Its been a while since my last post which was after the Ultra45 race on 23rd January. I guess from this I can ascertain that it has taken 3 weeks to fully recover which is about right. I've continued to train for the london marathon following the Ultra45 but my weekly mileage has been low. The last three weeks have been 15m, 26m, 31m so very low by london standards but this doesn't matter because I've got a high endurance base to work from so my training plan this time round is not about stacking up the miles but focusing on 3-4 quality runs per week.
And i'm keeping a lid on the length of my weekly long run too focusing on speed over distance to help increase my speed endurance. This was recommended my Liz Yelling herself who offered me advice on the Runners World forum, and it certainly appears to be working :-)
I had an absolute storming session this morning. Whereas I would normally run 20+ miles and keep ticking over, I instead run 15miles last week, this week and will do the same next week.
I was up at the crack of dawn to pound down the grand union canal. My goal to run at 8 minute miles (marathon pace) from start to finish. I tried this last week but it didn't quite happen for whatever reason. I felt laboured, and unfit and wasn't sure if I was even going to be capable of a sub 3:30 at london.
Today though was a different story. I felt stronger and ran faster and faster as the miles wore on. The garmin splits tell the whole story. 8.37; 8.01; 7.49; 7.51; 7.42; 7.51; 7.42; 7.36; 7.21; 7.27; 7.29; 7.20; 7.22; 7.23; 7.11. An avg pace of 7:38 for the 15 miles.
I haven't run that well for ages and am well chuffed with the pacing. So what can I learn from this that I can apply to other runs in the lead up to London? The fact that I only ran twice during the week (16.5 miles), plus two gym sessions has a lot to do with it. So I wasn't feeling drained and had lots of energy. And I didn't hang around either in my mid week club run. That was an 11 miler with a sub 8 m/m avg pace. The first 5 miles I was running at 8:30 - 9's and then upped the effort levels running 7's.
So unsurprisingly perhaps its about quality NOT quantity (didn't we always know this!?) Many don't. There will be 1000's of runners out there right now preparing for London with only one thing in their mind which is to run as many miles as possible perhaps running 50, 60, 70 mile weeks. Its madness really. A 30-40 mile week made up of 3 or 4 quality runs is just the ticket and will hopefully see me go sub 3:30 on 26th April. Of course there is the small matter of my 12hr ultra race 5 weeks out from London but I think that as long as I recover properly I should be fit and raring to go. Game on :-)