First week of marathon training for Frankfurt 2016! After a very quiet rest week, where I ran just 13 miles, I was ready and raring to go. I had half an eye on doing the Self-Transcendence 5K, as I won’t have another chance for a rested 5K performance for a while once I get stuck in to marathon training. I didn’t commit because I wanted to see how I felt on the day, but after a stress-free journey back to London I felt up for it so headed down to Battersea Park to see what I could do.
The conditions were really good – a slight breeze but relatively cool for an August evening and not too humid. My aim was to go out hard and see what happened, with hopes of something around 18:30 perhaps. The first kilometre went well and I was through in 3:37, feeling good, with a second kilometre slightly slower at 3:44 as he headed in to the breeze. The third kilometre sped up again to 3:37 as the wind got behind me again, although by this stage breathing was becoming laboured and I started to have to work hard.
The fourth kilometre was very tough as I struggled with the beginnings of a stitch, but I just about managed to hold it off and went through in 3:47. At this stage my watch was saying my average split time was 3:42, bang on 18:30 pace. I tried to put my burning lungs and aching legs to the back of my mind and ran as hard as I could. I was able to put in a bit of a sprint in the final few hundred meters to overtake a couple of other runners, and passed the finish line in 18:26. Boom! Shiny new PB by 21 seconds, and a much better performance than my 10K the week before.
This was a nice confidence booster to start the marathon training, after a couple of disappointing race performances last week and in Swansea. I was a little concerned about trashing my legs right at the start of a marathon plan, but thankfully my legs didn’t feel too bad the next day, and I was able to continue the weeks plan without any problems.
The midweek medium-long runs went well. I did them both first thing on an empty stomach which I intend to do for a lot of my medium-long and long runs this time around, in a bid to continue to develop my fat burning ability. I’ve gotten quite used to running on empty now, so can tick along at a decent pace – a far cry from when I first started running in the mornings which I found a real slog!
The long run was a tough one to start – 18 miles with 10 at marathon effort. The plan originally called for 8 at MP, but I’m keen to get in a few more miles at marathon effort this time around, particularly given the shorter 12 week build-up. It went pretty well overall, averaging 7:08/mi for the 10 at marathon effort. Ideally I want to be around 7:00/mi for a solid sub-3:05 performance at Frankfurt, but given I was running fasted, and a bit tired having stayed up to watch Mo Farah win the 10,000m in Rio, I’m happy enough with the performance.
Exciting to be back to marathon training, although daunting that it’s less than 80 days away already! Hopefully the next 11 weeks will go as well as this week…