Thursday, 17 May 2012

Post Marathon Thoughts

Almost two weeks ago my efforts were directed at the marathon. It's been a case of recovery since both mentally and physically.   I have run easy most of the first week except for my post marathon Monday when I took a day off. 
Any running straight after the marathon was always going to be a bonus so I'm happy to have run about 80 post marathon miles in the last 12 days.   Up until today whenever I started to up the pace I felt like my hamstrings were seizing up so it was a case of keeping things nice and steady.   I did manage a fairly light track session on Tuesday consisting of 6 x 800m.  It was nice to look at the watch and see sub 6 minute miling again but the hamstrings were twitching for the majority of the session!
On Wednesday I expected sore legs but it didnt materialise.  In fact I felt pretty good on my morning run and managed 4 miles @ about 6-30 pace.   Today was equally satisying with a 5 mile run before work at about 6-30 pace and a woods run tonight with a fair bit of climbing.  I felt strong and back to my old self.  Whenever I hit the woods I always work on an overall target pace of under 7 minute miling which means pushing it along the flat sections to make up for the climbs.  6.55 average tonight for the 6 mile loop so generally happy.  

I have not over analyzed my marathon performance but have felt a bit disappointed with the way i finished.  The splits tell a story...

Miles 1 to 5 completed in 30.40 (Garmin time).  Fastest mile 6-02, slowest 6-11.
Verdict:  Held myself back and ran a sensible (if slightly fast) pace.

Miles 6 to 10 completed in 29.54 (Garmin time).  Fastest mile 5.55, slowest mile 6-03.
Verdict:  Went a bit fast here.  Four sub 6 minute miles - would I pay for these later??? In my defence it was here I was chasing the lead two runners but this is the section where I went wrong and went too fast.
Miles 11 to 15 completed in 30.28 (Garmin time).  Fastest mile 6.03, slowest mile 6.07
Verdict:   Solid section of the race.  got myself clear in 2nd and was making an effort to reign in the leader.  When else in the future might I get an opportunity like this?

Miles 16 to 20 completed in 30.39 (Garmin time).  Fastest mile 6.02, slowest mile 6.07
Again happy with this section.  Clear in 2nd and enjoying the atmosphere going to the stadium but knowing the last 6 miles were almost upon me!

Miles 21 to 25 completed in 34.51.   This is where the wheels fell off.  A 6-18 followed by a 6-17 was not too bad on paper but I think i lost a lot of concentration at this point having missed the turn into the University section and U-turning.  Then some confusion over where to go meant I went into the tough haul up to Seaburn knowing that my glycogen reserves were low and i was beginning to slow.   Mile 23 in 6-41 was followed by Mile 24 in 7-13, Mile 25 in 7-18 and finally mile 26 in 7-39. 

Relief to finish in a new pb of 2-46.29 but as the dust settles its a case of learning from the experience and looking forward to the Chester Marathon in October.  The tweaks for me to make are:

- Nutrition - work out optimal nutrition strategy to delay onset of the wall!

- Hill work to build strength

- Variable pace sessions (In his Marathon talk podcast Charlie Spedding talked about a session on the track as follows:   5 x 1 mile @ 4-40 pace with 400m jog recovery between efforts @ 6 minute miling - that is hard core and of the reasons he was a 2-08 marathon runner!)

-  Core and cross training - maintaining good technique over the later stages.

Its 142 days until the next Marathon...roll on October 7th...Its revenge time on that wall!

No not that wall.....

That wall !!!
Thats wall folks...

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