London will be my eigth marathon and I'm aiming to run sub 3 hours (although I've missed a bit of training through illness, I think I've got enough long runs and quality sessions in). I always do a 3 week taper and don't usually race any later than 5 weeks to go, but this time I'm wondering about racing either a half 2 weeks prior to the marathon or a 10k 1 week before. I'm not sure whether I'd take too much out of myself (I would definitely race them at full effort), or whether, being shorter distances, they'd work as nice "sharpeners" to keep a little speed in the legs. Do you have any advice?
I've developed pain underneath my keft kneecap below the knee and to the inside. I don't feel it at all when I'm running or cycling, but it hurts going up and down stairs, sitting and squatting, especially in the morning. No heat or swelling, but I'm concerned as I've had it about 4 weeks and have cut back my training mileage but it doesn't seem to be improving. I've been endurance training for the past 3 years, with a very gradual build-up to about 70 miles per week during marathon trinaing in the Spring and Autumn. I have a neutral gait (with a little supination on the left foot). I run in neutral shoes and enjoy wearing quite minimalist models (Kinvara/Green Silence). Any suggestions much appreciated.
Ecky - if you're desperate for a qucik "comfort stop" "Peep-O-Day Lane" (the cycle track you run along betwen miles 13 and 14, and again between miles 22 and 23) has a useful hedgerow on the left hand side. It's not too thick to climb through but is thick enough to protect your modesty (and just has empty farmers fields at the other side of it). You might come out with a scratch or two but nothing worse.
Remeber to take a bit of "emergency loo roll" wrapped up in cling film in your shorts pocket.
Just in case anyone's looking for nice, easy-print course map, there is one on the website but it's not in a very obvious place - look under the "Archive" tab and select "Past results", then click on the "course" icon for 2012.