Sunday, 1 March 2015

Marathon Training Week 7 of 9

With the peak training session out of the way the last three weeks before Barcelona should be getting relatively easier. However there were a few quality sessions remaining:-

18 Days out - 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 mile @ MP with 2 minutes rest (That's 15 miles @ MP, up from the 12 I did last weekend. This went reasonably well but wasn't without a struggle towards the end.

11Days out - 5/6 miles @ LT (10 mile pace) with 2 minute jog recoveries. The last key session to get a bit of speed in the legs before the main event. With me struggling at the HM paces earlier in the programme this is likely to be a tough session.

6 Days out - 2 miles @ 10k Pace. A final sharpening session. While it shouldn't prove too challenging I doubt that i'll be able to achieve 10k PB pace.

On Tuesday I completed a MAF Evaluation run at the track and the result shows that my aerobic efficiency is not as good as it was in early December (in the middle of my high mileage aerobic base-building period) and while this can be explained by the fact that I am in the middle of my peak training weeks for Barcelona, with a continual cycle of stress and recovery, a similar MAF evaluation at the same point in my training programme  in 2013 yielded a better result. Not much in it perhaps, particularly if it is weight adjusted. Time to lose a few pounds - I am in day 4 of a 14 day carb depletion diet (Ref: Phil Maffetone's "Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing"), which should help - although my speed sessions on days 11 and 6 may suffer. Looking forward already to the 3 days of carb loading.
Swim - 2 km
Bike - 36 Miles
Run - 63 Miles

February 2015  - Week 7 of 9
May/June 2013  - Week 8 of 10
Session # 1 – 5, 4, 3, 2 & 1 miles @ MP
The last 22 days of my marathon training programme are quite prescriptive and "Day 18" called for 5+4+3+2+1 mile at marathon pace with 2 minute rest in between with 1 mile warm up and cool down. To be honest I had thought of deferring this session until the weekend as it was only four days since my last hard session (3 x 4 miles @ MP), which I had swapped with my "Day 22" long run last weekend. Still, better to get it done and over with, assuming I could. I'd be satisfied with a marathon pace in the 6:40s, given that I was less than rested.
The first five mile segment went well @ 6:37 pace average, but I hadn't realised that I had the wind at my back - not very strong but enough to slow me down during the remaining sections - 4 miles @ 6:40 pace, 3 miles @ 6:41 pace, 2 miles @ 6:52 pace (net uphill & against the wind) and 1 mile @ 6:41 pace. The last 2 and 1 mile sections were more uncomfortable as my body began to tire and my heart rate rose well above my lactate threshold. This could well be due to glycogen depletion as I took no fuel on board and hadn't eaten all day. With an average 6:41 pace for the 15 MP miles I am quite happy with the session. Avg Hr 148 (659 Hb/Km)
Most of the work is done. The two most challenging session of the final 3 weeks are
•18 Days out - 17 mile run with 15 @ MP (5, 4, 3, 2 & 1 mile with 2 minute rests)
•11 days out - 5/6 x 1 mile @ 10M Pace (LT pace and no faster)
As I traditionally pace the Cork City Marathon on the June weekend (12 days out) I opted to pace the first half of the 3 hour marathon instead as part of my scheduled 15 miles @ MP - close enough and certainly more training benefit than pacing the full distance at a slower pace.
This meant that I would have to run the 5/6 x 1 mile @ 10M pace as part of my scheduled track session on Tuesday. However as most of the club would be running the John Buckley 5k at the Marina I decided last minute to give that a go instead - ok the pace would be faster and the distance shorter, but it sounded far more attractive than running laps of the track to a specific time
This is where I deviated from the plan in 2013 and got the first of 2 PB’s in the space of a week – 17:57 in the John Buckley 5k (down from 18:39) on Tuesday.
Session # 2 – 15 Mile Long Run with 6 x 100m @ 5k Pace.
My legs and body were still feeling the effects of the last week. I struggled to keep under 7:30 pace. Plenty of rest and recovery over the next 2 weeks. Avg Hr 131 (611 Hb/Km)
15 Miles in 1:52:34 (7:30 pace @ Avg 131 Hr (611 Hb/Km).
I paced the first half of the Cork City Marathon in 1:29:43 and decided to race the second half in 1:26:18 and managed to pull off a PB by over 3 minutes.
26.22 Miles in 2:56:01 (6:42 pace @ Avg 149 Hr (566 Hb/Km).


  1. Getting close now Grellan. The data looks pretty good, particularly if you can get close to racing weight over the next few weeks. Cutting out the daily 6-packs of VB will help ;-)

  2. Looks good Grellan ..those swim and bike distances coming along nicely hope your enjoying mixing it up again enjoy Barca