All the hard work (with one notable exception) is done

So into the penultimate week & although the volume continues to reduce, the intensity was certainly planned to remain with some good quality scheduled for Tuesday & Thursday this week. Again though I started the week feeling like I was freshening up so something is working.

Mon 12/9 6M Easy + XT / 6M Relaxed

Tues 10M Session of 5 x 1 mile off 2:30, aim 4:4x + XT. Felt sluggish today & struggled to get going but progressed through the session & surprised to see splits of 4:5, :44, :45, :43, :44. Happy with that as a last real hit out, & although not fast this is much faster than marathon pace!

Weds 5M E / 7M Steady

Thurs 10M Inc Tempo of 6M, target 31:30+ XT / XT. Tempo was to be ~marathon pace & having decided to do this early in the morning I was pleased to get this done in 30:40 feeling good after a slow start.

Fri 5M E / 5M E, both commutes & no gym today to make it a very easy day for recovery.

Sat 9M Short relaxed session of 6 x 800m off 2mins + XT. This session really was just about ticking the legs over so just relaxed with nothing to be inside 2:20. Done with ease & felt good.

Sun 14M E + XT. Just 90 minutes very easy this morning. Certainly flt odd not having 2+ hours to do. The only challenge was getting started as I’ve cut caffeine completely since Wednesday (only have a a couple of coffees before weekend runs anyway, so no major sacrifice).

Total 76M, Av 6:08, 7 3/4 hrs XT, Weight 61.1kg

A decent week’s training, seeing a good reduction in volume as the taper starts but with some good quality still included. The idea was for Tuesday to be hard & the ‘sessions’ after that to be relaxed efforts focussed around marathon pace. At this stage marathon pace still doesn’t feel particularly easy but I’m used to that & confident it will do on the day (to start with at least!). Thursday’s tempo was a bit quicker than planned but I felt good so went with it given it was 10 days out & being 5-10 seconds a mile faster wasn’t going to do any harm.

The volume naturally tails off if you reduce the weekend to singles, shorten the Saturday session & half the distance of the Sunday long run! I’ve carb-depleted for my last few marathons & found it has worked well for me so will be doing the same for this one &will try to get as close as possible to no carbs. The last ‘normal’ meal is Sunday evening & from there I’ll look to have as little carbohydrate as possible through until Friday morning! The week’s training is very easy compared to what I’m now used to but as the carb levels get depleted the last couple of runs really do feel like a struggle. It’s easier said than done cutting carbs out completely as once you start looking it seems EVERYTHING has carbs in! Meals are planned though & for a few days it doesn’t feel like much of a chore given the sacrifices made along the way. I hate porridge with a passion but boy do I look forward to a big bowl of the stuff on Friday morning.

Finally, the questions people have been firing at me through the week – what’s the target? I’ve always put it out there whenever I have raced & this time’s no different. The build up has gone well & the target is 2:18. On a good day, with good conditions & some cooperation from my legs then I’d love to sneak into the 2:17’s. If the clock says 2:17-2:18 as I cross the line under the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate I’ll be a VERY happy chap! Weather looked promising as of Sunday morning & I’ll be glued to this for the next week:

berlin-forecast

Regardless, the build up has gone well & has been enjoyable in a sadistic way only distance runners will understand & I’ll enjoy a few jars on Sunday afternoon with friends & family before the next blog post.

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