Manchester Marathon Training: Week 13 of 18

I’m writing this safe in the knowledge that this time in 5 weeks it’ll all be over. Its quite a comforting feeling, as I have been thinking this week just how nice it will be to get back to shorter distances in time for summer, and hopefully some faster runs.

This week was, arguably, my toughest week. There was a a tough Interval session, a midweek MLR and the toughest (And in my view, most important) marathon paced session long run. It certainly felt like I have been peaking in my training.

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P&D had this, as you can see from the below, I pretty much achieved this. The only notable exception being I needed to switch my Friday run to Thursday as I would be away on Friday evening.

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Although I rested on Monday, I did have a nice 5 mile walk after work. I think this loosened up my legs following Sunday’s 22.

Tuesday saw a straightforward 8 mile general aerobic effort. I expected this to be tough, but I actually breezed through it. I think my GA pace zone has naturally increased, as even at the end of the run I felt very strong.

Wednesday was a bit of a beast. 3 mile warm up followed by a set of 5k Intervals at faster than 5k pace, and a 3 mile cool down. The warm up was good, solid and I think my legs appreciated it. The reps were good too, at a much faster pace than I’ve managed a similar workout before. The 3 mile warm down however was TOUGH. Very heavy legged, unsurprisingly given the beasting from the Intervals. Usually when I do an interval session I have a VERY short, light warmup jog. Sandwiching them in as part of a 9 mile run really changed the dynamic of the session, and hopefully was good for endurance as well as speed.

Thursday was supposed to be a rest day. But as I was travelling to Newport and attending a parkrun conference in the evening, I rescheduled this 12 mile medium long run. I knew this would make it tough, and I was not wrong. Legs just felt so tired, but not “overtired”. My body still felt willing, so it was quite literally a case of needing a rest day. Once I got into it, it became a little easier, but certainly wasn’t as comfortable as last weeks identical session. There was also a load of climbing on this route too. Due to doing the intervals the day before, rather than progressing through the pace zone, again I just ran on feel and found my comfort zone which was about right. Glad to finish it, but even more glad to have a rest on Friday!

Friday was good news weigh day, as I lost another 2 lbs. I’m now a mere 1lb away from that elusive 8th stone and 15lbs away from my overall goal.

14stoneexactlyUnfortunately I’m definitely going to miss my weight loss target in time for Manchester. I have though, still got time to make it to 13st5lbs, which would mean I was exactly 2 stone lighter for Manchester than I was in Paris. Which would still be an excellent result. But to be fair, any weight I can lose in the meantime would still be a bonus. I still have plenty of time to shift the remainder before my wedding in July!

On Friday night I went to a parkrun Event Directors conference and had a blast as you can find out here. Running wise, I was scheduled for 5 recovery miles, but I got the red mist of competition and ended up just doing a straight parkrun at a decent effort.

I was fully anticipating Sunday to be the toughest run so far, and it dd not disappoint. 18 miles, with the last 14 at Marathon Pace. Thankfully I wasn’t hungover, but I was suffering from a lack of motivation. Jodie managed to pep me up a bit though. “Whats the worst that could happen? You don’t run it as fast?” and when put in that context, it’s not so bad. As it goes, I needn’t have worried. Despite me mis-planning my route so my first MP mile was up Hendford Hill, I managed to keep all of my splits just about right. I tell you though, if the purpose of these marathon paced runs is to simulate the end of the marathon, they work. The last 2 miles really hurt! And I’m walking like John  Wayne today! But still, to have nailed this key session I’m feeling very chuffed and confident heading toward the race.

Still maintaining 100% for Jantastic, though that could all change next week as my Timed Run (Reading Half Marathon) takes center stage.

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To summarise week 13, I can only deem it a success. 5 weeks to go, and I’m feeling confident. If I can hit my Reading Half target I’ll be in prime position to take down my Marathon “A” goal of sub-3h20.

 

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