I’m not very good at tapering. I have to distract myself or I end up going out for a run or a bike outside of my plan (don’t seem to ever do an extra swim though!). I’m just as bad at doing my long slow runs. I REALLY have to kick myself hard to avoid setting off too fast.
So, by way of diversion, I have been planning out my London Marathon strategy. Its a 14 week plan.
I actually got a place in the ballot last year, after years of rejection (I was starting to think it was personal), which was ironic, as I had already entered Paris Marathon, and IronMan Lanzarote, and VLM was bang in between the two. As much as I tried to tell myself that it was still doable, I truthfully knew it wasn’t, so I sadly deferred my spot to 2017. And here we are.
I’ve only run one standalone marathon, and that was, as mentioned above, Paris, last year. To say I enjoyed the experience would be an understatement. I still find the hairs on the back of my neck standing up when I think about the start. I had decided to take it easy, and effectively treat it as a training run for Lanza, which was my A race for the year, so wasn’t feeling any pressure. I had therefore selected a starting place well back in the 4hrs plus pen, and as a consequence, could see right down the Champs Elysee with a majority of the 50,000 runners packed in before me, heading slightly downhill to the starting arch. It was a cool morning, not quite ‘see your breath’ weather, but close and the crowd, as is often the case before a challenging race, were subdued and quiet. So when the tannoy eased in to life, with the theme tune from ‘Chariots of fire’, and gently increased its volume into the powerful opening chords, and you looked up towards those 50,000 runners, it would have been a hard hearted individual who didn’t feel a little tingle down their spine. In fact, as a warm up for a post at another time, I can trace Debbie’s motivation to start running, and her proclamation that a marathon was in her future, back to that very moment, as she stood and spectated.
Anyone, I digress…. back to London.
As Paris had been taken a bit easier than I could have done (although I still ran a 3:58 at 9 min/miles and left my legs in pieces for a few days), I haven’t yet pushed a marathon really hard, so my plan is to make VLM that first effort.
I’ve set myself a goal of 3:30
I can’t be certain that this is achievable for me, but its 8 min/miles and I know I can run that pace for 8 miles or so in training without too much trouble, and I ran a 1:36 half marathon in October, so I am keen to give it a go… if it proves too tough, then I’ll find out on the day, and if its too easy, then the next time, i’ll just have to push a bit harder!
So, I intend to dial back on my cycling and swimming a bit. I won’t drop them completely, as, if nothing else, I find that the cross training helps, but I will put more effort into the running than normal. I’ll mix up the long slow stuff with more short pace type work than normal, and some strength stuff like hills.
“As I’m nearly 49, the challenge will be remaining injury free”
the decent training base I’ve built up should help.
My plan may well need some fine tuning still to fit with other commitments, and the state of my legs, but here’s the first 2 weeks, post C2C:
Tuesday: 2 mile recovery, really really easy
Wednesday: 3 mile at 9:30 if legs can handle it, or another rest day
Thursday: 3 miles at 11:00, then 1 mile at 8:00
Sunday: 8 mile run at 9:00
Tuesday: 1 mile at 09:30, then 5 x 1km at 7:00 with 3 min recovery
Wednesday: 6 mile build from 09:00 to 08:30
Thursday: 1 mile at 09:00, 1 mile at 08:00 for 60 mins
Saturday: Parkrun, but easy
Sunday: 13 mile, steady, with last 3 miles at 08:00