Posted: 20/10/2014 at 23:07
I decided to give the P&D 70-85 mile plan a go for Abingdon but with a couple of changes as I felt running all the long and medium long runs at mp + 20/10% was a little too much as I usually prefer a nice plod, so on alternative sessions I followed P&D style or just a 8mm max time on feet run.
All recovery runs were at a pace of 9 to 8.30mm pace.
I think this slightly cautious approach helped me cope with the higher mileage and I was able to achieve a decent run in the quality tempo/V02 max sessions.
Rather annoyingly I picked up a calf strain midway through the first week of taper. So much for the cautious approach!
Unfortunately my taper became a vertical drop due to this calf pull, my momentum faltered and panic set in with the best part of a week of minimal running and a few very wet bike rides to try and keep the endurance ticking over.
Being a bloke I sulked and lost a bit of focus on my goal. As I know through past experience this endurance training is full of ups and downs with a fair few hurdles along the way.
I set off at a steady pace making sure I ran at no more than 6.40 mm. I deliberately avoided getting into any groups as I didn't want to get dragged along at anything but my goal pace. After maybe 4/5 miles a couple of guys in the group in front dropped back to me complaining that the pace was picking up too much. The three of us tapped along together at a controlled pace and reached half way in a comfortable 87.30.
At 15 miles the wind had picked up a fair bit and it was full on for the next couple of miles up a steady incline, I was conscious at this point I was working a bit too hard and could no longer share the burden as the two other runners had dropped off the pace.
The rest of the race I was on my own, still feeling strong and continually picking off runners that were having a harder time than me.
The last four miles I was really feeling it, I didn't hit the wall as my energy levels felt fine but I just struggled to turn my legs over at a sufficient pace. It really felt like a solo time trial with the lack of runners and support, my pace dropped into 7mm pace and as much as I tried I couldn't speed up.
I'm not really sure how to cope with those last four miles as it was a tough physical and mental battle at this point.
I managed to pick off quite a few runners and wasn't overtaken at all from half way so there was a fair few feeling it.
As I approached the final 400 meters I realised I was cutting it close for a pb and made a final agonising surge around the track to cross the line in an official time of 2.57.49.
I crossed the line and felt emotionally drained and I could have blubbed!
It's the second time I've run Abingdon and that will be the last as I found it uninspiring, running on my own from about 17 miles with little crowd support makes it all the more tougher.
The way my quads, calfs and glutes feel today I'm sure I gave it my all and I'm quite proud of my effort and commitment.
But not satisfied, so I'll see you at London.