So the end of week 8 included a half marathon which was supposed to provide an idea on how my marathon performance was going to go and to practice race conditions. The target set for me was not met. Here is a summary of the week

What I should have done:

  • Monday – rest
  • Tuesday – 40 min easy
  • Wednesday – 20 min tempo @8 pace
  • Thursday – 40 min easy
  • Friday – 30 min easy
  • Saturday – rest
  • Sunday – Ironbridge half marathon @8

Here’s what I did:

  • Monday – rest
  • Tuesday – 37 mins easy @9.56
  • Wednesday – 21 mins tempo @7.45
  • Thursday – 28 mins easy on the trail @9.59
  • Friday – walked
  • Saturday – rest
  • Sunday – race @8.46 A finish time of 1.54.51

Overall I stuck to the plan. I didn’t bother with an easy run on Friday as I spent most of the day walking around Liverpool (passport mission). The number of steps I did made up for the missing run!

Now I’m not going to talk about the tempo or easy runs. They went well. The race however…..

The course profile was downhill for the 1st half then uphill for the 2nd half. I ran the 1st half at a very comfortable pace. There were a few bottle necks which slowed my pace but I wasn’t bothered about that too much. Then the terrain changed and it was more trail and some pretty good hills!

If I had realised the extent of the hills and how this would affect my race effort, I would have pushed on the 1st half. Lesson learnt (I hope). If I take into account the time lost on bottle necks and being unable to run through a couple of slippy mud sections I may have improved my time by 1.5 minutes…but that’s it. There was no way I could have hit the target @8 pace on that course on that day. It just wasn’t in me. I gave as much as I could. There was nothing else.

I have learnt:

  • Taking an electrolyte drink a couple of hours before a race works well for me. Also Shot bloks slowly dissolving in the mount over a few miles was pleasant.
  • I don’t look at my pace even when racing.
  • I recover very quickly! I do wonder if this is a result of lack of effort but then I think back,  I genuinely tried hard!
  • A 99 ice cream after a race is good 😀

So where does this leave me in regards to Paris marathon? I have no idea. But I do know I will be racing on effort rather than pace and whatever time I get it will be based on the correct effort. Hopefully that will minimize any disappointment I may get when I see that finish time.

4 weeks to go and I am now entering the final phase of training – fine tuning and taper