Well, I’ve reached the halfway mark in my quest to run a sub 3:15 marathon for the first time and to do it in the world’s top race, the London Marathon. I think my half term report card looks good. I’m on course to achieve my goal although I know one or two areas where I must improve on. I would say I am possibly sitting at an A- or B+.
I’m really enjoying the mile splits on the treadmill, a lot more than I thought I would to be honest. I’m not afraid of speedwork, I normally have a mental block with running on the treadmill although this time is different. I’m doing it with a purpose. Essentially, I’m running for a mile at 5k pace with 0.2mile recovery and trying to do as many reps as I can fit in. Another drill that’s working is my Sunday morning threshold pace drills. This involves running at around 85% of my top pace for a period of time with 90 seconds recovery and doing this as many times as I decide before I go out. I learned the threshold pace drills at a couple of running workshops in 2009, taught by double Olympian Liz Yelling, her husband Martin and another coach Nick Anderson. Essentially, both these drills are helping me to run much faster than my target pace so that my target pace feels rather comfortable.
The areas I need to focus on are consistency and managing my runs better. My workload has changed over the last few weeks so I’ve missed a few runs. I’ve also failed to tweak my training program around to accommodate that so what’s happened is that I’ve missed a few key runs, including some of the treadmill sessions, and added runs in when I’ve felt like it. I was reminded of my missing runs when I ran on the Sunday, did very little all week, ran 10 miles on the Thursday, 9 on the Saturday and during the 10k ‘race’ I did with my friend Derek last week, my right calf tightened up. I then spent a few days resting it before trudging round 10k on Thursday but felt stronger on my run today.
I will now adjust my training plan so it can fit in well with the changes to my diary and keep me on track. It’s easy to skip a run when we feel under pressure to do other things where, in reality, getting out for that run can help us focus on the tasks in hand and we can usually complete them far more efficiently than we would have done if we hadn’t gone for the run.
I am now looking forward to the next 6 weeks of hard training and be more relaxed going into the marathon knowing that I can hit my target, or do even better, than praying that I’ve done enough.
Getting results takes hard work, there’s no getting away from that and if we have our mind focussed on getting those results, the effort seems easier, pleasurable and achieving the goal becomes much sweeter. Go for it!