The final push

I am finally fully over the cold I picked up late in March & feeling quite positive after a good couple of week’s training, with some decent racing/sessions. This is the last week of proper training, finishing with a big weekend – National 12 Stage Relays on Saturday & then the final proper long run on Sunday including a Half that will be around marathon pace, depending how I feel after Saturday.

Mon 6/8 am 8.2M Easy, pm 5M E. Felt pretty tired today so didn’t push time, distance or pace!

Tues 7/8 am 4.6M E, pm 14.1M inc Session of 12 x 400m off 1min. Aim was 66-68 seconds, & although it was blustery they came out at an average of just over 66 seconds. Happy with that considering I felt awful & slow throughout! A nice surprise.

Weds 8/8 am 9.3M Relaxed, pm 5.1M R. Keeping everything easy now until Saturday, but pace is naturally picking up as I ease down.

Thurs 9/8 pm 11.5M inc Short Session of 12 x relaxed 200m off 30 secs. Pleased for these to come out averaging 30-31secs (but may regret it come Saturday). Getting a spring back in my step, probably helped by having the sun on my back & being able to run in shorts & singlet at last!

Fri 10/8 am 4.5M E, pm 5M E. Easy day ahead of tomorrow’s race. Can tell yesterday’s 200’s were faster than planned!

Sat 11/8 am 2M Shakeout, pm 23M inc 12 Stage Relays & short evening loosener back home, see separate race report to follow. National silver, oh so close!

Sun 12/8 am 22.1M inc Hose Half Marathon. WINDY!!! Plan was to use this as a last decent long run/effort. Steady start, assess recovery from yesterday’s race & pick up through the second half to finish with a fast 5K. Wind from 3M to 11.5M, especially 9-11 was brutal! Had some chasing from 4-6M as Mark & Matt set off like madmen, 2 miles at about marathon effort brought me back to Mark & I sat in for a very easy ride until 10M when I kicked on. Pleased to put 1:20 into 2nd in the last 5K feeling comfortable at that effort.

Total 115M, av 6:09. (14 marathon specific weeks, 106 miles per week average. I’d had 95-105 in mind at the turn of the year so this is pleasing)

This was the last week of ‘proper’ training, although in reality through the week I was easing down before one final hard weekend of training. After feeling pretty spent at the start of the week I did find I was feeling better later in the week, although still carrying plenty of fatigue through from the cumulative miles.

Both sessions went well & I felt good throughout the week, although did feel I overcooked the 200’s with Saturday’s race in mind. Pleased to race well on tired legs on Saturday & certainly had to rely on my endurance carrying me through after an over-zealous start!

Another good quality week, ending with a good weekend with ~20 miles inside marathon pace. The taper definitely starts now, & it’s a full blown healthy & risk free fortnight before the big show on the 26th! Looking forward to it, I’m feeling fit but shattered & ready for easing off. Quality & speed will remain but quantity will definitely decrease significantly. I won’t be doing anything much faster than marathon pace now though to avoid risking anything!

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