Sunday, 3 April 2011

Reflections on Marathon Training

So I have now done the majority of my training, and am now in the 'taper' phase, so I thought I would take a look back at the training and how it has gone.

Having not trained for a marathon before I was kind of in the dark when I devised the training plan. I did use lots of resources to help me create it though. I have followed it almost completely, and am the first to say that I have been really lucky in not really having any injuries so far. I did have a bit of a sore foot, but it seems to be worse in heels than running. I have also had a bit of a tight calf, but lots of stretching and some sports massages seem to been keeping it under control.

The speedwork sessions have definitely made me faster as well as fitter. I've been doing 7 minute miles, which I didn't think I was physically capable of! The long slow runs haven't been as dull as I thought they might be. Once I get in a rhythm I can just keep going, and almost zone out a bit. I am also glad that I did some longer mid-week runs, as it meant that the long ones didn't feel quite so long. It also means that doing a six-miler now feels positively short!

Having done 21 miles last weekend I worked out that during my training I have run all the way from Canary Wharf to Kew Bridge, and from Tower Bridge to Kew I have run both sides of the river. That covers a huge amount of London!

I thought I was ready to taper, but now I am doing it I am feeling pretty restless. The idea behind a taper is to do your biggest training week about three weeks before the marathon. You then step your training down so that you have the maximum amount of energy left when you come to the race. My longest week was 42 miles, so my subsequent weeks will be 30 miles (75% of the longest) and 20 miles (50%). I will keep the intensity about the same, just stepping down the mileage, so I am still going to track sessions. The week before the marathon I will just do a couple of short runs and a yoga session.

It's so nearly here now, I can't really believe it. Hopefully this time in two weeks I will be a London Marathon finisher!

Best run: 21 miles. Because I can't quite believe I ran more than 20 miles!

Worst run: Guess what, track session again! It's a killer. This week was a pyramid - 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m. All at 10k pace.

Quote of the week: "Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge." David Bedford

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