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Training Update Week 33: Wherein I conquer a twenty mile long run, the common cold and set a new PR for the mile.

Posted Aug 19 2010 12:00am
The Cross Training
I'm starting to really love swimming. This was the perfect way to end a hard working week last Friday. I mixed up some freestyle and breaststroke with some backstroke kicking. I covered 1000m in 28 minutes.

This was the first time I've used my stopwatch while swimming and this had the effect of stopping me from lingering at the end of each lap. I felt strong and as though I could have kept going for longer if time had permitted.

The Long Run
I DID IT! I actually hit my target pace for this long run!

This was the fourth of my 32km/20mile runs for my marathon training program. The plan called for 32km at a target pace of 5:41min/km. And I did it in exactly 5:41min/km! This is the first time I've managed to hit the average target pace.

I've been finding the long runs a hard slog, and any improvements so far have been very hard won. But even though I felt stronger on this long run than on any of the others, I was absolutely spent at the end of it. If I'd had to run another 10km, it would have been close to a death shuffle.

Lots of lessons learned on this run. I've been spending a bomb on gels, but the best long run I'd had prior to this was when I didn't used them and just had some cheap, run of the mill jelly snakes from the store. I did the same with this run, and I'm now a convert. The jelly snakes are easy to carry and eat on the run and obviously give me the energy hit I need (for a fraction of the price!). I also took some Endurolyte tablets, two every 9km or so. This augmented the hydration from the 2 litres/70 fl.oz. of diluted sports drink in the hydration backpack.

I woke up at 5am in the morning before this run, and my head really wasn't in the game. I didn't feel like I could do it. I sent out a quick tweet to this effect and within a flash I had a reply from Gordon H (aka @Disneyrunner). Gordon used some very kind words that had the effect of a mental kick up the backside. I went out with a renewed determination. Thanks G!

This online running community is a very special thing. I don't think I could do half of what I do without all the encouragement and motivation I receive from so many awesome people on twitter, dailymile and here via the blog. Thanks everyone.

The Cold
I began developing some cold-like symptoms last week, but they appeared to have abated by the weekend. They returned with a vengeance on Saturday evening though and prevented me from commencing week 12 of my marathon training until yesterday when I did my track workout. It did however give me some ideas for the next episode of the podcast which will include a section about what to do when you’re training for an event like the marathon and you come down with a cold that threatens to slow you down or prevent you from training all together for a while.

The Track Workout
A great track workout for week 12 of the FIRST program.
My cold had all but gone by Wednesday, and I felt confident to commence my training for the week.
The plan: 3 x 1600m with 400m rest intervals.
The splits: 6:33, 6:34, 6:47
Included a 3km warm up and a 1km warm down.
6:33 is a new PR for the mile!!

Total for the week: 42km
Total for the year: 1229km
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