Ha! The only downside about the race is that you can't pick up yur number on the day, so you've either got to go down there on the Friday or Saturday which is a bit of a drag but the race makes up for it.
Madrid is a nice city to live in but like everywhere it has good points and bad points. Property prices have fallen in the last few years and there are some bargains now but it can still still expensive for what you get, especially if you want to live in a nice part of the city. Property prices in Aranjuez tend to be a lot lower and you get quite a bit more for your money.
The Newport half sounds like a good, scenic route. Quite a bit of racing in March, no? You should quite sharp for April. Hpe training continues to go well.
Thanks Bob, both for your input on the training plan and your kind words about the race. Yes, I was pleased with the way it went today, especially when you take into account what I put in my previous post about the hills and the congestion early on. It's a good point you make about the intensity of the half, by the way.
Aranjuez is about 50 minutes on the slow train out of Madrid. It's a lovely town without being as dramatic as Toldedo or Segovia, although it does boast the summer palaces which are quite grand. Being next to the Tajo river, it's quite green for the region and enjoys a bit of a micro-climate. I've thought about buying somewhere there a couple of times but it wouldn't be so practical for me at the moment. Their 10k race is really well organised. It's limited to 5,000 runners and the pens are fenced off and entry is colour coded by your race number and strictly controlled by the marshalls so you don't get folk positioning themselves out of line with their abilities. They let the first three pens go off and then have a two minute pause before the other pens are released. It's a good policy as some of the route is a bit narrow. It's quite a pretty course too, going out into the country along a tree lined road and then through the gardens / park before returning to the town. Very good local support too. I remember one section last year being lined with masses of spectators like on a stage of the Tour de France. The goodie bag was excellent too with a decent long sleeved technical top, quality duffle bag and loads of drinks, chocolate and fruit (a supermarket is one of the big sponsors). I'll stop here as I'm beginning to sound like I work for the race committee or local tourist board!
Sounds like a good reconossaince run over the New Year 10k circuit yesterday. I think you'll break 50mins in your at NewYear as you'll run faster in the race and, like you say, have got 4 weeks more to prepare. Good to see you've got a half marathon organised. Don't know Newport but for some reason I get the impression it could be hilly but please correct me if I'm wrong!
Have a good week too.
PS: Saw a really good rendition of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez in Madrid last year. It's a nice piece of music.
Yeah, I think you are right Bob, so what I'm thinking of doing is starting the marathon training plan a week early and scheduling the last long slow runs as follows:
31/03: 32k LSR
07/04: 21k Madrid Half
14/04: 21k LSR
21/04: 16k LSR
28/04: Madrid Marathon
What do you reckon? I guess now I'm a little concerned the last really long run will be four weeks out, possibly too long. I wonder if there's any value doing a 25 - 27 k run two weeks out? Not sure. This Half Mara to Full Marathon schedule in April is pretty common here. Might ask the question on another thread but would be good to hear your views.
A 20 mile road race 5 weeks out sounds pretty good to me. Should put you spot on for the marathon. Is it in Herefordshire?
Did a 10k race this morning. A couple of big hills plus 1.5k of gradual incline. Cold, just 2 degrees at the off, and a bit chaotic early on due to being a very big field and not organised into pens. Anyway, ran 44:02 (21:38/22:24), so quite happy with that. Need to improve by 27 seconds to beat my 10k PB in Aranjuez, 3 weeks today on a flat course.
Yeah, it will definitely take a few weeks for the sessions to have a positive affect on your times. Good that you can do them at the suggested paces. For me, the interval paces are the hardest thing about the FIRST plan. From what you are saying, you could well break 50 mins on NY day as you seem to be making a lot of prgress at the moment.
Have you got any half marathons pencilled in for next year? My plan is to do one on 23/2 and then the Madrid half on 7th April, possibly a bit close to the marathon but a race I really like. It would also mean doing my last 32k run two weeks before the marathon. Do you think this would be ok?
Hi Bob, picking up on your post on the other thread, it sounds like your making really good progress. 20k run and no reaction with the ankle sounds really positive. Alternating the mileage every week is probably a smart move too. How are you finding the FIRST speed sessions?
At present, I'm doing my tempo & LSR based on their timings. Haven't been doing intervals much (but will start in the new year) preferring to do a hilly 11k near where I live. Also doing a slow 8 or 9k a week and a cross-train on the exercise bike.