The final big week of training before I start to taper down for Frankfurt! The week started as usual with a recovery double on Monday which went fine, the legs feeling reasonably good after the 23 mile long run the day before. Tuesday’s nine mile easy also ticked along without issue, and the cooler autumn temperatures are definitely welcome after a hot summer.
On Wednesday I headed down to the track for one of the bigger track sessions – 6 x 1000m at 5K pace. Despite feeling tired heading down to the track, I felt pretty good on these, with the average rep speed right on 5K pace. They were also nice and consistent, within a few seconds of each other except a slightly faster burn-up on the final interval. After having a bit of a rubbish 5x1200m session a few weeks back, it was nice to hit the session targets this time around.
I could definitely feel that session in the legs the next day on the 15 mile medium-long run, but still managed to keep up a speedy 7:19/mi average pace which was pleasing. Like most of my morning runs (including Wednesday’s track session) this was done without breakfast, and my body now seems very comfortable operating in a “fasted” state. I’m hoping all these miles on an empty stomach will help towards the end of the marathon when my glycogen stores are starting to get low. The shorter 11 mile run the next day also ticked along at a similar pace, so my legs are definitely getting good at dealing with cumulative fatigue.
On then, to the weekend and the final big long run of this campaign. With Hyde Park taken over by the Royal Parks Half Marathon, I decided to do a route I’d be meaning to try for ages, heading down along the River Lea and Regent’s Canal before heading back up to Hampstead and home. I knew I watched to do at least 21 miles, but was otherwise going to take it as it came, as I was ensure how the legs would be after quite a solid block of running from Tuesday to Friday.
I was very pleased with how things turned out, with the legs were still feeling pretty strong at 20 miles. I therefore decided to push on to 24 miles, which took me to 90 miles for the week – my second 90 mile week in the past month! I kept up a decent pace for the whole run, and heart rate was well under control. It would be difficult to ask for much more from a final long run, so was very pleased with myself at the end.
Taper time now, although still have about 70 miles to cover this week! On Sunday I’ll be running the Bright10 10 mile race in Brighton as a final marathon pace practise. With how well the training has been going it’s tempting for my goal to creep beyond the current aim of going sub-3:05. However, after Brighton earlier in the year, where I headed out at 3:05 pace but crashed and burned, I’m trying to stay sensible and realistic. I really want to bag a GFA place for London, so 3:05 must remain the goal, and I can worry about more ambitious targets next year.
My training has been better this time than earlier in the year, with much bigger weekly mileages, and faster paces, so I think 3:05 is definitely a realistic goal. I’ll be aiming to run the Bright10 at dead-on 7:00/mi pace, which if kept up at Frankfurt would yield a 3:03:30 time. Even with training going so well that still seems like a daunting task, but with a good taper and luck on the day, I think it should be achievable.
In three weeks time, we shall find out…