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26 January 2018 @ 02:32 pm
The Road to the London Marathon: 12 Weeks to Go  
I ran Park Run on Saturday (somewhat slow), and my regular long run on Sunday. The Teenager and I got ready for a run on Sunday afternoon, but on opening the front door she took one look at the rain and changed her mind. Since, I'd already run 15km that day and don't much like the rain either, I didn't argue.

Then I started on the "official" training plan. There are actually several official training plans offered by the London Marathon all by Martin Yelling who also posts motivational videos on their Facebook page. I've picked up one that describes itself as being for Intermediate runners, then ignored weeks 1-4 of the plan since they involved less running than I was doing anyway. To be completely honest, I get the impression the key to a not too terrible marathon run is getting plenty of distance under your belt in the run up - while not scaling up the distance so rapidly that you injure yourself (which was the mistake I think I made with the half marathon last year). Everything else is really set dressing. However, it's quite fun (for a value of "fun" probably only appreciated by people who enjoy running) to have a varied programme of different sorts of run to follow, so I was quite looking forward to getting with the plan.

Week 5 suggests:

40min Fartlek Run

Fartlek, I believe, is Swedish for "speed play" a fartlek run is one where you perform short sprints at high speed followed by slower runs recovering in between. I'm not terribly fond of fartlek runs, I think I find the lack of proscription about how many sprints and how long recovery somewhat unnerving. I also want to do the Park Run again this week (it will be my 99th and I'd like to get to 100 before the marathon), so I've dropped the fartlek run in favour of doing the Park Run on Saturday.

10min Easy (8min Threshold, 2min Easy)x3 10min Easy

As far as I can tell from the Internet, a "Threshold Run" is one at 80% of something technical that can only be ascertained in a lab but is supposed to correlate to effort. It is also supposed to be the point where there is a step change in your breathing pattern. Faffing around with my speed while running to see what my breathing is doing seemed like altogether too much work to me, so I looked up my Threashold pace using an online calculator. To be honest I did this in November and I've forgotten what numbers I plugged in. It gave me a threashold pace of 4:55 min/km which didn't seem unreasonable since my 5k race pace is faster than that, but I've not yet managed 10k at 5:05 min/km.

Anyway, I accomplished this run, covering just over 9km in the time alotted. The 8 minute threshold stretches were hard work, but I managed them.

10min Easy (10min Threshold, 3min Easy)x3 10min Easy

I was a little uncertain going into this second run which was clearly building on the previous one. I'd found 8 minutes at threshold pace quite challenging, it was raining fairly heavily and there was a strong wind blowing. I'm not sure I actually maintained threshold pace for the 3x10 minute segments, but I ran consistently hard for those stretches, didn't slack off and as far as I can tell was at least close to threshold pace (even when running into a headwind). So I felt pretty pleased with myself. I covered just over 11km.

10 miles Long Run

This will be Sunday's run.

Of course, I've forgotten to bring my gym kit into work, so the weekly gym session won't be happening. Hopefully I will survive.

KM run this week: 40.1km
KM run in 2018: 98.9km

While raising money for charity is not my motivation for participation, it is a big part of the London Marathon. Shelter have bribed me with a T-shirt and the promise of a post-race massage. People have been incredibly generous already but you can donate here should you feel so inclined.

This entry was originally posted at https://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/480382.html.