Can’t believe it’s the middle of March already and ages since my last post. 2015 has been pretty full on so far – so what’s been going on?
Well, I have a new job, which I start in a few weeks’ time – working as a Senior Brand Manager for a Pharma company based in Chiswick. Not only am I really excited about the role, but it’s 22 miles (ironically the distance of my long run this weekend) closer to home, which means that my work/life balance is going to significantly improve.
As far as the challenge, it’s been all about the running. I have an exciting post coming next week, but for now I’ll concentrate on my running journey.
I am 11 weeks into a 16 week training plan for the Manchester Marathon (or 15 weeks into a 20 week plan if you count my 4 weeks of mileage build up prior to the official training) and so far so good. At the start of the plan, I set myself a stretch target of dipping under 3 hours and 30 minutes. That would be 25 minutes quicker than last year and over an hour faster than London in 2013. So why did I think this was possible and how was I going to go about achieving this target.
My rationale for sub 3.30 was that prior to Manchester 2014, I was able to run a half in 1.46, got my weekly mileage up to 38 (max), but also struggled with patella tendonitis for a large part of the training. At the start of the plan this year, I had a 1.37 half, was planning to up the weekly mileage to 50 and also hoped to stay injury free (the latter is a bit of a lottery but I have and will continue to run sensibly to minimise any risk). I also weigh about a stone lighter. The numbers added up, the potential was there, but I felt there were a couple of important milestones that I needed to achieve in the run up.
The first was a sub 43 minute 10k, box ticked with a 42.41 on 1st February. A confidence builder but 10k’s are poor predictors of marathon times. The second a sub 1.35 half marathon. Great Bentley in the Eagles club championship was my target event and only a week after my 10k. Adam Wakefield from the running club, who was coming back from injury kindly agreed to pace me. We set off slightly quicker than target pace, but it still felt comfortable and with 4 miles to go I decided to pick up the pace and surprised myself with a 1.33.48. A PB of more than 3 minutes and more than 12 minutes quicker than my half time from last year.
So what did this mean? I always thought that 1.35 was going to be a push, so to run a time comfortable quicker than this I felt that my target of sub 3.30 needed to be re-evaluated, which has led me to my new goal of sub 3.25. It’s not that I wouldn’t be ecstatic with a sub 3.30, I just needed to ensure that I stayed motivated during the final few weeks. The revised plan has been going well and I do believe that 3.25 is possible, the danger is that I push the target too much and end up blowing up and finishing much slower than 3.30.Over the next few weeks I will no doubt be going through the race strategy over and over in my head.
Oh and I also managed a Parkrun PB of 20.31 this weekend.
So 5 weeks to go, 22 miles this weekend, 20 miles the next and then taper time.