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Birch that's a great time for your son!
Poacher, sorry to hear about both you and your niece.
Well smashed OO and G-dawg. Great days running for us all.
I took a day off yesterday and had a massage etc, however my quads are ruined today still. Also struggling with sleep a bit.
I've bought my kit to work today but as I can barely walk I think I'll leave it in my bag. Scores up for April, 201 miles, never got near that in marathon month before. Only the 8th time I have had a 200 plus month.
I will do a report possibly over lunchtime.
Brilliant report G-Dawg and a very well executed race! Was great to give you a shout out on course and meet up in the pub after. Looking forward to next year already! Love the marginal gains approach and one that I also try to apply. Need to come up with some for Berlin!
Gul - Nice reps, its the 10k this weekend right?
Poacher - I hope you can get the knee sorted for the bike ride and walking
Birch - Absolutely brilliant time from your son!
I'm feeling really good post Manchester and this is the first week of full training with intervals and a tempo. 6 miles reps to do tonight. Having a focus on 5/10k until Mid July when the focus will be fully on Berlin. Got a nice race schedule lined up:
18/05 - Stratford Parkrun01/06 - Midlands Track Championships - 5k09/06 - Two Castles 10k20/06 - Leamington Club Championships Track 10k14/07 - Northbrook 10k
London Marathon 2019
So this was to be my 5th London and 7th
marathon. Having run sub 3 in October my next target was to run London in sub
I considered what I had done to date and felt that having
spent 4 years training almost exclusively alone and making things up as I went,
I was bored and needed to shake things up. In particular I noted that I very
rarely worked hard in training. I was happy to do the miles but the biggest
session I ever did was 5 or 6 miles at mara pace.
Therefore I decided to enlist the help of a coach to provide
me with a different perspective and some accountability. I suppose I was a
tough proposition for him as nearing 43 years of age and having just set pbs in
5k, hm and mara in the months immediately prior how much was there more to find.
We started working together in early November and whilst a lot of his structure
wasn’t too different to what I had been doing, he moved me right out of my
comfort zone that I was in.
I don’t need to tell you again how hard I trained as most of
it was reported on the forum. We targeted a few races over the winter without
really yielding the result I felt my fitness suggested. However the focus
remained on nailing London.
From the outset the coach drilled into me the importance and
benefits of negative splitting and so I began routinely running to that in
training, not just in sessions but also picking up the 2nd half of
The plan for London was simply put to me bit by bit over
April and finalised last week. It was to start out at 6.50s to get through half
way at between 1.29-1.29.30 then start picking it up and finish strong. It was
also put to me that I should run without my HRM. He felt it held me back and
gave me something else to worry about etc. He clearly feels I over think
things!! I took that advice on the chin and went with the whole plan.
The build up to the race went well as did the carb load. I
felt much more calm this time than any previous marathons. I am not sure if
this is because I no longer had the pressure on me to log a sub 3 time or
because I was confident in my training and fitness.
I arrived at the yellow start and did my prep. I decided to
plant myself towards the back of the pen as there would be some very fast
people in there and I didn’t want to get carried away.
It took me a minute plus to cross the line. It was pleasing how
much space I had from the off, though I was conscious that when we merged with the
other starts that would change. I found the pace quite difficult as I set off
and began doubting my ability. Coach had warned me of this and told me this
happens and I just need to have faith and stick with it and it would come
easier. There was nothing noteworthy about the first few miles, I just stuck to
the task and turned over the miles at 6.54, 6.50 and 6.43 (downhill) and went
through the first 5k in 21.21.
Then came the merger and this made things much trickier as
the red/yellow always seems to be behind the equivalent runners from the other
starts. I like to break things down so from there it was a matter of trying not
to weave too much and keep a steady line and get to Cutty Sark on plan. I took
a gel at mile 5 though I really didn’t fancy it. I had made a late decision to
not use the maurten gels and reverted to the high5 aqua gels. This gave me a little
bit of a stomach ache but it soon passed, however it did put me on alert as to
what was to come. The miles continued to tick over and the effort wasn’t
getting any easier. I knew that with over measurement I really needed my
average pace to be at or around 6.45 by half way to make target. Everytime I
tried to nudge on and get the average down it really didn’t feel good. I went
through 10k in 42.30 with a 5k split of 21.09 (6.46, 6.46 and 6.48). Some basic
maths told me this was ok.
The miles kept ticking by, 6.37, 6.41 and 6.50. My next 5k
split to 25k is 20.57. I try and do the maths as I go over the mat. I can’t quite
get it but know it is in range. It is here the wheels start coming off for
people. I am telling myself it is a matter of head down and do what the plan
says. I decide I really ought to take another gel at 15. I am wary of this as I
feel strong but there’s still a lot to do. I decide I must but take it slowly
to reduce its impact on my stomach. A little grumble but I get away with it.
