Mark’s London Marathon Blog #3

Marks London Marathon Run Blog #3 Week 2 Race Week

This weeks run schedule started with a much needed rest day after Sunday’s 10 miler, followed by a hiit workout on Tuesday. On Wednesday it was with a slight in trepidation that I embarked the planned interval session. Now a lot of runners seem to undermine treadmill running, but the truth is it’s far easier to do accurate and measured interval runs and it’s not as cold!

The session went as follows: 10 minute steady pace warm up at 10kph followed by 4 x progressive 1200m (13, 13.6, 14.1 and 14.6kph) each with a 4 minute recovery jog at 10kph in between. Then Finishing off with  a 10 minute cool down and job done. I was pleased to get through this without any major niggles in the hamstring. I also managed to get a sports massage this week, which is always painful, but in a good way! The scheduled 5 miler on Friday was shelved, as I decided to be cautious or sensible for change. I wanted to give myself the best chance of completing the Half Marathon on Sunday, so I just did an upper body weights session.

So onto race day, it was forecast to be a high of 3 degrees, so I made sure I had my hat and gloves packed! I never eat breakfast pre run, as I find I feel sluggish and bloated, so it was just some electrolytes and a caffeine gel beforehand. I forgot to take any gels with me on the run, so noted this for next time for a mid-race booster.
It was fairly cold, but no real breeze so ideal running conditions. The event was in Gloucester and just over 350 runners started the HM. They also had a full marathon and 50K race on the same day. One guy was attempting to break the world record for a Marathon carrying a bike – madness!

After running the first kilometre or so with the gazelles (aka Danny & Beth) I made sure I stuck to my plan to run a steady 8 minute mile pace for the first 10k, so around 50 minutes in total. I executed this almost to the second. The second half of the race I started to feel fairly comfortable, so in the last 5 miles I increased the pace to around 7.30 minute miles. I finished in a time of 1.43.06 which I was really pleased with for my first half. I also achieved a negative split, finished in the top 100 and didn’t feel totally drained at the end of the race, so all good.  Apart for maybe some intra race fuelling, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. The race was really well organised, with lots of encouragement from marshals and a decent post-race medal and t-shirt, think I’ll bring some reward donuts next time. The half mile walk back to the car park was a bit chilly though.

Sunday morning, my legs were stiff as expected, but not terrible. A couple of planned days rest next week then back onto the training plan for the next 8 weeks until the Milton Keynes 20 miler in March. I will definitely get a few treatments on the hamstring in the meantime as it’s still not feeling 100%. Epsom Salt baths are now becoming a regular part of the recovery routine.

Fundraising update: I’m now over the £1,000 mark and once again big thanks to all for taking the time to donate. I might have to start selling cakes in the gym when I get close to my target!