Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This time last time: 10 weeks to go

According to my complete race history age grading thingy 10 weeks before the 2007 marathon I had my best race.... Ever! Almost two years later and I haven't matched it for performance in any event. And again all this time later I look at the few days beforehand and think that if the race was this Thursday (the race fell on a Thursday) my preparation would be different...

The week started with 9 miles easy on the Monday night. This, I would not change. It's the Tuesday session that surprises me somewhat. I hit the track and ended up doing a session by myself. 10 x 400m with 1 minute recovery, the times averaged 1:12 to 1:14. Obviously I didn't kill myself during the session but it still surprises me to see a workout like that two days before a race. The day before the race (Wednesday) I just ran an easy 4 miles.

The race was 6.6km, three 2.2km laps, totally flat with a fierce fast field. The first mile was circa 4:55 and the second 5:05/5:10. From there on I don't know what my times were like as I didn't look at my watch again until I finished. After 5km I was struggling but pushing myself on, a few people passed me so I knew I must have slowed down somewhat. For the last kilometre I managed to dig deep and finish in 22m 10s. It works out as 5.24 pace for just over 4 miles. Why I haven't been able to replicate this in future races I have no idea. Maybe it was just one of those days, the legs were perfect, the mind was perfect, weather, flat roads, everything was just right.

Following on that weeks training, I went out the Friday and ran 9 miles easy. I'm guessing that I should have probably gone slightly shorter than that, but I took the Saturday off so the 9 miles wouldn't have burnt me out. Sunday's long run was a failure. After 12 miles I had to stop with stomach cramps and the note I have in my running log is that the temperature was above 36C for that run. I think on the week just gone I ran in 10C. Trying to run in temperatures that hot is certainly something I don't miss about France.

2009's training week doesn't look too dissimilar to last weeks. The main difference will be that, finally, I'm back to two workouts in the week. That means that tonight I'll hit the club and jump in on whatever session they're doing. I may do a tempo/steady run at the end of the week, while every other run is the same as last week.
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