Virgin Money London Marathon 2017: Week 15 of 18

Week 15 signals the last week of tough training and it means I can pull the party poppers – I’m tapering! Peak mileage week and on the whole I could tell… I’ve been very tired this week and have had a very hectic work week. My legs are definitely ready for a mileage reduction!

Day Book Plan My Plan Actual Notes
Monday Rest Rest
Tuesday 7m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) 7m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) 7m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides)
Wednesday 10m (4 x 1200m Intervals) 10m (4 x 1200m Intervals) 10m (4 x 1200m Intervals)
Thursday  Rest Rest 11m Medium-long Moved to Thursday so not to run back to back long runs
Friday 11m Medium-long 11m Medium-long Rest
Saturday 4m Recovery 22m Long  22m Long Needed to move to Saturday as supporting Jodie and Manchester on Sunday
Sunday 20m Long 5m Recovery  5m Recovery Switched from Sunday
Total Mileage 52m 55m

Tuesday was very unusual. I had to be in Lewes, Sussex for 10am, and back ready for a birthday dinner at 6pm. The intention was, due to the early start I would get home and do this run at lunchtime. But then last thing Monday, I was diverted to work in Hook on the way home in the afternoon which meant I wouldn’t have time to squeeze it in. So I had to do it first thing, and didn’t want to get up and run at 5am. So instead, I got up at 5am, drove for 2+ hours to Lewes, then did my run – at least I was 2 hours awake. I had to have a wet wipe shower but as it was only 7  miles recovery with 6 strides I didn’t work too hard. The strides were more for form than speed and really felt my stride was lengthening as the reps went on.

On Wednesday I was due for 10 miles, with 4 x 1200m intervals. Originally I was going to do this at lunchtime and go to the track, but work took over so I wasn’t able to. So I had to run in the evening and the intervals were on cycle path. I did them out and back, and the “out” was slightly uphill. The first 2 I managed to maintain a decent pace, but by the time I got to the third, my legs were swimming in lactic and felt like dead weights. I think the first 2 were too fast, which meant the second 2 had a few pauses. Considering how tired I was it wasn’t too bad. it got me thinking though… back when I was a bit slower, running 6.45-paced intervals when I was a 7 min/m 5k PB, that 15s was quite manageable. Running 15s per mile faster than 6.05 pace is a different story – the faster you get the tighter the margins, especially on longer intervals. I think if I had run 5.59s (5s faster than 5k) I probably could have maintained and would have been a more helpful session. Still, you live and learn!

Friday’s 11m Medium-long was bumped to Thursday – It was Manchester Marathon weekend which meant I needed to get my 22 in on Saturday – so I thought better of it running 11 then 22 without a rest day between! It was understandably tough, mainly because I ran it faster than it needed to be. But with the 22 scheduled to be slower than usual (concentrating on time on feet) and with Wednesdays intervals being a bit off, I thought it important to get a decent run in. Averaging 7.29 (GAP average 7.23) I think I accomplished that! A good boost after a couple of tough days.

As it was Manchester Marathon weekend for Jodie, I needed to do my last long run on Saturday. 22 miles in 3h05, so I could just spend the same amount of time on my feet as I hope to in London. I set off at 7am and ran between Andover and Basingstoke. It was a really locely route, with plenty of hills and lots of nice country views and running through villages. It was a great experience, one I will definitely do again! The HR monitor must have been playing up, as it was a very comfortable run, much easier than the HR monitor suggests.

As I mentioned, Jodie ran Manchester Marathon on Sunday. She’s had some injury setbacks in the last couple of months and it was touch and go if she was going to run, but I think she is glad she did. She ran with her friend Lucy on what turned out to be a very warm day. From what I saw, the event had significant improvements. The race village was expanded over a wider area, the start was more organised and the trams seemed to run a bit better. I think its a great event. Jodie and Lucy ran a fantastic 4.33, a PB for Lucy. I am very proud of Jodie for such an amazing accomplishment especially as she only gave birth 8 months ago. I just ran my uneventful 5 mile recovery when we got back!

Weight

After a weekend and a bit of eating pretty much crap, I wasn’t expecting to lose… in fact I wasn’t going to weigh myself because I thought it would be a gain! So I was pleasantly surprised to weigh in at 13st 9lbs, a 1lb drop for the week!

It looks like I may not quite meet my target – if I lose 1lb per week I’d reach 13st 6lbs. So it will take a week of really big effort to try and get a 2 pounder… However, even if I ran at the weight I am today, I would still be very happy. I’m going to try really hard this week to be good. The high mileage will drop so I need to be careful anyway, and hopefully with less mileage I’ll experience less hunger!

Summary

Well thats it then! The last big weeks training. I’m moving into the taper phase and I’m feeling pretty good. Getting through this week, with the long runs and long intervals, relatively unscathed gives me a lot of confidence. Time for the volume to reduce but I need to remember to keep the intensity up.

My fitness trend this week is a bit skewed by a couple of activities with dodgy heart rate readings. Not much I can do about it now anyway, I’m going to trust my taper and see how well the trend correlates to how I feel as my legs gradually find their way back to me!

Next weeks plan- a piece of cake compared to previous weeks!

Day Book Plan My Plan Notes
Monday Rest Rest
Tuesday 8m (5 x 600m Intervals) 8m (5 x 600m Intervals)
Wednesday 6m Recovery 6m Recovery
Thursday Rest Rest
Friday 4m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) 4m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides)
Saturday 8-15k Tune-up race Poole parkrun
Sunday 16m Long 16m Long
Total Mileage ~40m 37m

 

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