Week 7. Steady progress.

Posted on: 05 Feb 2018

Now we are getting into the real meat of the training programme as the mileage creeps steadily upwards and the weeks become more about how we fit the runs in, and the recovery. If this training programme was a marathon then I would have just passed the 11-mile mark, no time for heroics, steady, unspectacular progress required, still not halfway so don’t do anything silly. Keep your eye on the pace and don’t get over-excited…

Well if you have read my blogs before you will know how I like keeping my eye on paces! Some might say I am too obsessive but well, each to their own, ‘whatever gets you through the night, is alright’. This time round I am juggling all sorts of paces as I try to gauge how I’m doing with my training:

I have the paces calculated for my plan based on a 5k parkrun, another set of paces based on a 10k training run, and I have now added to these the paces I set in 2015 during my training plan that got me my Marathon PB in Manchester that year. Depending on how I interpret any or all of these paces I can use them as a stick to beat myself with, or a carrot of encouragement.

At the moment, of my 3 sessions a week, my speed reps are still a little down on all targets, whereas the Tempo and Long runs are looking pretty good. I hope to get all three up to scratch by the time I hit taper but for now I’d say 2 out of 3 ain’t bad…

I have felt less joy this week as Jenny has been suffering with her hip and with one thing and another it has meant that we didn’t do a single training run together (unless you count half a parkrun which was an extra for me anyway…). I have felt for Jenny, I hope she returns to full health soon, I miss her as a running partner.

SPEED: 7x800m (Target pace 6.40) It was a lovely sunny Tuesday morning, I don’t have much work on at the moment, so I was lucky enough to be flexible about when I ran. I picked a stretch of road that I’ve run before for 800’s. It really showed that there is a slight slope on this road as every other rep I was well under target and the others were well over. No scientific calculations but I contented myself with the thought that if it had been flat I might have been thereabouts!

TEMPO: 8 miles (Target pace 7.45) In 2015 I ran this one in an average of 7.35 so of course that was my real target this week, I managed 7.37 which deserved a happy face on the chart. I know I obsess too much but surely there must be sound logic in the need to match 2015 closely if I want to beat that time in the marathon. I know that so much is down to so many other factors, including plain luck on the day, but if I can feel good about my momentum as I approach the day, surely that has to be a good thing?

LONG: 17 miles (Target pace 8.40) In 2015 I ran this one with an average of 8.26. Now I have thought that the long SLOW run is not the place to be smashing targets, and as I know I am still ‘coming back’ as it were, I just wanted to stick close to 8.40. I had done parkrun the day before but ran with Bella the dog and took it easy, so I felt good. The day was so sunny I wore sunglasses for the first time this year. I was a little concerned about a pain I had been getting on the speed session, at the back of my left knee. I did a bit of research but hadn’t been able to put my finger on what the problem was. I’d done a lot of stretching and foam rollering that week and come Sunday I felt ok but wary. I had stumbled across a canal I hadn’t even known existed the previous week, so I plotted a 17-mile route that ended up with only about 8 miles on road, the rest was going to be lovely. And it was a great run. The pain in the back of my knee turned up around mile 9, and for about a mile I was quite concerned, I thought I might have to stop. Then I pulled the compression sock down (I had pulled it over my knee for a bit of protection) and immediately the pain vanished! Joy! The rest of the run went well, despite a couple of nasty climbs, and I even managed a bit of a ‘Kenyan finish’, last mile of 8.16. Overall an average pace of 8.43 which I was very pleased with, not up to my 2015 standards but I have time. Remember, this is mile 12, no time for heroics!

Happy running everyone!

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