Hard to believe, but the Chester marathon is now only four and a bit weeks away. It really has crept up on me, quite the contrast to London when the event seemed to be on my mind pretty much every waking hour (and a good few while I slept as well!).
Training is on target – no fuss, hence the blog title. Training runs four times a week, every week just seems to be part of my routine now. I haven’t missed a single session on this programme, although I have come up slightly short on distance a few times. Overall mileage is bang on though.
Fitting in the long runs has been a bit of a struggle over what’s been a very busy summer. For example, two weeks ago I was down to run 16 miles. The only free time I had at the weekend was on the Saturday and that was after getting up at 4am to do an airport run for my sister in law.
Rather foolishly I went out in the heat of the day (it was really humid), took on a hilly route over Cannock Chase and duly flaked out after just eight miles. I struggled on to ten and then ran/walked the remaining distance. When I eventually got home I felt terrible and very queasy. It took me a good hour to recover and my confidence suffered a real knock.
Is it too soon after London to be attempting another marathon? Am I still fit enough? Am I kidding myself that I can hit my four hour target?
But, as London has taught me, we all have bad runs once in a while. A few days’ rest and then it was back in the saddle and I’m pleased to say last week’s training was vastly improved. I hit my target distances, was happy with my speed and notched up 17 miles on Sunday averaging 8:37 min/miles – exactly where I want to be for Chester.
Two more long ‘uns and then I’ll be tapering. The whole experience has been remarkably different to London, which to be fair is what I wanted. I only told friends and family I was running last week because without the charity link up and need for sponsorship, there really isn’t that much to shout about.
I read an interesting article recently about how regular runners often hit a plateau and subsequently lose their motivation. Without a fresh challenge to work towards, I was kind of heading that way myself. My general speed isn’t improving or changing much. I’ve not been threatening any of the PBs I set pre-London. I’m training over similar routes both at home and by my work.
So I’m pleased I decided to sign up for Chester and try my hand at a second marathon. The first was about getting the job done and experiencing the rollercoaster ride of training up to 20+ miles. It was about excitedly racking up new PBs and extending my longest run distance week after week.
This run is about race strategy. I want to pace it properly with a view to getting closer to the four hour mark. I want to get my nutrition right and keep my energy levels under control. Practice makes perfect, they say!
Hopefully the hard work will pay off and, looking ahead, by the time Chester is done we should know what’s happening with next year’s London ballot.
Look out for a race report in a month’s time! In the meantime, best wishes to you all and run strong.
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