I am approaching Canary Wharf now which is a bit of a
Bermuda Triangle and dream killer. I want to get to 16, then it’s just 10 at mp
which I do on my lunchbreak so it is easy!
As we enter I can see a 3 hour pacer ahead of me and it’s
blue. I think to myself let’s just catch up with him as I have a good minute on
the blue start and let him do the work and pull me home in low 2.59s. This
gives me some solid focus through Canary Wharf. The miles are sticking to form
with 6.41, 6.44, 6.19 (peak Canary wharf gps madness) and 6.34 to take me to
20. I get to the pacer after about 5 minutes of steady chasing and realise it
is ridiculously crowded and they are all in my way.
I make the decision to ditch them. I pause for a moment to contemplate
my decision and how surreal it seems to be ditching a 3 hour pacer that has
started ahead of me anyway. You’re over thinking it, 20 miles is down, you feel
strong now is the time to just run I tell myself!! The next 5k split to 30k is
20.52, again I attempt the maths but all I can get to is that it’s fine.
As we come out of Canary Wharf I see what I think is OO
ahead of me. He is a target to chase now. I catch him after a couple of minutes
and say hi then push on. Somewhere around 21 there is a switchback and I get a
chance to see what is happening behind. The 3hr pacer is about 20m behind me. I
resolve to never see the guy again! I begin doing deals with myself as to what
pace I can drop to in order to sub 3. I have a word with myself as I am
thinking like a loser, slipping in just sub 3 is not the target now as this is
being smashed. I start another gel at 21, have a few sips then throw it. I
believe I have enough to get by without it and it has the potential of doing
more harm than good.
Next few miles go well, 6.37, 6.46 and 6.40. Ok, I just need
that horrible tunnel done now and then I can start running down the Embankment.
I see ahead of me a club vest from my club. It can only be one person and he is
coming back to me. This would be a huge scalp for me. I plan how I get passed
him. I debate letting him know as I pass or just going. I’m not in a club vest
so he might not notice me. As I close on him I put in a surge and open up my
stride to make it look impossible for him to come with me. He calls my name
out, damn he has spotted me and won’t let this go easily. I pretend I am
surprised and say hi!!!
I keep ploughing away and hit the 40k marker with my fastest
5k of the day in 20.41. The official clock is on 2.50.xx. I start feeling tired
now and think well even if I 8mm this 2k I am on for a pb due to the time it
took to cross the line.
Miles 24 and 25 come by in 6.55 and 6.49. Ok so 1.3 miles to
go. I decide to go cautious and not push the pace. Whilst it hasn’t troubled me
since I took some advice on it I am conscious of my weird finish line phobia.
At about 25.5 my clubmate comes by, clearly determined not to be beaten by me.
I just concentrate on nothing silly now. Mile 26 comes in at 7mm dead
(disappointed not to get the full set of 6.xx). The 800m sign has just been and
we are onto the Mall. I recall the horror show from 2018 where I had to stop 3
times due to dry heaving. I put into place my coping plan that I have practiced
for some months. I feel relaxed but I am not chancing it, I don’t need to.
We see the 400m sign and turn to Buckingham Palace, I hear
my daughter scream ‘Daaaddddyyyyy’. I turn and wave but cannot see them. A
sharp right and the 200m sign. No issues so I start opening my stride. I get
towards the Grandstand and what must be 100m and squirt the bottle of water over
my head and start sprinting as I can see the official clock on 2.59.xx. As I get
to within 50m I start punching the air and going faster to which the Grand
stand respond and I cross the line in in 2.57.56 with 6.37 pace for the last
0.4. Initially I felt unsteady but very quickly recover and bound over to my
clubmate who beat me by 19s in the end.
So, that was a 1.58 pb from October and a 6.49 course pb
with my first ever negative spit of 52 seconds. The stats tell me that in the first half I
passed 1398 and was passed by 355. I am not sure you can tell a great deal from
that as the race needs to settle. The second half tells a better story with me
passing 953 and being passed by 12. I have never felt so strong and prepared
for a marathon and I think the advice to ditch the HRM paid off. I ran with my
optical on but not displaying and that gave me 165 average with my HR very
quickly getting pretty high and this may well have caused me concerns.
Great to meet the chaps in the pub afterwards and be
immediately insulted by OO not only mocking my quite expensive running vest but
also in polite terms telling me how he noted when I went passed him that I
looked ‘quite big’ for a runner!!
Excellent report DT! I quite liked the vest, made it easy to spot you on course! Especially as I had a trial run when your twin came past!
OO - Interesting that you feel the swimming has helped as I am starting to incorporate that into my training. How much would you swim a week?
Great reports G-D and D-T.
Definitely a huge PB G-D and great the way you went for it in the last 10K. Don't discount a Sub 3 at NYC!
Brave decision to target the negative split DT but it worked wonders. Who was the mysterious coach?
A great pick up of pace in the last 10K as OO. The multi marathon approach clearly works for you. Not so sure about the swimming!