Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Reflections of my marathon training from week zero

My sixth marathon the Vanguard Way marathon is coming up on Sunday the 2nd August, here are my reflections on my training and preparation. 

So here I am in the middle of week zero, although I haven't followed a formal training plan The last week pre marathon remains the same for any runner.

My last long run, a 15miler, safely completed 3 weeks prior to race day. A 10K at race pace ticked off the Sunday before the marathon, my last effort run completed on Tuesday and now just a final few miles tomorrow before a gentle loosener on Saturday and then that's it race day.

I have tapered down in the last two weeks significantly reducing my mileage and I have upped my card intake over the last few days with an even higher intake to come in the final few days.

Marathon paranoia (maranoia? I thought it was a thing, but turns out I think I imagined it) struck last week, the realization that my training has been done and I can no longer do anything to positively change my marathon experience. My general observations on my training were as follows:
  • I should have done at least one more long run in the region of 18 miles
  • My shorter harder runs have not been hard and fast enough
  • My long slow runs have not been long and slow enough
  • Not enough cross training
  • No where near enough strength and conditioning work as this has slipped away to become almost non existent.
  • I should have incorporated a more focused midweek longer run. 
From my experiences being part of the Asics Target 26.2 competition I have made the following changes to my marathon preparation:

  • Every run and pretty much every kilometer of my training has had a focus (this has been the biggest change to my training ever and really 'flicked a switch' in my training approach)
  • Moved my last long run from 2 weeks prior to race to 3 weeks prior
  • Ran my longer runs aiming for 30 seconds plus race pace per km.
The taper stage of training has gone well and I have really eased up on my activity levels and have noticed a marked increase in my energy levels. My legs feel good and aside from the odd niggle in my calf, knee and shoulder I feel good. I have eaten well and have (so far) managed to stay off the booze for the 2 week period prior to race day, not easy when the week prior to race day contains three evenings out and going to a football match!

So now I sit and patiently wait for the clock to tick down to race day while scoffing all the carbs in sight. The following links are some resources I have found useful in my marathon preparations:

Runners world Asics Target 26.2 training plans: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/target262/training.aspx

What to eat the week of a marathon