I’m getting there, people. My new strategy is showing real results after only 3 runs. It’s hard to get the tready time when I’m working. I did my first attempt at an hour at race pace of 6.45 m/m, managed 3 miles (3 min rest) something like 1 mile, rest, etc up to 6.25 miles in the hour. And that was tough. The next time (on tired legs) I did 2½ miles, rest, 1½ miles (at too fast speed), rest, etc making 7 and a bit miles.
Today, with legs as fresh as a daisy, I did 4 miles, 3 min rest, 2 miles, 2 min rest, 50 seconds rest a bit over half a mile. Anyway, the point is; I ran 4 miles before my first breather, then 2 miles. In total, a smidge over 8 miles in the hour. That, my friend, is progress.
The best bits were the periods where I was thinking, ‘this ain’t so bad, I can keep this up all day’. Then my breathing got ragged and I was really battling to make an arbitrary point before stopping. This is also good. By saying at 20 minutes ‘keep going fat lad’ and pushing it really hard for the last 4 or 5 minutes just to keep going, I’m strengthening my legs and my willpower.
This month’s Runner’s World caught my eye. I’ve bought the last two issues but each time I do, and take good stuff from it admittedly, I think I’ll probably not bother with the next one. This month’s was a marathon runner’s special. The first article I flicked to in the shop was a guy who’d run a 3.43 and was asking could he go sub 2.50.
Here, take my money.
Damn you, Runner’s World!
He said he was running 8½ to 9 miles in an hour on his speed training day. My third attempt (with breaks so plenty of room for improvement as I condition my body to the pace) was 8 miles. The thing the expert advised was for him to build in more rest time (oh yeah, I’m all over that shit!) and one proper long run a week. Over 2 hours. Not so much about the pace at that distance, just training your body to keep going.
So tomorrow morning I’m donning my running pack and doing a 20 miler. Then, if I’m up to it, speed work with my running club at the night. We’ll see.
Didn’t get around to finishing that post on Monday, it’s now Saturday.
I took their advice and slapped in a (lamentably slow) 22 mile run. It was beastly. I put on my pack with two full water bottles and set off to Frodsham. As I’d done my new PB on the tready the day before my legs were none too cooperative. The first 4 miles I was actually considering sacking it and coming home. Then I thought I’d do it, but was still really pacing myself so I’d have something left for the return run. It wasn’t until I got the psychological boost of the return journey that I started picking up the pace. 100 yards before was slog, as soon as I turned around (with 11 hilly miles still to do) I was fine. All in the head.
Anyway, that knackered me right up. A perfect storm of beastliness. Tired legs, hills, grass and tarmac, being a fat knacker, etc. I didn’t do the training with my club in the evening.
I didn’t get another run in until I was unexpectedly cancelled from work today. Which is itself troublesome. The coach in Runner’s World who was raving about long runs as part of your marathon training was saying ‘someone who only runs 90 miles a week but does two long runs will be better than someone who runs 120 but only does one long run’. Errr,…. ‘only’ 90 miles? I’m lucky if I manage 30! OK, that’s going to increase quite a bit with the addition of the long run(s), but still.
Oh, and troublesome that this close to xmas they are cancelling shifts. They should be running flat out now, what is it going to be like afterwards?
Anyway, I did my run. My new warm up is 5 minutes at a slow jog, then 4 minutes at 6m/m. This shows my legs and lungs how cushy they are getting it when I switch to 6.45 m/m pace. Then a few minutes rest, then set off at race pace.
I was going strong. So strong I was checking I was at the right speed. My last run I managed 4 miles (dying after 3 but determined). This time I was still going strong at 4 miles, breathing OK, legs coping. I pushed on.
I set a new PB at 30 minutes, then 40! By this time it was starting to come apart. I was suffering, and I kept losing my breathing. I determined to make it to 45 minutes. It was bad but no worse. I went for 50 minutes. A song came on that was just the right tempo so I put it on repeat, gritted my teeth and ran the full hour!
The long run is now a welcome training aid. Before I was chipping away at my goal, now I am all over it’s arse! For the first half hour I thought I might be able to just keep on going at that pace. 13 miles, maybe even the full marathon. Obviously I couldn’t, but even when it got tough I managed 20 minutes more. That’s after one long run. Bring it on!
Bugger. After all that enthusing I suddenly crashed. No energy left.
I’ll do another post with just of Twitter.
Sorry for luring you in under false pretences.