Training Weekly: London week 13/16

One 50 mile week down, two more to go! Welcome to peak week. And typically, it couldn’t have fallen at a busier time. Work is full on at the minute so I’m doing a ton of overtime, and with a flying visit to Devon planned on Tuesday, training is going to take some serious juggling. That said, it feels amazing to have completed a solid week last week, and I’m so ready for the challenge of building on it. Not to mention the prospect of one of my key sessions, a 22 miler including the Bournemouth Bay half at marathon pace on Sunday. Eeeek!

Monday

Rest day

False start! I wanted to go to the gym, or at least do some stretching, but a 10 hour day at work and a busy evening with a friend meant that I didn’t have a spare second. Still, after yesterdays 20 miler, I suppose a rest day isn’t the end of the world.

Tuesday

9 miles easy in 1:2:04 (Average 8.54mm pace)

And, we’re back in business. I got up at 6 and was out the door by 6.08 for this 9 mile easy run. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do my usual body pump class as I had to be at work. And I needed to leave for Devon straight afterwards for a speedy catch up with the family for my brothers 30th birthday as well as a slightly belated mother’s day. So, it was early doors, or not at all.

Considering it was a fasted run, I felt surprisingly good. It was also a beautiful morning and now the clocks have gone back I got to watch the sunrise on a quiet, sleepy world as I went. Some runs feel like training. This one didn’t. It just made me happy.

Wednesday

Intervals: 5x 1 mile repeats with 90 second jog recoveries

I don’t know if this run didn’t go well because I already knew it wouldn’t, or whether I was really at the limit of my capability. I’m not even sure which I’d prefer!

To be honest, I was DREADING this session. It was going to be tough at the best of times, but having already crammed what felt like an entire week into three days, and after another 11 hour day in the office, I was exhausted.

When I got to the beach and felt how strong the wind was, as well as how much sand was on the promenade, my heart sank. But, enough of the excuses. I was aiming for 7mm repeats, and as you can see, I only hit one. On a positive note, I didn’t fade, or give up like I have done in the past, and I’m proud of that. I really wanted to nail this one though.

Thursday

30 mins grit strength

30 mins stretching

It’s been 6 weeks or so since I’ve braved grit strength, but I know I’ve been neglecting my strength work. So, with another busy day ahead, I dutifully set my alarm for 6, crawled out of bed and stuck 12KG on a bar ready to go. It actually felt really good, so I’m excited to get back to the grit series once the intensity of the next few weeks is over.

Friday

9 miles alternating 9 and 8mm pace

Once again, my alarm went at 6am, and once again, I found myself out of the house before I really knew what was going on. I really like these alternating sessions as the miles seem to tick by really quickly. My final 4 miles along the beach were into a monster headwind (can anyone remember a time before the wind??) and other than the fact that my legs felt like they were going to fall off, I’m really pleased with my splits on this one.

8.56/7.41/8.34/7.39/8.28/7.51/9.19 (big hill!)/ 7.59/8.31

I then spent most of the rest of the my day at work catching up on eating!

1 hour body balance

This was me celebrating the fact that it’s finally the weekend. Plus for the first time, I actually fell asleep in the relaxation bit at the end. Whoops!

Saturday

10K including Bournemouth Parkrun in 26.54 (Average 8.45mm pace)

I  love my Saturday morning routine. Get up at 8 and feed Blitzy dog, then have a lazy start with a cup of tea in bed before jogging the 1.62 miles to parkrun, doing parkrun, then jogging home for the queen of all brunches! Perfect.

Today my legs felt like lead, so there was no chance of me getting carried away like usual. Instead I plodded round at an easy pace praying that my legs would feel better for Sunday’s long run!

Sunday

22.5 miles including Bournemouth Bay Run (half marathon) in 1:45:18

Three weeks to go and today’s long run was going to be the longest and toughest this cycle. I was planning to run around 9 miles to the start line at around 8.30mm pace. Which I did, averaging 8.27mm. I arrived with about 4 minutes to spare and jumped over the barrier to the start pen. You can imagine how popular that made me!

I know this course well. So I was targeting marathon pace. Although, two 50+ mile weeks have taken their toll on my legs and I wasn’t massively optimistic. I’ll do a separate race report, but I’d forgotten quite how bad the bottle neck at the start is. I’d already lost almost a minute before heading up the hill at Alum Chine. The rest of the race was as expected. My legs hated me progressively more and more, the headwind was still horrible and I wanted to be done with 5K to go. But, on the positive side, my fuelling stratergy (a huma gel every 4 miles) works consistently, and I know what I’m planning to wear on race day!

I’m not sure whether my training is telling me that my goal of sub 3.30 in London is slightly ambitious, or whether, with a fresh pair of legs after a decent taper, I might be able to pull something out of the bag. I guess I’ll find out in three weeks time!

So, too taper, or not too taper? That, is the burning question for next week. I’m torn between knowing that I do better leaving it late, and not wanting to push my luck. I’d have been happier if I’d have hit todays half slightly quicker, but, what’s done is done. This week has been tough. Definitely the toughest in any of my marathon build ups, so I think I’m planning to go a little bit by feel next week. Maybe keep the mileage but lose some of the intensity.

Either way, how are there only three more weeks to go?!!

Hannah x



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