Greater Manchester Marathon 2016: Week 11 of 18

Fresh off the back of a stunning PB last week, I was eager to consolidate this in week 11. I was high on confidence and my legs felt pretty good. The only slight problem was I needed to do some shuffling around of sessions in order to accommodate the fact we went away for the weekend.

Midweek

Tuesday was 7 recovery miles with some strides. Legs felt good but thats probbaly due to the comparatively low mileage from the week before. Still, got some good speed in, certainly made the lungs work!

Wednesday was meant to be the peak threshold run of this mesocycle – 11 with 7 at lactate threshold. I made the executive decision that this would be a bad idea, given that I raced on Sunday, which was essentially run at threshold pace. So i shelved it and ran the 11 miles at easy/general aerobic pace, and ran a load of hills to make up for it. Was tougher than I anticipated!

Thursday was supposed to be a rest day, but I had to run Friday’s planned 12 mile medium-long run as we went to London on Friday. Definitely see why I needed a rest day, it was tough. Ran basically the same route as the day before, but in reverse so had plenty of hills. Avoided making it a progression and just kept it at a steady effort.

5000 Logged Miles!

Thusdays run saw me log 5000 lifetime miles on Strava! I have actually run a few more than that – I haven;t logged any of my Couch to 5k runs (I went through it twice) as it was before the days I recorded anything at all, however I have retrospectively added/logged all my activities since I started training for the Yeovil Half Marathon 2013, which is when I consider that I “started” running.

Yes I’m sad that I retrospectively added them all.

But anyway, it’s a nice milestone to hit!

parkrunday

This week we went to Bushy parkrun, home of parkrun globally! I wrote a separate post about it here.

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I ran 5 miles at recovery pace. Well, it was meant to be at recovery pace, but I progressed through the gears in the middle of the parkrun. We tagged on a mile either side of the run to and from the hotel which made it up to 5. Legs felt better compared to how they were after Thursday!

Sunday

It was back to the long mileage on Sunday, with 20 hilly miles around Yeovil.

Getting this run right was quite important to me. Last year of all the 20+ milers I ran, most were “split shifts” as in, I ran part, had a break, and then ran a chunk more. or, I ran a slower pace for part of the run with the group then motored on by myself.

The previous 20 milers from this campaign I ran with the group for the first half, which was great to get me up to mileage. This is the first of a block of 3 where I am trying to keep a fairly consistent steady pace.

The book says the long runs should be between 10 % and 20% slower than Marathon Pace, ideally progressed through the zone. I think I’ll do the progression side of things on my last long run. This block I want to just focus on staying within this pace range. Which I am pleased to say I managed.

20steady

More pleasing, is that despite the hills and pace my heart rate remained pretty much in control, only reaching the “tempo” zone for 35 minutes, which no doubt would have been times when I was going up hill!

20hr

So I’m very happy. Next week sees 22 miles which I’ll be trying with the same idea/principle in mind – keeping a steady effort/pace which I hope will also see the run exceed the amount of time I plan to spend on my feet during the race.

Summary

Well, that’s the end of the “Lactate Threshold” mesocycle. Bit of a damp squib on that front as I had no tempo run! But the results of the race last week show the training has worked.

The next mesocycle “Race Preparation” is all about the speedwork. Time to translate this aerobic performance into some fast times through Interval sessions and tune-up races. The first tune up for me being Little Stoke parkrun on Saturday where I hope to finally break that elusive sub-20 5k barrier.

There’s just 4 weeks hard training to go before it’s time to taper. There has been an absence of me weighing in recently so I need to get that back under control for a final push – I always tend to lose more weight on weeks were my mileage is high.

Still, everything is well on track, I’m still injury free and feeling reasonably strong.

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