With the base period over and with the Rotterdam Marathon entered it was time to get down to business in the first week of marathon training proper and the first hard session.
First things first there was the morning school run (walk), then an hour or so later and easy four and a quarter mile run, made a bit harder as it was to Great Gonerby and back, which involves a hefty climb which is said to be 8% on the road sign, but on the pavement which veers away from the road, feels a fair bit steeper. That climb over in the first two miles the rest of the run was a simple affair.
The afternoon saw a repeat of the school run. A cheeky few minutes shut eye on the sofa watching snooker before cooking the kids’ dinner, plus a strong coffee, and I was ready for the second run of the day.
I’d considered doing intervals with the club if they were doing 800s, 1km or 1 mile reps. As it was they were doing sprints so I opted to do a marathon pace session. A former staple of my training, I’ve not done any real sustained pace sessions since coming to Grantham so it felt hard going in the first couple of miles, especially trying to control the breathing in the cold conditions.
I soon settled into a pace dictated partly by keeping under my marathon max HR but more by what I felt I could realistically sustain for a marathon. I was pleased that after a fairly slow opening mile, the pace came down so that in the final miles I was hitting something close to 06:10 pace, which is a fair bit inside what is needed to break 2:45.
At the start of the run eight miles at this pace felt impossible. By the end I’d covered nearer nine and felt as though I could have gone on. A shade under 55 minutes for 8.75 miles at an average of 06:16 and it was job done and once again very encouraging for what was surely the quickest opening marathon paced run of the year I’ve ever done.