I have decided to adopt a pessimistic stance for my spring races. I am assuming they will all be cancelled, what with this virus business, but if they aren’t I will be delighted.  I am not taking the foot off the gas, I am still training as though Brighton will be on.

wk14 training

I’m pleased with that picture.  Only two runs skipped since I started following the plan more deliberately in Week 2.  Whilst many are runternatives (light green), they have all been done and at the appropriate level of intensity.  Injury will have to get up pretty early in the morning to catch me out.

Here is how the week shaped up.

Monday – Rest day

Tuesday – 6x800s at 5k pace on the plan, I’m still off the speedwork so I did the best I could on the cross-trainer.  This was followed with a good core session, but I couldn’t be bothered with the weights this time.

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Wednesday – 4.8km on the plan, 28 minutes done on the cross trainer, followed by the weights I skipped the previous night.

Thursday – 12.8k on the plan, 12.8k run.  A good runch, 8 miles along the Thames.  My running partner was struggling with a recurrent hamstring issue so I left him at about 7 miles and stepped up the pace for the rest of the run, aiming for marathon goal pace.  It felt good to stretch the legs out a little bit.   I couldn’t be bothered to go to the gym so I did the core work at home instead.  Resting up ahead of the race on Sunday, is what I told myself….

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Friday – 10k on the plan, 60 minutes done on the cross-trainer, neatly encompassing a long episode of Star Trek: Picard.

Saturday – 4.8k on the plan, 5.25km run.  My nephew was visiting for the weekend from Uni and was keen to go for a run.  I have been “running” the Saturday recovery runs on the cross-trainer but was happy to go out in the real world for a change. My short loop is slightly over the required distance, but close enough for government work.

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Sunday – 21k on the plan, 21k run!  It was the Surrey Half, intended as a tune-up for the full marathon.  For some time before the day, I flip-flopped on the race plan.  Should I take it easy, avoiding risk of further injury, or should I run at marathon goal pace, or some combination of both?  I was still deciding in the start pen but eventually settled on a goal-pace sandwich – easy for 5k, goal pace for 10k, then the remainder easy.  It did not work out that way.  I finished with a very gratifying and wholly unexpected PB.  More on that in a separate race report.

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Sunday’s race has restored some confidence in my training. I was worried it was seriously compromised by injury but the evidence is I can still sustain a good pace for a prolonged period.  This bodes well for Brighton. Goal pace felt pretty good, boring even!  My challenge for Brighton may well be restraining myself early on.

Long run fuel – I decided to wear the ultra vest as a practice. I had tailwind in one flask, a double dose which was enough for the whole race, and water in the other. I did not take on any other fluids or fuel until afterwards.

Injury status

  • left achilles, pretty quiet again
  • right achilles, meh, not too bad. I think this is really just coming out in sympathy to the next one.
  • right tibialis posterior.  still not right, but it is better than it has been. The resistance band work is doing its thing, and I have been taking every opportunity to stand on one leg to encourage the stabilisers to wake up.
  • right high hamstring.  a background issue really, certainly it didn’t affect my performance in the half on Sunday.  I am feeling it now, mind, pretty sore and not moving freely. I will rest for a few days now and give it a good stretch.

In general, Week 14 was a good one. I is a happy runner.

wk14 chart

I’ll be back in a week with another update, which should include news of an epic 24 miler.