The London Marathon entry system is increasingly odd. Unlike almost everything else, every time new technology is introduced into the process, the timeline moves in the wrong direction.
In 2007 I missed out on a GFA time by less than a minute. There was time for me to have a written conversation with them, enter the Nottingham Marathon and run a GFA time in September before writing to them by the end of October. I also entered the ballot as a backup.
Nowadays the online ballot is open for an hour or two in April but not drawn until October, the GFA time has to be run by the end of May and the GFA entry process has to be done in a 3 week window online by mid-July, a full 9 months before the race. Coupled with inflexible deadlines that they will never shift on, it's all a bit bizarre.
I have until 21st June to submit my entry for next year (deferral). To do this I have to find my running number from last year that I threw away because I wasn't running the race. Given that they know who I am and my 2013 number because I provided this when deferred online using their website, and they then used the email address I provided them with to email me to tell me this - why didn't they put my 2013 running number in the email?
In other news, I took a week off running with a very bad back, and went to see an Osteopath today, who did various crunches and stretches to free my upper back and stretch out my hamstrings and quads.Unsurprisingly, his diagnosis was that I needed several more sessions of Osteopathy. 30 mins for £50, with 20 sessions in a day for 3 days week. Nice work if you can get it. (My back does feel a lot better though )
When I was running a consistent 50-60mpw year round (2007-2010) then I could eat pretty much what I wanted. Ths was helped by running at lunchtime (so not eating so much) and drinking less because I was running it he next day.
Since May 2011 I have run a lot less and as a result gained about 30lbs in weight which I am starting to shift right now with a pretty strict diet and proper training. In a few weeks I hope to have built up the miles so I can back off the diet a bit.
Did the hardest 10 mile run if my life yesterday evening. Somehow I have pulled a muscle in my back- just behind my ribs. Hurts a lot, especially when running.i was determined to get to 10 miles, so ploughed on, even thougpace went for the last 4 miles went 8:14, 8:27: 9:06, 10:03. As the Garmin beeped for 10 miles I gave up star walked the last 2 miles home. Ouch!
Week1 of Abingdon training is in the books. For this plan I am following the same plan I followed for Abingdon 2008 except that I have an extra week this year, which will be taken up by a rest week at Glastonbury, and I am much less fit than I was 5 years ago. I have therefore scaled the plan back a bit.
Still interesting to compare where I am now with where I was then:
Plan: 6 runs, 50 miles, 8:24 pace 2008: 7 runs, 62 miles, 7:47 pace 2013: 6 runs, 46 miles, 8:22 pace
Finished off today with a 14 mile run in a shade under 2 hours. Shockingly slow, because I was backing off the pace when the HR climbed above 155. Resulted in a couple of 9 minute miles on an uphill section, which is slower than I've ever run that stretch. This week 5 years I did that stretch at 6:26mm on a tempo run at the same heart rate.
A long way to go, but I'm on the road..
Saw some mention of Dan on twitter yesterday, nice to see that he finished this one!
Nice training by HR - another one looking forward to Abingdon already.
I saw a distinct improvement when I changed my tempo runs from 3-5 miles @ HMP to 6-8 miles at MP (or a tiny bit faster). Partly this was encouraged by an email from HR's mystery coach who felt that the shorter threshold pace runs were of less benefit as they encouraged sugar-burning.
I don't think TR was suggesting no speed running, what he was saying was that building endurance was more important than building speed for most marathon runners.
As I see it, we can (almost) all run faster than MP for a shorter distance, butif you draw a graph of speed/race distance, it slopes downwards as the distance increases. To improve marathon performance we can either shift the whole line up by working on base speed, or we can work on endurance to reduce the slope of the line. Ideally, over a period of years, we can work on both, especially as there are diminishing returns from all training.
I'm fully in agreement with SL here - it would be great to fit everything in, but unless you're a full-time athlete, you need to prioritise your training. And for most people who see a dramatic drop-off in relative performance as they move up to the marathon distance, the sessions that build endurance and speed endurance are the best ones to prioritise.
P&D does include interval sessions, and strides, and threshold/tempo running, and MP sections in long runs. What it doesn't have is short intervals, weekly speed sessions throughout the program and specific hill sessions. What it puts in their place are medium-long runs twice a week.
Very poor show by the Marathon of the North - must be gutting. Let's wait and see whether VLM people allow GFA times from it.264m is about 70 seconds at 3:05 pace or 100 secs at 3:45 pace, so if they allowed anyone more than 2 minutes inside the GFA time that would seem about fair.
I reckon my dog would be a lot faster than me over 5k. I'll take him down the local parkrun soon and see how he does. As long as we don't meet another dog on the way, or run past a football match then we'll be fine
Abingdon training plan starts today with a gentle 6 miles at lunchtime.