The month started out tough. A week of two speed-work sessions, and the longest long run so far this year, on hilly terrain.
Speed work 1 consisted of half an hour of fartleks of differing varieties, interspersed with a half-hearted assault on the Strava segment known as “The Mackie Avenue Hill Sprint”.
Speed work 2 (a day later) was at Lewes track, and I had us (yes, I was coaching again) working our way up the gears. 4 laps @ 1/2 marathon pace, 3 laps at 10k pace, 2 laps at 5k pace, and one lap as fast you can manage – all with an active 1 lap recovery.
Recovery run a day later, then a rest day, then a 30 minute tempo run on Saturday.
Weekend was finished off with a two-hour Hill work, taking in Buncton Lane! I managed just over 16 miles in 2 hours and 20 minutes, and was definitely ready for an easier week!
The ‘easy week’ wasn’t quite so easy. By Thursday my legs still felt pretty roughed up from a tempo run and a club run, but managed a PB at Hove Parkrun, beating my Preston Park PB from a year ago by 7 seconds. Sunday’s long run was a little shorter than last week, but came with a twist; it was a fast finish. I ran 75% of the time at 75% of my 5k pace. It was meant to be 65%, but I struggled to go that slow (yes, I know!). The final 25% was meant to be at my marathon pace, again I was a tad faster than I should have. Felt good at the time, but felt a little achy in my feet afterward.
Week three started with a tempo run at 30secs under Marathon pace, followed by a tough club session in the cold and wet doing 600m efforts with moving recovery. I had to miss my Thursday run for a night out (shame!), so finished off the weekend with a steady run on Saturday at MR pace followed by two hours of marathon running with 90sec pick-ups at 10k pace.
At this point it feels as though my recovery times need to get longer, but it feels like I can’t slow down! Week four’s Tuesday ‘easy run’ was more at half-marathon pace. However, Wednesday’s coaching session with club had us hill training. We had a number of the faster runners with us that evening, and they seemed to drag me along at a pace I wouldn’t have normally gone at, but I was pleased I was able to keep up – for a while at least – and at the pace I’d managed at the end considering part of the session was five sprints uphill with a walk back down!
Saturday was a good tempo run at slightly better than half-marathon pace, followed by an aborted long run on Sunday. A niggling calf threatened to cramp on me, so I didn’t want to risk it. This is the first ‘refusal’ since my training plan started, so I can’t complain.
This leaves me with eight weeks to go, one of which will be spent on holiday. Plenty of time to push on training to reach my goal. However, as said before, although I’d like my London result to start 3:30 something, it all depends how I feel in the weeks up to it, and more importantly how I feel on the day. It isn’t the be all and end all. To paraphrase Jake in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, “There are other races than this”
Happy running all!