Race plans for 2014 are starting to take shape. The main focus over the winter will be the next step to mastering the marathon. Entries are in for the Helsby Half Marathon in January, Pocklington 10 in February and the Manchester Marathon on April 6th.
The only other possible race will be the Thirsk 10 although this comes two weeks before Manchester so it may be used as a tempo race pace effort or a full out 10 miler. the jury is still out on what the best way to do that particular race may be. I'm keen to do it as I have done it for the last two years and its a good indicator of what shape I'm in.
I feel fully recovered after Chester Marathon now and have managed some great sessions in the last two weeks. I feel a bit guilty though when I put on the lighter shoes and put a bit of a speed session in. The guilt is because in the back of my mind is that nagging voice.....You've just done a marathon you should be taking it easy! I haven't pushed myself too hard in any session and have limited speed work to 10km pace or half marathon pace only so not quite firing on all cylinders yet.
I actually haven't felt overly fatigued since the marathon other than the first three or four days post race. I know from reading about marathons over the years that sometimes there is "hidden tiredness" that stays in the legs for about a month post marathon and can come back and mug you when you next race but in all honesty I feel great! Maybe I didn't put enough effort in on the day!
It will be four weeks on Sunday since the marathon and once past this milestone it will be all systems go for the Abbey Dash in November. Last year It was a sub 34 on that notoriously fast course and I feel in better shape this year than last year so watch this space!
There will be no getting away from some hard miles this winter and Ive promised myself an easy few weeks after the Abbey Dash to recuperate and get ready for the marathon training which will begin in earnest in December.
On the subject of marathon training a massive congratulations to my club mate Shaun O'Grady who clocked a fantastic 2:30.19 at the Amsterdam Marathon which is a New Marske Harriers Club Record and places him 68th on the Power of 10 rankings for 2013.
Power of 10 is a great motivational tool for me and as the years tick by its a great way of seeing how you are faring against other athletes of your age group.
Since turning 40 in May 2011 my rankings have been fairly consistent....
2011 - Ranked 67th over 5km, 102nd over 10km and 55th over the half marathon.
2012 - Ranked 86th over 5km, 85th over 10km, 33rd over 10 miles and 102nd in the marathon.
2013 - Ranked 58th Over 5km, 100th over 10km, 50th over 10 miles, 89th over the half marathon and 67th over the full marathon distance.
It looks like I need to pull my finger out at the Dash to stay in the Top 100 Vet 40 across all the classic road distances! I reckon a sub 34 should do it! No pressure then !!!!