The taper got a bit more real this week with a significant reduction in overall mileage to around 56 miles. This had a couple of effects; I felt marginally fresher; and I put on weight as I didn’t slow down the marathon mileage eating! The week also saw my return to the track for the start of the athletics season even if the weather didn’t get the memo.
Mon: An evening run along union lane after a long day, 5 miles covered at easy pace in 34mins.
Tue am: The usual amble around Wokingham at easy pace for 5M.
Tue pm: Out with the Harriers on the grass for the first time this year, hooray for lighter evenings. The session was 10 x 2mins with 1min recoveries, run at a decent pace of 5:20, the last real session of marathon training completed.
Wed: A lovely early evening run around the union lane loop where I met John and Phil out for a run it was good to catch-up as we ran easily together for a couple of miles making it a much more sociable run.
Thu: Trying to lock 3 hour marathon pace into my legs. The session was 1mile warm-up 4 miles at marathon pace followed by 1mile cool-down, in reality it was all run at or slightly faster than 3hr pace with an overall average of 6:48, decent discipline. May of spotted the reason for a little to much fatigue too, dehydration.
Fri am: 5M miles easy jog in the rain, which felt wonderful and fast. I am now trying to hydrate
Fri pm: The last of the doubles i.e. running twice a day, this time I went to the track to make sure I could still jump the steeplechase barriers…a mile of hurdling later and I can confirm I can still jump!
Sat: Back to the track for 2,000m steeplechase on a day more suited to cross country, started with snow, before rain, wind and freezing temperatures. Stood on the start line trying to stay warm I was still excited. Once into my running I realised some of the track speed wasn’t there and the hurdling was intermittent. The water jump was properly freezing and did little for old ankles and calves that were being asked to strain hard. 5 laps, 23 hurdles later I came in second in 6:57.8 to lead the British V40 rankings. On the way home I stopped off for a good coffee as my last caffeine intake before the morning of the marathon.
Sun: The last long run it was supposed to be 14miles in 1:38 but I managed to squeeze in an extra mile in the allotted time. Even very tight legs grumbling about needing rest after a track race could put me off, the distance sped by and I felt strong throughout.