Mind · running · Training

Paris Marathon Training – Weeks 4 and 5

I forgot to finish my weekly training update last week and so here is how my plan has been over the last two weeks:

Monday  – 4 miles am (Week 4); 5km pm (Week 5)

Tuesday – Threshold Pace Intervals (7.3 miles) am (Week 4); 4 miles am (Week 5)

Wednesday – 4 miles am (Week 4); 8.5 miles am (Week 5)

Thursday – 4 miles am (Week 4); 4 miles am (Week 5)

Friday – 4 miles am (Week 4); 0 miles (Week 5)

Saturday – Parkrun (Week 4); Parkrun (Week 5)

Sunday – 10 miles (Week 4); 15 miles (Week 5)

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks really. Week 4 showed a lot of promise with great consistency, a bonus threshold pace session on Tuesday as I had a later start, a 19:34 Parkrun which I was delighted with given the conditions were terrible (slush and ice) and 10 good miles where I felt I could easily have gone on to do another 3-4 miles easily.

This past week has been a whole lot different. Overnight ice meant that every surface in the immediate area was very slippy and so I decided to skip the early morning run. I felt the first few hundred metres to get out of the development where we stay would probably take as long as running a mile and with the limited time I had available, I wasn’t going to get a quality run in. I did manage to squeeze in 5km later in the afternoon but felt out of sorts all day and really missed that early run. I made up for it on Tuesday with a good 4 miles to get the day off to a perfect start. For some reason, I decided it was a great idea to leave filing my tax return until the deadline day on Tuesday and so the rest of the day was spent poring over receipts and making my accounts tally. I’m sure any self-employed people reading this will know how much of a pain in the bum this is but it’s only really a pain when we leave it so late!

I had a rubbish night’s sleep on Tuesday as a result of the above so skipped the early morning run but did manage 8.5 miles later on Wednesday morning instead. I was really tired all morning so getting that distance in was good. Another good early morning run was followed by some hill reps in the evening with my running groups. Sadly I only managed a couple of reps during the sessions, demonstrating how to run them, so I can’t count these as a workout. For some reason, I’ve been tired all week and so skipped Friday’s early run and actually felt sluggish the rest of the day as a result. It’s interesting that my body has become used to the early morning runs and things don’t feel quite as good when I don’t get that run in.

Proof that I ran 8.5 miles on Wednesday
Proof that I ran 8.5 miles on Wednesday

Yesterday’s Parkrun was a good one. First Saturday in February meant it was pacer day and so my target was 25mins while Allison aimed for 26mins. This gave me a double challenge as I’ve never run at 5min/km pace before and also the grass section was very muddy making any kind of pacing hard. I did settle into it very well and was delighted I managed to maintain the pace up to 4km. The last km was hard to stick to target pace as while it would’ve been easy to maintain it, I found myself wanting to speed up a little in response to those around me who I sensed were capable of doing more. I picked up the pace a little to help push a couple of guys around me and then when we returned to the North Inch and the last few hundred metres, I caught up with a guy who had started to flag a bit but I gave him a cue to finish strongly. He asked if we were going for a sprint finish but I told him to simply pick his knees up a bit more then drive his arms harder. Doing this creates more power and it results in a quicker run without using up any more energy. True to form, he took off and I’m disappointed that I didn’t manage to catch him beyond the finish to see how he got on.

Allison and I pacing at Parkrun yesterday
Allison and I pacing at Parkrun yesterday

I had been looking forward to a good run today as I had a great sleep on Friday, felt energised throughout Saturday and was up early on Sunday with the plan to get a few miles in before meeting up with my mate Graeme. That was the plan anyway but my legs felt like lead weights and so  an easy run it was. The pleasing thing was, I felt fine otherwise and I still churned out 15 miles whereas the temptation previously would have been to pack in early.

All in all, I’m happy with where I’m at, not too disappointed with the lack of pace today and looking forward to the training ahead this month.

How’s your training going? How do you deal with occasional blips?

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