We are now moving in to the second quarter of London Marathon training and I had planned another high-mileage week, with two-thirds of the weekly mileage coming in two days. I’ll explain why further down!
Monday kicked off with a 3.3 mile walk with my wife and was immediately followed by a 6 mile easy run as I had a planned Running Buddy session late afternoon. However, he cancelled due to a niggly knee so it left me a little short of my planned mileage.
Tuesday was to be a long day with two medium-long runs and a Running Buddy session with a new client. I started with an easy 10-miler, followed two hours later by the Running Buddy session. This ended up as 3.8 miles of hill reps and flat sprints around Wigston. As with most clients, she surprised herself by how hard she can work when pushed and how much faster she can run than she thought. A very pleasing session for both of us. Tuesday finished with a 3 mile run to Wigston Phoenix Running Club, followed by their Linear Run. This consists of a half a mile warm up, then a 20 minute run down Welford Road from Wigston to the city centre, seeing how far you can get. You then have 25 minutes to get back (so at an easier pace). The theory is that everyone arrives back at the start point at the same time.
As I had already ran 17 miles by this point, my plan was to run the 20 minutes at Marathon Pace (6.15-ish pace) and then run back with others. However, as usual, everyone started tearing off down Welford Road and I was soon caught up with them. The 20 minutes averaged 5.57m/m and I managed to get to Fenwicks in the allotted time. My legs felt good all the way and I actually felt as though I still had another gear if needed. By the time I had ran home again this third run totalled 11.57 miles, giving a grand total of 25.4 miles for the day.
Wednesday was a very easy day, with just a 4 mile recovery run at a very easy effort.
Due to Friday being my long run day for the week I kept Thursday to a one-run day. Before that, I decided to get back in to my garage with a heavy weights session. I really enjoy lifting weights but often do not have enough time between working and not wanting it to conflict with my running. After an hour of lifting various weights, working my whole upper body, I realised that it had been a while and I would ache in the morning. My one run of the day was the club speed/hills session at Victoria Park. As my legs now felt fresh I pushed hard on all reps and tried to do as many as possible in the time we were there. I managed a total of 6.5 miles and my legs could feel it by the end.
Friday was a bit of a ‘make it up as we go’ day. First of all it was a Running Buddy session which entailed a hills/speed session around Wigston. This totalled 5.5 miles and the reps were ran at a faster than comfortable effort.
As I had a night out planned for a friends birthday and had agreed to lead the 8.30m/m pacing group at We Run LE1 I decided to aim to run 17 miles and then lead the pacing group for a further 5 miles. I parked at Victoria Park and headed down New Walk to the canal and out through Abbey Park and Watermead Park. As the light was starting to fade I turned back at 8 miles. As I did, I upped the pace to aim for a few miles at 6.45m/m pace. However, I had managed to misjudge the light as not only was it getting to dusk, but it also got cloudier at the same time. This meant that I was having to concentrate more on the muddy towpath than I would have liked, whilst still trying to keep the pace fast. After a couple of miles I started to become a little disorientated with the darkness and unlit towpath. I tried to keep to my 6.45m/m pace but it started to feel harder after each mile. I started to slow down as I began to feel a little light-headed. I put this down to just four rounds of toast and a banana being eaten for lunch. I headed around Bede Park and the bottom end of Great Central Way before cutting through town, up New Walk and around Victoria Park to my car. That was at the 16 mile mark, but as I was early I drank a 500ml bottle of home-made sports drink and then did another lap of the park before joining the We Run LE1 runners.
I have to say that at this point I didn’t feel great. I felt light-headed and as though I was running through treacle, even though my heart rate was fine. I set off at the front of the We Run LE1 crowd, sharing the pacing with the other 8.30 group pacers down New Walk, around town and back again. I was trying to talk as much as possible and concentrate on my running form, trying to keep my brain working. Once back at Victoria Park, I said my goodbyes and left the group, heading across the park back to my car as the taxi to take me back into town gave me 30 minutes to get home, showered and changed. Once home, and after consuming a bar of chocolate and a cereal in record time, I started to feel a bit more normal again. So lesson learned; even in my 11th year of marathon training you can still get your fuelling all wrong!
Saturday was always planned as a rest day and that is what I did. It was my first rest day of the year and my last day off was also after a night out!
The week was finished with an easy effort 6 miler on Sunday. Nothing special and if anything, I felt a little sluggish after my rest day. Not an issue though as it means I can run further next week!
Week 5 Totals: 75.6 miles covered over 9 runs, plus 6 miles of walking, one strength session and some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.
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