Saturday, 17 October 2015

Chelmsford Marathon training review

Tomorrow the 18th October I am running the Chelmsford Marathon, marathon number 7 for me, my second marathon this year and another attempt at a sub 4 hour marathon. 

Life has been busy hence the lack of blogs about training in recent weeks and months. The hard miles have still been put in mind you, maybe not in the quantities I would have ideally wished for but that's life, everyone has things on their plate and no training schedule ever goes to plan. You can never do enough running or run enough miles.

Although in saying that a quick look over my training log shows that I have racked up 343K in this training stint since Spitfire Scramble pretty much exactly two months ago. The last two months has included two events, firstly me having an absolute ball at the Bacchus half and then also running just the 12 seconds outside of my 10K PB at the Barking and Dagenham 10K (didn't get round to writing a blog for this one!).

So in summary here's what I have learnt from training for my latest marathon, what I have differently and things I wish I had done differently.

Speed work - since being involved in the Asics 26.2 competition last year speed work has become more integrated into my training plans and even more so in the last few months.

Over the summer I have spent several an early morning before work out on the Regents Park running track mostly with running buddies Tony and Chris.

Examples of the kind of session I have been doing include 1K aiming for 10K pace (4.30 min/km) and 1K reverting back to marathon pace (5.40 min/km), yasso 800 sessions and repeating the Asics 26.2 5K session of 400m and 200m easy repeated over 5K.

No core - One of my objective of this training plan was to really work on my core strength and to really incorporate a lot of strength and conditioning work into my schedule. But for one reason and another this hasn't happened, mainly due to working longer hours and struggling to settle my training into regular schedule.

Trainers - My trainers have had it, they are dead. They have easily covered 600km and I noticed about three weeks ago that they had quickly deteriorated from being in good condition to being past it. At that late stage I didn't really feel comfortable changing trainers so I opted to stick with them. To be honest my feet have suffered and the ball of my right foot has become increasingly sore in recent weeks and I am pretty sure this is down to a loss of support and cushioning from my trainers. Hopefully they can get me through the next 42Km before being put out to pasture.

Faster long runs - One of the changes to my training I implemented following Asics 26.2 was to slow my longer runs right down to 30 secs/1 minute slower than my target pace. I now this is quite a standard training practice but for me I didn't enjoy it, it made me so much slower and I found I really struggled to run comfortably at my target marathon pace. Maybe I didn't mix my training up enough with faster runs and marathon pace runs but for me it hasn't worked so I moved back to running my longer runs at around target marathon pace and I feel much better and faster for it. 

Race Number Clips - Long overdue but I have finally got round to buying myself a pack of these so I can stop messing around with safety pins come race morning!

Sports massage - With all the high mileage in recent months including Baccus and Spitfire scramble I thought I needed a massage to make sure I was in the bets shape for this marathon. So last week I went for a sports massage, I figured about 10 days out was the best timing for one rather than the week before and it has definitely helped loosen up my legs. The therapist was concerned with tightness in my left ITband so I was glad to have that looked at and treated. Note to self; need to have more regular massages going forward!

In the last week I have focused on eating well, getting plenty of sleep and staying well hydrated. Then since Thursday my attentions have turned to taking on more carbs, whole meal pittas, jaffa cakes, flap jacks and pasta have all been on the menu.

So after a gentle little jog this afternoon my training is complete and all is left now is to relax, focus, stay hydrated and eat plenty of carbs!