Virgin Money London Marathon 2017: Week 16 of 18

Heading into the first week of the taper, I felt quite lucky that my legs didn’t feel TOO shot to pieces. On the contrary in fact, they felt pretty strong just fatigued from the mileage. All my joints felt pretty good and I was hopeful that taper madness would remain at bay.

Day Book Plan My Plan Actual Notes
Monday Rest Rest  Rest
Tuesday 8m (5 x 600m Intervals) 8m (5 x 600m Intervals) 8m (5 x 600m Intervals)
Wednesday 6m Recovery 6m Recovery 6m Recovery
Thursday Rest 4m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) Rest
Friday 4m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides) Rest 4m Recovery (6 x 100m Strides)
Saturday 8k-15k Tune-up race Newbury parkrun Newbury parkrun
Sunday 16m Medium-long 16m Medium-long 16m Medium-long
Total Mileage ~39m 37m 37m

A common mistake in tapering is  that people reduce volume AND  intensity, and I think that means your legs lose that sharpness the last 4 months of training have given you. No chance of that with a P&D schedule, with week 16 starting the same way week 14 did – 8 miles with 5 x 600m Intervals. These short sharp intervals are great for speed. Week 14 was tough. This week, I felt much stronger. I decided to try and remain as relaxed and comfortable as I could from the start, rather than going all out. And the results were pretty pleasing, with a royal flush progression of paces, running them at 5.43, 5.38, 5.35, 5.33 and finishing at 5.25 pace. Best of all, I finished not feeling totally exhausted and the jog back was nice and relaxed. A very enjoyable and very productive session!

Wednesday was a fairly uneventful 6 recovery miles. I ran this early in the morning as I was in Birmingham and not sure when I’d be able to leave the office. I’m not a huge fan of 6am starts but with 17 days until the race I was leaving nothing to chance and missing no planned session!

On Thursday I took another trip to Andover Therapy, where Martin gave my legs a good rub down. There were definitely some tight areas so I’m glad I went. When I left he said he was happy with my legs that they were ready and raring to go!

When I originally wrote my training plan I switched the book’s Friday run to Thursday, so I could feel fresher for Saturday’s tune-up parkrun. But when I PBed at Blandford, I kept the run on Friday… So I did the same this week too. I rested Thursday, so Friday I ran 4 miles with 6 strides. I really went for the pace with the strides, and I’m glad I did – I managed the fastest strides I think I’ve ever managed. Just the sort of sharpener I wanted ahead of a 5k PB attempt in the morning.

Come Saturday, I didn’t quite feel ready for a tilt at a PB, but we headed to Newbury parkrun anyway. I gave it everything I could but finished in 19.09 for 5th place. I would have liked a sub-19 but it wasn’t to be. Previously I thought this was avery flat course (which it largely is) though there are a couple of inclines which I’ve always told people are not hills. After Saturday, I’ve changed my mind! They definitely are! The course measured a bit long and Blandford measured a bit short, so I reckon I’m in similar shape if not better if I take the hills into account. Looking at HR couldn’t have given it any more! It served its purpose in the context of my training. The first mile was a blinder (Fastest ever, according to Strava). Mile 2 was slower but I was on pace, but mile 3s climbs are what killed it off.

I woke up on Sunday feeling VERY achey. I’d spent most of saturday doign DIY laying a laminate floor and other odd jobs. I stretched muscles I didn;t realise I had, though I’m not sure it counts as cross training! I headed out on my long run targeting 7.45 pace. It started well until about 5 miles in when the tummy cramos started. This resulted in 5 miles of start stop until I managed to get to Asda to use the facilities. By then, I’d stiffened right up and the last 6 miles were really tough. But its in the bank – though I finished wondering how the hell I’d manage another 10 miles on top of that AND 45s per mile faster! But in the training I must trust.

Weight

Weight wise not so good this week, put on a pound. But with a weekend away for Jodies Marathon it wasn’t surprising and I’m not concerned. if I can lose that pound back before the race then great. If I can’t then I’m still significantly lighter than last year.

Summary

I’m through the first taper week unscathed, after 2 very tough runs. I have 1 real “session” left to do next week on Thursday and then thats it! I can’t believe we are only 2 weeks away. Maranoia hasn’t kicked in yet and I hope that it won’t!

Next weeks plan:

Day Book Plan My Plan Notes
Monday Rest Rest
Tuesday 7m General Aerobic (8 x 100m Strides) 7m General Aerobic (8 x 100m Strides)
Wednesday 8m (3 x 1m Intervals)  Rest
Thursday Rest  8m (3 x 1m Intervals)
Friday 5m (6 x 100m Strides)  Rest
Saturday Rest  5m (6 x 100m Strides)
Sunday 12 Medium-long  12 Medium-long
Total Mileage 32m  32m

 

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