2016 London Marathon Training – Week 13 (28 March – 3 April)

The Monday following the long 100 mile plus bike ride was just an hour on the elliptical trainer in the morning as family occupied the rest of the day. I was out early on the Tuesday for a recovery style ten mile run. Feeling very tired there was to be no heroics, although the legs felt better during the end of the run and I was able to put in a 6:30 final mile. The legs were stiff, the left thigh buzzing like I had a phone vibrating near the bottom of my thigh. It felt weird, a couple of days later though the buzzing stopped and nothing more came of it.

It was just another hour on the elliptical trainer on the Wednesday as Easter holidays restricted the volume of training I could do with a big family bowling trip taking up the remainder of the day. I was meant to run later in the evening but when push came to shove I was just so tired I talked myself out of it. I wasn’t particularly proud of this moment of weakness and vowed to make it up later in the week.

Thursday morning saw another hour on the elliptical trainer and was still feeling really pretty tired. Clearly the efforts of the weekend were still in the body. That evening I headed to the last GRC marathon paced run for those taking part in the Manchester and Rotterdam marathons. The right glute and calf ached a bit but otherwise I saw no issues on a good confidence boosting run for the guys hoping to run 3:20 or thereabouts, with most of the ten miles miles comfortably under 7:30 as we headed out to the canal path and quiet country lanes for the first time since the clocks went forward for the summer.

Friday I had expected to be an enforced rest day working on the Bahrain GP but with the timetable and the small time difference (just two hours) I was able to put in a bonus 90 minute session on the elliptical trainer, which saw no issues other than a headache hindering my efforts a touch.

Saturday I had planned on running the marathon paced run I bottled out of on the Wednesday. As a bonus with the later than planned start of work, I was able to combine some marathon paced miles with an appearance at Belton House parkrun. It was a bit of an effort getting up to marathon pace after two miles run at 8am but after a couple of six something miles, I was able to run the next seven miles at sub six minute miling. The parkrun itself was a steady effort compared to some of my parkrun efforts. I reckon I was outside the top ten after the opening couple of hundred meters and was definitely in fifth after the opening lap, run at marathon heart rate. I allowed the heart rate to rise to half marathon HR for the second lap and as a result I was able to pick off a few more places, winding up second in 18:19 on a course made longer by the Belton Horse Trials preparations.

After a chat with some club mates and a very slow couple of miles back into town with a couple more of them, I ran the last couple of miles at an easy pace as I headed round town trying to find a bike shop that could repair the bottom bracket that was creaking during the last bike ride. The run ended up being 16 miles at an average of 6:27 per mile. A solid effort.

Sunday and I had a late start before working on the Bahrain GP but not quite late enough to get a bike ride in. So instead I headed out for another run. I had no real idea of what I was going to do on the run but after four miles or so I felt reasonably okay and so headed out up South Parade Hill and onto Gorse Lane, before coming back down Swine Hill. The sun had come out and it felt spring like as the pace came naturally down to around 6:30 per mile. At the mid point of the Drift and with 29 miles covered over the weekend I decided to take on a Strava segment I’d not attempted before and emptied the tank over that one mile up hill segment and continued on into town with a marathon paced effort. The reward was a segment in the bag and the second 16 mile run of the weekend covered at an average of 6:43 per mile.

As weeks go, it ended very well but the opening days of the week were definitely a little light on quantity and quality, but sometimes life gets in the way and I was very tired, so the reduced training load was probably a wise move. Just three weeks now until marathon day, hopefully, I can stay injury and illness free over the coming weeks.