Paris Marathon Training – Week 6

It’s a great feeling when you can sense things are starting to come together in a training plan and when you reach the stage you know when to step things up a bit. That would describe this week’s training for me although it’s got nothing to do with the miles I’ve clocked up this week.

Monday started off with my usual early morning 4 miles but then on Tuesday, I introduced some intervals into my plan with the intention of doing 1km shuttles with 2 minutes rest except I forgot to adjust the rest periods and so I ended up with just 1 minute rest which, wasn’t enough for this particular workout. The big puddles along the path didn’t help either and while the workout was good, it could’ve been much better.

I had a couple of early clients on Wednesday and so waited until after 7.30am to go out and set out to do 10 miles. I decided to try a mile warm up then 2 miles at around 7min/mile pace, 2 miles recovery, repeat the workout then a mile to finish. I was delighted to hit 6:55 then 6:52 in the first two-mile faster blocks, quicker than planned but didn’t feel like I was at full speed so all good. The recovery miles were good and there was that calculation going on to remind myself of when I needed to speed up again and not do it too soon! I was wary about the next two faster miles as I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to maintain the same pace as the first two but surprised myself with 6:49 then 6:51. The recovery miles were good and even found myself speeding up a bit in the cooldown mile. I was delighted that I had been able to go quicker than my target pace without feeling I was going flat-out but the thing that made me happy the most was that my overall time of 1:17:39 was roughly the time it took me to run 10 miles at a decent pace not that long ago!

Thursday morning brought a recovery run but then I had a fair bit of running to do in the evening with my running groups. My 0-5k group were due to run 5k and while I had mapped it out online, I still needed to run a good chunk of it to make sure everyone was going the right way and to give them some coaching tips at the same time. I didn’t run the full course but did cover a few miles running back and forward! It wasn’t quite so taxing in my Run Faster group as the guys only needed to run 1 mile but after they did that, I took them to a bridge to do some drills on the steps. Great fun and a great workout!

I decided to rest on Friday and save myself for Parkrun on Saturday. I had a session with a client before it and we managed to run 3 miles in 28mins which, for my client, was pretty impressive progress! At Parkrun, I tried something different by trying to run at the same cadence I usually try to do on the grass section but for the whole run. I usually find that by increasing the cadence on the half mile grass section, I’m able to maintain the same pace as I run on the path but this tends to work better when the ground is firm and not still like a mud bath as it was yesterday! I started off well and felt like I was able to maintain it for the first mile but as I approached that marker, I became more aware of the runners around me and I lost the tempo in my head that I was trying to keep pace with. I finished in 19:43 and while it’s not an overly fast time for me, I’m happy that I’ve been able to pick up the pace and run the 3rd mile almost as fast as the 1st mile.

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Today’s long run was to be a solo effort as my mate Graeme couldn’t make it so I pressed play on this week’s Marathon Talk podcast and went for it. I had 16 miles in mind, wasn’t entirely sure of where I’d run so I picked out a couple of bits from last week’s run and thought I’d see how that went then add on extra bits along the way. I started off well but then found miles 4 and 5 hard, as if I had no energy in my legs. I ran up Scone Brae, the steepest part of the route, switched off the podcast and had a chat with mum and dad. That seemed to make a massive difference as I soon became aware of my legs no longer feeling heavy and started to push on. I kept the chat going for a couple of miles before switching on the podcast again. I listened to a lovely interview with the inspiring Lowri Morgan while I did a couple of laps of the North Inch park in Perth. A lap is roughly 1.5 miles so makes for a great place to add some miles to a route as well as ideal for those starting out. What was interesting was that even between 9 and 13 miles, I was still hitting the odd sub 8min mile and didn’t run another mile as slow as mile 5, even in the last mile going uphill!

Post 16 mile attempt at a grin!
Post 16 mile attempt at a grin!

I definitely feel like I’m making progress and I know I’ve still got a lot to work on but there are still 8 weeks to go. How’s your training going? Are you happy with the progress you’re making?

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