Sunday, 26 May 2013

Marathon Training Week 7 of 10

This week was all about the key workout of the whole marathon programme.  I deferred it from last week (sounds like I was trying to avoid it) so that I could pace the Killarney Lakeside Marathon. In addition I preferred to run it a bit closer to race day ( 3 weeks out). However as it was not planned until Friday I decided to churn out a few mile repeats at the track on Tuesday.

Session 1 - Tuesday (1850hrs - 2000hrs)

8.27 miles in 1:06:36 (8:00 pace @ 130 Hr = 669Hb/Km???) with 5 x 1 mile in 6:24/22/12/23/11 with 2 minute recoveries.

Session 2 - Friday (1730hrs - 2000hrs)

The day of reckoning had finally arrived

2 mile warmup followed by 3 x 4 mile @ MP with 3 mile recoveries.

I had asked Joe about this session when he gave me the programme as he had said that it was the toughest session of the programme -  tougher than the 15 miles @ MP next week (5, 4, 3, 2 & 1 miles @ MP with 2 minute recoveries)? - "that will be no bother to you if you nail this session" he had assured me. I remember joining Joe for this session when he was training for Berlin in 2010 - although then the 3 mile recoveries were cut back to 1 mile (to save time). I used the same venue - the grass of UCC Farm.

I selected a MP pace of < 6:40 and the plan for the recoveries (< 7:20 pace) was to keep them pretty steady so as to maintain a reasonable level of stress - there's no point in finishing fresh ;-)

I was using the run to trial a homemade gel receipe (honey, with a dash of black strap molasses and a pinch of salt, watered down to fill a borrowed gel flask - looked like a minature Guinness)

The 2 warmup miles took me from 7:20 to 7:00 pace before launcing into the first 4 MP miles which were covered in a reasonably comfortable 26:15 (6:34 pace average). The 3 recovery miles were also covered in a comfortable pace althought faster than planned (7:03 pace).

The next 4 miles were a bit more stressful, particularly at the start where I had to concentrate on the pace. The increase in effort paid off with a 26:23 second 4 miler (6:36 pace). The start of my second recovery 3 miler was around 7:20 pace but, once recovered, increased to give an average 7:07 pace. I took a swig or two from my gel flask and a drop of water at mile 15 (1:42:17) before launching into my final 4 miler after 16 miles.

This time it required all my concentration to keep on pace with the effort like that of a 20 minute tempo run. I could afford to push harder over the last mile and a half as I knew the stress would soon be over. It was a long countdown though - 26:11 for the last 4 (avg 6:33 pace) and Mile 20 in 2:15:39 (marginally faster than my fastest 20 miler - 2:16:00). A slow achy cooldown mile gave me 21 for the session. Legs well and truly smashed - so I suppose job well done and key session nailed.

21 Miles in 2:23:39 (6:50 pace @ Avg 144 Hr (611 Hb/Km) Max 161) with 3 x 4 miles @ 6:34/36/33 pace.

Weekly mileage - 68 Miles
Avg Weight - 76.1 Kg
RHR 37


  1. That's a nice tough session Grellan looks like home made gel is doing the trick good stuff.

  2. Hmm, my comment disappeared. Anway, good session. You'd expect higher than normal h/beats per km running variations of speed so 611 is excellent - points to a 2:55 or faster marathon.