Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Taper Time

The three weeks after the Pocklington 10 were always going to be a make or break phase of this marathon build up.  After the enforced three week easy block as a result of sciatica the marathon build up would be one of a balance between catching up on lost time and making progress towards the goal whilst balancing on the knife edge of marathon training.

I must say that the last three weeks have been the best three weeks of training for some time.  A 66 mile week which included two decent quality runs and a nice steady 22 miler was followed by a 60 mile week with the Locke Park 20 being the highlight.  This was topped off by the biggest week of my build up which was a 74 mile week that included two decent interval based sessions, a long tempo at marathon pace followed by a 20 miler.  I actually feel good after the three week block, not over tired but Ive definitely lost that feeling that I am making up for lost time.

This is my third marathon build up in recent years and all three have been different.

Marathon 1 - Sunderland - 15 week build up averaging 62 miles per week.  Max week 80 miles in week 8.  No injury issues but peaked too early, not enough consistency in my long runs and not a great focused build up.  Outcome - hit the wall at 23/24 miles and finished in 2:46.29.

Marathon 2 - Chester - 17 week build up averaging 63 miles per week.  Max week 82 miles at Week 8.  Struggled with hamstring pain weeks 13 to 15.  Decent build up and a decent run that was hampered by hamstring pain most of the second half.   Outcome - a solid run and a pb of 2:43.42.   

Marathon 3 - Manchester - 19 week build up averaging (to date) 56 miles per week.  Max week of 74 miles in Week 16.  Injury issues weeks 8 to 10 meant reduced mileage.   Feeling totally back in the game now and raring to go.  Don't feel overtired and full of confidence going into the three week taper.   Outcome - ????

The difference between the first two and the current build up is length and mileage.  I have taken longer as a build up and not done as much mileage.  The peak mileage has been considerably later and Ive been fortunate that (touching wood!) the injury issues have been earlier in the build up to allow recovery.  Time will tell if this is the right build up or not!

Race wise the big one was the Locke Park 20 mile race.  20 miles of a park with two bridge crossings per mile, two or three sharp corners and a 180 turn isn't everyones cup of tea but it was a great experience and all credit to my club New Marske Harriers for putting it on.  My time (which was enough to win the race) was 2 hours 1 minute and 22 seconds.  This worked out to be sub 2:40 marathon pace which was a real confidence booster ahead of Manchester.  It was also an overall pb (my last attempt at 20 was in 2000 where I ran 2:05.23 in Stafford - a terrible run!) and a Vet 40 Club record which has stood since 1998. 

My splits (as the race was also chip timed for the record) were:

5:54, 5-53, 5-55, 5-57, 5-59, 6-00, 5-59, 6-02, 6-01, 6-01, 6-00,6-02. 6-04, 6-03, 6-05, 6-10, 6-12, 6-18, 12 -45 (last two miles). 

Link to the full report and a rogues gallery!


Andy looking strong early on the race

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