Well, my intentions to post regularly here this campaign came to virtually nothing. I’ve dipped in to lurk occasionally, particularly the last couple of weeks to read the reports from Manchester, Boston etc. Some inspiring tales, so well done to all. Suffice to say that Manchester is no longer on my list of alternatives to London next time I fail to secure a place.
So, we’re nearly there. Expo opens in an hour or so, the road closure signs are up on Embankment and last night I changed my regular run home from work to take in Birdcage Walk and the Mall. Judging by the number of runners around, I suspect I was not the only one to have had that thought process.
My training has gone quite well overall:
January was strong (212 miles – a record for me) and helped by the fact that I had kept the training going through Nov/Dec better than I usually do.
Feb was less good (around 130m), being disrupted by work getting busy and a holiday to South Africa, and whilst I did find myself a 0.5m loop inside my safari lodge to run around like a nutter, it was far from ideal in 38C heat. February’s highlight was that I ran the Brighton half in 1:27:40 which is the first time I have dipped under 1:30 since 2011 I think.
March saw the mileage get back up to 200m and I was starting to feel good. But then I ran the Finchley 20 in 2:19:xx – 6:59m/m and a 20m PB for me (although I don’t often run them flat out). However, I pretty much did on this occasion, perhaps unwisely, and my legs were trashed after this and don’t seem to have recovered since.
All running since then has felt difficult, laboured and somewhat uncomfortable and whilst I have kept the mileage going and managed a few quality sessions I haven’t managed to do the sharpening in the last 6 weeks that I would have liked. My list of niggles is: tight hamstrings (particularly left), sore left Achilles, bruised toe. I have a sports massage booked tonight but I had one two weeks ago and it had only limited impact.
If I was feeling good and well tapered I would be gunning for a PB, no question (3:05:48) and may even have been tempted to have a crack at an unlikely sub 3. As it is, provided I feel reasonable on the day, I expect sub 3:10 will be the target with PB as a possible stretch if the first half goes well. I will probably set off at 7:00-7:10 pace and then adjust based on HR/feel. I’ve often felt rubbish during the taper right down to the last easy run but it is surprising how it usually turns out OK on the day: G-Dawg – keep the faith!
I’m on Green GFA this year. Off to expo tomorrow to pick up double espresso gels, beetroot shots and an overly optimistic pace band.
Anyway, enough about me. Good luck everyone. Enjoy the day and here’s hoping you smash your targets. I look forward to reading all the reports.
Well done on the long runs, Jools and GM. 11 on Saturday followed by 18 on Sunday is an impressive weekend’s work, Jools.
20m run for me yesterday. One of those runs that come along occasionally that goes surprisingly well. After a gentle first 3 miles to warm up I was consistently around the 7:45-7:50 mark for most of the run and increased the pace a little over the last 7 miles to around 7:35. 20.4m at 7:47 per mile was the overall result. Very happy with that this early in the campaign.
52m for the week. The logistics of getting the miles in this week is looking less straightforward, however.
Thought for the day: why don't race organisers occasionally dish out commemorative shorts or socks rather than t-shirts? Just having a new year's clear out and have had to bin a few pairs of shorts which are falling apart and are frankly disgraceful, which leaves me a bit light with only about 5 usable pairs.
T-shirts, on the other hand, are in plentiful supply. I must have over 30 of them. I'm trying to have a bit of a cull but find sentimental attachment etc. gets in the way:
FLM 2007? First marathon so have to keep it despite all the "impossible is nothing" nonsense written all over it.
Abingdon 2008, Finchley 20? Got to keep these - they show I'm a "proper runner"
Endurance life series? Shows I do trail stuff as well.
Red cotton Barnsley 10k T-shirt from 2008? Got to keep that for the sheer randomness of it, and besides, it is still my PB.
I did manage to chuck a few cotton VLM T shirts and some garish royal parks numbers, but I am still left with an unnecessarily large pile.
BB – sorry to hear that news. Here’s hoping it proves to be manageable. Best wishes and stay positive.
5m plod last night followed by intervals at the track this morning. There was a light frost making it quite slippery underfoot but managed to stay upright for 6x1000m with 200m jog recoveries of 70s or so. All were 3:57 or 3:58 except the last one where I pushed on in the last 200 for a 3:54. Will aim for 3:55s next time and see how I get on. Rest planned for tomorrow ahead of my first 20 miler of the year on Sunday, hopefully.
Happy new year everyone. Just checking in for the VLM 16 campaign, which, having read back the last few pages appears to be in full swing here already: 20m on Boxing Day, KR? Is that allowed??
I have managed to get to January in slightly better shape than last year having done a better job of keeping the training ticking over steadily in Nov/Dec following the Royal Parks half in October, which seems to have become a regular event for me.
Next race for me is Brighton Half in Feb. Nothing else in the diary until VLM but will probably slot in the Finchley 20 in March. Plan is to go as far under 90 mins as possible at Brighton and zero in on a VLM target from there. Last year was 3:13 after losing 2-3 mins for cramp in the last mile. If I get a decent block of training in then sub 3:10 may be do-able but we will have to see.
January off to a decent start with 38m so far including an 8m MP effort this morning at 7:19 pace (albeit HR a little high towards the end) and 17m on Sunday. The latter co-incided with Ben Stokes’s 258 which I was able to listen to on TMS and made for a very enjoyable run. He scored 130 of those while I ran the 17 miles in about 2h20 – impressive stuff (from him not me). I managed to resist the temptation to shout out and punch the air when he reached 200 as I ran through the centre of Putney!