Monday, February 2, 2009

This time last time: 13 weeks to go

Over the next while I'm going to look through my training log for the last marathon (Dublin 2007) and compare where I was then with where I am now. At the time when I was preparing for the Dublin marathon I thought my training was ideal and there was no more that I could be doing. Glancing through my old training log and uhm... How wrong was I?! Days seem to have been missed willy nilly every other week. I'm sure I had good reason(!). I think a lot of the midweek recovery runs were missed as I was tired rather than lazy. At least I hope that was the reason. I was also doing a little bit of leg weights for my quads on my easy days so that may have played a part in days being missed.

The last few weeks I haven't had a great run of things. Like many people I was sick for a few days, missed training and felt fatigued on the days I did train. I don't feel my January was perfect... compared to the same timeframe pre-Dublin, January was absolutely fine.

Thirteen weeks before the Dublin marathon was the start of August 2007 and I was living in Montpellier, South of France, a 30 minute bike ride from the mediterranean, with temperatures easily above 30 degrees. Thirteen weeks before Dusseldorf and I'm in Dublin and there was snow on the ground this morning...

Pre-Dublin the furthest I'd run at this time in the past few months was 15 miles, which I'd done three times. I'd also managed three 13 mile runs since April. Races? Two since April. The reason for the majority of missed long runs in the four months since April? Drinking on the Saturday night would mean I'd miss the only window to get a long run in - first thing in the morning. Trying to run in the mid day heat was near on impossible, especially if anyway hungover. Today, every week for as far back as I can remember seems to have a 15 mile run in there on a Sunday if I wasn't racing. Any week without a race or a long run has been scheduled, except one over Christmas where I was too hungover to get off the couch.

One thing I did have in France, besides great weather and a nightlife less than one minutes walk from my apartment, was a talented group of lads to train with on Tuesday nights at the track. I could just hang in at the back of the pack and get dragged around for the session. No one could complain. Everyone was doing the exact same thing. The top guy there, Monsieur Laget, had run two 2.16 marathons in the past two years. So everyone was getting dragged by him, and I was getting dragged by everyone. All was fair. Sessions where I'd do 10 x 400m, Laget would easily be doing 20-25 x 400m.

With thirteen weeks to go my week in training turned out to be a four day week. A friend stopped by for the weekend which wrote off training completely. Although we did cycle to and from the beach... that was kind of training! This equivalent week in 2009 should hopefully be a bit more productive, although with the 6 Nations starting on Saturday there's every chance that the Sunday could mirror 2007!

This week in 2007 looked a like this:
Monday: 9 mile easy
Tuesday: Track 10 x 400 - 72 seconds with 1 minute rest
Wednesday: 12 miles
Thursday: off
Friday: 9 mile fartlek - 12 x 1 minute bursts with 90 second jog in between
Saturday: off (scheduled)
Sunday: off (hungover)
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