With the increase in training combined with a busy spell at work, it has been some time since my last post. I have to be honest and say that my weekends have become fully focused on the training and any downtime is a) very valuable and therefore busy and b) mentally drained, especially Sundays after the long run. Anyway, enough of the excuses……

I have made a few tweaks to my training plan, firstly by adding some races to the schedule and secondly by getting cold feet about the distance being covered. First, the races…..

Balloch to Clydebank half marathon – I noticed an online mention of this race and on checking it out found that it sat nicely on one of the 19km training days. I always prefer the idea of racing to training and the route sounded interesting. The race was very enjoyable and a very well organised event. Just like Alloa a few weeks before, my early speed and strength was good but the legs started to feel the pace in the final third. In addition my recent calf injury gave a bit of a warning twinge around 9 miles and I dropped the pace a little to be on the safe side. With “DNF” flashing in my overheating brain I settled for “reasonable and intact” rather than challenging for a PB. My form suffered badly from nursing the calf through the final few miles and I was pleased to finish in 1:26 after finding the last few miles pretty demanding.

Most interestingly for me, the race re-calibration is working well and mentally I am finding a half marathon to be a much more manageable distance than ever before. I accept that the step up to full marathon is another huge leap, but only a relatively short time ago a 10k road race wiped me out and had me ready for an afternoon nap.

I plan to continue this strategy with the addition of Monklands half marathon this coming weekend. With it being just 2 weeks before the marathon it provides a chance to try out my a few more race tactics. I’m especially interested to see if I can find a race strategy that gives a steady marathon-like pace but still keeping something in the tank tor the final few miles. This is going to force me to throttle things back in the early stages and find out how my legs respond. The goal is to still meet or exceed my recent times, but in a more controlled and comfortable manner.

I have also decided to add Helensburgh 10k next week, ten days before the marathon. My thinking is that I want to ease up on the training distance but still push the leg speed. Getting the chance to do this with a little less fatigue in the legs seems like a good target for 10 days prior to the event.

For the long runs, I was finding that every new distance undertaken was increasingly traumatic in the final few miles. This made me think very carefully about the fact that the training plan limited my long runs to 30km. The prospect of having the final 12km of the marathon in uncharted territory was becoming a little scary. As a result, I decided to make my final two long runs cover 34km and 38km respectively. Having now covered these distances, I feel much more confident that there will be less chance of me thinking “this is new” in the final third of the marathon.

20 days until Edinburgh Marathon.


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