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Training Update Week 34: Wherein it's time to start thinking about racing, (but not racing to start thinking about time)

Posted Aug 30 2010 12:00am
A busier than usual period has meant that my blogging and podcasting has suffered for the last two weeks, although I have continued to maintain my marathon training despite the challenges posed by an increasingly demanding work-load.

So here’s how I went for week 34 of the training year which incorporated the tempo and long runs for week 12 and the track workout for week 13 of my marathon training program.

The Tempo Run

The plan called for a 16km (10 mile) run at my target marathon pace of 5:23min/km (8:39min/mile). I ran a very comfortable 5:12min/km average pace and felt like I could have gone on running forever. This felt great.

The Long Run

This was not so great. The plan called for 24km (15 miles) at an average pace of 5:29min/km (8:49 min/mile). I averaged 5:34, which is OK, but I felt pretty awful for most of this run. I just had very little energy for the last seven or eight kms.

I never run this sort of distance in the afternoon. However, this time I didn’t have a choice. I’d been burning the candle at both ends to finish a project for my work, and was getting up early in the morning to work on that instead of running. But, you don't know how good the good ones are unless you've had a few bad ones. So, I'm racking this one up to experience.

The Track Workout

This was a tough one. 10 x 400m sprints with 400m rest intervals. Target pace for the 400m sprints was 1:43.

Splits: 1:30, 1:24, 1:24, 1:22, 1:27, 1:26, 1:27, 1:27, 1:26, 1:19

I was stoked with these splits. At the time I didn't know how I was doing, and I felt as though I was getting slower each time. It turns out I maintained a pretty consistent pace and was able to go harder still in the last 400. A good start to week 13 of the program.

It's time to start thinking about racing, (but I'm not racing to start thinking about time)

I'm also at the point where my marathon journey is beginning to come to its end and the destination, the race itself, if fast approaching. So I'm beginning to start thinking about my race day plan and reviewing all the things I've been learning about pacing, nutrition, hydration, heart rate, percieved effort etc and distilling them into a plan that will see me to the finish line of my first marathon.

You'll notice that I omitted a time goal from that list of considerations. I'm still weighing up whether or not to set myself one. I have kept myself to three goals in my training for this event: To enjoy myself, to finish strong, and to not get injured. I've been seeing setting myself an arbitrary time goal above and beyond those three goals as something that would quite possibly prevent me from enjoying the race, and quite possibly impact upon my being able to finish strong and uninjured if I feel pressured by time to do something I'm not physically capable of. We'll see...

Total for the week: 51km
Total for the year: 1279km
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