My Wednesday lunch time run takes me along the Thames and south across Westminster bridge. Fortunately for me I couldn’t go to work on Wednesday, but the harsh reality of the events on Wednesday make you re-evaluate what you are doing and why you are doing it, and think of others who are less lucky than you. I am sure you will all agree, we should carry on and not let terrorism win.
With four weeks to go I am starting to feel ready for 26.2 miles. I have received my runners pack from the London Marathon team and this has lifted my excitement level significantly.
Last week I did my first 20 mile run. Due to my wife being away and having one of my kids sick and off school, I was confined to training on the treadmill. 20 miles in 2h 17m felt fairly comfortable with plenty left in the tank for 6 more miles. Clearly the treadmill is not the same as running outdoors, but a slight incline set and a fan to keep me cool was as close as I was going to get.
I had been faced with people telling me that sub 3h for a first marathon was way too ambitious and there is no way I could do it. This had started sinking in and I was full of self-doubt. The longest I had ever run before was a slow 18 miles in the snow and I really needed to check my fitness levels were up to the challenge.
The great thing about a treadmill is you can set the speed to your desired pace and just keep going and not have to think about pushing yourself to keep going. For a sub 3 hour marathon I need to run 6min 50 second miles, and my session on the treadmill has given me the confidence I can stick to that pace over 20 miles. I ran at the same time of day as the marathon and only used 1 gel and 1 500ml bottle of water (with electrolytes tab).
Perhaps I am totally naïve, but this week I am bursting with positivity and a feeling that “I can do it!”. The next week is my last week of proper training before I start to taper down. I only ran 5 miles in the last three days due to the long run on Thursday and Mother’s Day on Sunday.
Tonight, I am planning to break my 10k PB and go sub 40- I have found a playing field nearby that I can get around in the dark which is fairly flat. Tuesday 10 miles easy, Wednesday 5 miles easy, Thursday intervals, Friday 15-18 mile run home from work, Saturday rest, Sunday 10 miles easy. That should be my last 50 mile + week. After that I will start to ease back- 40 miles for a week, then 35 then marathon week, let’s hope I do at least 26.2…
I have just ordered another pair of trainers. Two pairs are well over 500 miles and the pair a bought for the marathon have already hit 300 miles. A new pair now will have enough time to be broken in, or ease the load on my 300 mile pair.
I am sure I will have some ups and downs over the next few weeks, four weeks to avoid injury, keep fit and taper like a pro.
Jake Fricker (Author of I am a Runner)
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