though and as I am writing this on Sunday night, that is an accurate assessment!

Next week isn’t officially a recovery week, but it is a reduction in volume. A shorter long-run and a shorter interval session, as Saturday is another “tune up race”. Only 2 more weeks of the tough stuff until the taper. Hopefully my body can hold it all together!

Day Book Plan My Plan Notes
Monday Rest Rest
Tuesday 8m (5 x 600m Intervals) 8m (5 x 600m Intervals)
Wednesday 11m Medium-long 11m Medium-long
Thursday Rest Rest
Friday 4m (6 x 100m Strides) 4m (6 x 100m Strides)
Saturday 8-15k Tune-up Race Blandford parkrun
Sunday 17m Long 16m Medium-long (inc pacing Yeovil Half) A bit of a recovery but not much before next weeks peak
Total Mileage ~46m 42m

 

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