Monday, September 30, 2013

New York City Marathon Week 6 / 11

Monday: core
Tuesday: 4 x 2 km @ 3:25
Wednesday: 3 x 15' @ 3:45 w/ 3' active recovery
Thursday: 60' @ 4:34
Friday: 40' @ 4:00
Saturday (10pm): 60' @ 4:27
Sunday (10am): 30 km @ 4:27
Total kilometres: 87

All in all its been a good week from a training point of view but work commitments meant that something had to give and I ended up skimping on all the "extra curricular activities" such as core, hill sprints, plyometrics and PowerBreathe. Actually, the PowerBreathe was complicated by the fact I had to go to work on the moped for the whole week (as the car was still in the menders): as I've said before, about the only place I find enough privacy to do my breathing exercises without looking like some kind of freak, is in the comfort of my car.

I had a shit day at work on Tuesday and came home in a dark mood. The last thing I felt like doing was training - in fact, I even thought that I couldn't face doing any of the training between now and the Marathon. Still, I dragged myself onto the treadmill and did my four lots of 2 kilometres at 17.5 kph without excessive difficulty and I felt a hell of a lot better for having done it. It's definitely better to do that kind of workout on a day like this.

The next day I had to go to London on a bit of a last minute trip. In fact, my flights were so close together that the girl on the check-in desk thought that I had a connecting flight back to Madrid! Even so, I got back with little time for training so I opted for a short, intense workout (3 x 15' @ 16 kph) that would mean two hard workouts in a row. It was a slight risk because, had I not managed to finish, I would have ended up being very pissed off but I seem to be adapting nicely to the training: what was difficult last week is slightly easier this week and so on.

Having said that, the so-called easy run on Thursday felt like one of the hardest workouts of the week. It was 30 degrees (which seems like a dream now that the weather has definitely taken a London style turn) and there was no real sense of accomplishment. I think it's a question of managing my own expectations and taking into account accumulated fatigue as well as environmental aspects, so that I can still feel as though I have achieved something, even if it is just recovering in time for the next session. I had a long cold shower and took my time getting changed but I carried on sweating profusely and had to eat my lunch so completely soaked that my shirt changed several shades of blue.

A "nice" way to round off the working week was a brisk 40' run at Marathon Pace (15 kph) on Friday evening. That just left the climax of the week's training: an hour long run late on Saturday evening followed by the long run (30 kms) just 12 hours later on Sunday morning.

I designed a loop going around "La Finca", Laguna, along Madrid Rio, around the lake in the Casa del Campo, up the TelefĂ©rico and back through the park in Aravaca. An out and back course has the advantage of motivating you when you get to the turnaround point; with a looped course, I find that I am more concerned with following the map than knowing how long or far I have to go. In fact, the first time I looked I had only 13 kilometres to go and I hadn't even been sure that I had passed the halfway mark.

As you can see, the route was relatively hilly but, as it turns out, a similar amount of climbing to the New York Marathon course. What is probably more significant than the total ascent, however, is the average grade of the climbs... What is amazing to think is that Wilson Kipsang ran 12 kilometres further than I did and just over 10 minutes faster as he claimed the World Record in the Berlin Marathon just a couple of hours earlier!

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