Sunday, 9 June 2013

Marathon Training Week 9 of 10

Final Preparation

Only one week of my marathon training programme remains. Recovery from last Monday's marathon paced "training run" went quite well with a slow recovery 6 mile run on grass on Tuesday. In fact most of my running this week has been on grass with heavy legs for a few days but no niggles or DOMs.

The last two specific sessions of the programme are a 10 to 12 mile long run, 8 days out (Friday) and 2 x 1 mile @ 10k pace, 6 days out (today). I deferred Friday's "long run" until Satuday morning so that I could join the 7:30 pace Club run, only to show up half an hour late. I ran the route in reverse so as to meet up with the group and return with them. The pace was a little faster than planned, hitting 7:13 average over 12.28 miles on a beautiful sunny morning.

I returned to the grass this evening for my last speed session - 1 mile warmup followed by 4 x 30 second strides, 2 x 1 mile @ 10k pace and 1 mile warmdown. I assume the purpose of the session is to get a little speed in my legs in the final build up, without taxing them too much and  ensure they are fully recovered and fresh for Saturday's race. I selected 6:00 pace for the mile repeats, which came in in 5:56/57 with a 2:30 slow jog recovery in between. The effort felt closer to 5k than 10k pace, but i'm not too concerned.

The last 5 days of the programme consist of 13 miles of running over 4 easy sessions, 2 of which have 4 x 100m @ 5k pace thrown in, just to keep a bit of zip in the legs. The work is done all I have to do now is resist the temptation to do something stupid. To be quite honest I have no expectations going into Saturday's marathon, just show up and run a smart race and adjust  my plan for the two unknowns - 

(i) the weather - with a noon start and the recent spell of sunny weather it could be a bit warm out there and

(ii) recovery from the Cork City Marathon - while my legs and body feel pretty good going into the last week, I will not know how well recovered I actually am until I hit mile 20, particularly if the sun does come out to play.

Marathon Reflection

I've attempted to breakdown my splits for last Monday's marathon. The first half in 1:29:43 was at a farily predictable pace of 6:51. The second half in 1:26:19 was covered in an average pace of 6:35 (16 seconds per mile faster) giving an overall average pace of 6:43, only 3 seconds per mile slower than my "training " marathon pace.

My fastest miles from 13.1 (1:29:43) to 20 (2:14:23) were at an average pace of 6:29, slowing to an average of 6:42 over the final 10k, although the last 2 miles were slower as I remember looking at my pace band at the 40K and 25 mile marks and concluding that I was 4 minutes ahead of 3 hour pace, which is where I finished - suggesting that the last mile or 2 were at 3 hour pace (6:52) - still not a bad fade. The big unknown however is how bad the fade would have been had I "raced" the entire distance - could I have achieved the sub 2:55 as Thomas suggests or would an opening 1:27 half have been enough to kill my pace over the closing 10k. We'll never know.

3.5 Mile In - Still Comfortable

RacePix: Cork City Marathon 2013
Mile 26 - Nearly There (Courtesy of

Weighty Matters

I am now 3 months into my new "diet" and my weight has continued to drop with apparently obvious advantages - with 2 PBs under my belt, one of which came out of the blue. My weight has fluctuated day to day and there have been longer spells of up to a week where I have gained weight, particularly the week before the Cork Marathon where my average weight climbed from 76.1 kg (167.8 lbs) to 76.8 (169.3 Lbs) - I weighed in at 77.5 kg (170.9 lbs) on marathon morning, which I partly put down to taking on more carbs, which promotes more water retention for a well hydrated body. Overall I have lost 7.2 kg (16 lbs) in 12 weeks but would expect it to taper off from here on in. However I will continue with the lifestyle as it is quite easy to follow (only one rule) and see where it takes me.

Weekly Mileage - 65 Miles
Average Weight - 76.4 Kg.
RHR - 39


  1. Checked back to see what the one rule is: no eating until 5:00pm each day.
    Interesting. These fasting type diets are getting very popular. I know two guys who are doing 8/16 - eat during an 8-hour span, don't eat for 16 hours. Which is essentially what you are doing, I guess. Another person is doing 5/2 - eat normally (but moderately) for 5 days, don't eat for two (the two are not together). And one crazy guy (a runner) who fasted for six days. He took lots of supplements. Said it was only bad for the first two days.
    I can't function without breakfast, so I'll just stick to calorie restriction.

    1. I can't function without breakfast either Bob. I just have it a little later in the day, that's all.

  2. Impressive graph - no wonder you're running well. Might have to try the 5/2 in order to stay a light-weight rower. Saw an interesting link today - 'Adults who eat eggs for breakfast lose 65% more weight' - maybe eggs on the '2' day?

    1. Thanks for the link Ewen. Had two hard bolied eggs in my turkey and ham salad this evening - very filling. When researching intermittent fasting I shied away from the 5/2 as I didn't fancy counting calories and preferred the simplicity and consistency of the daily fast.

  3. That weight diagram is probably even more impressive than your 2:56 in Cork! Good luck in Portumna, it will be interesting to see how the legs have recovered.

  4. To be fair Thomas I had the weight to lose. This just was the easiest way to lose it, without any huge hardship, although some think it's a bit hardcore.

  5. Not as hardcore as a bloke who gets up at 4am every morning to run 100 miles a week.