Sunday, October 13, 2013

New York City Marathon Week 8 / 11

Monday: -
Tuesday: 45' (15' @ 4:00, 15' @ 3:45, 15' @ 3:40) + core
Wednesday: 60' @ 4:37
Thursday: 40' @ 4:00
Friday: 60' @ 4:41
Saturday: 70' (2' @ 3:45, 3' @ 4:27)
Sunday: 35 km @ 4:27 (2:35:47)
Total kilometres: 100

Whoopee!! Only one hard week of training left to go: my supposed "peak week". Although it depends how you define "peak" because this week was probably the pinnacle in terms of kilometres run; next week will be less but of a higher intensity.

Tuesday's workout was quite challenging because it amounted to an acceleration run of 45' starting from Marathon Pace and ending up at 10K pace. Work was again quite stressful that day and I found I had to fend off annoying thoughts trying to penetrate my brain, almost causing me to stop at one point. But I kept telling myself that it was just discomfort, not pain that I was suffering and that I would be so pissed off with myself if I stopped that it wouldn't be worth it. I gritted my teeth and counted down the last few minutes after which I felt rightly pleased with myself for having perservered. It wasn't as hard as doing a race, but it was one of the hardest sessions of the whole cycle and one that I have been building up to over the last weeks. For that reason, it was all the more important to get it done.

By comparison, the 40 minutes of Marathon Pace on Thursday were a doddle but, as I ran them last thing at night before going to bed, I didn't properly re-hydrate afterwards. I remember peeing just before my so-called "easy run" at lunchtime on Friday and being a bit dismayed to see the tell-tale bright orange colour. Consequently, the run was relatively tough even though it was quite slow; I weighed myself afterwards and the scales confirmed that I hadn't prepared properly: 77,6 kg, the lightest I have seen myself since I was about 16. To some extent it was a relief because I had been worrying whether my accumulating fatigue would be too much for me to be able to get through the weekend's training load. Knowing it was just a question of taking my recovery a bit more seriously restored my confidence.

I thought that 70 minutes alternating between only 2 minutes at 16 kph and 3 minutes at 13.5 kph would be too easy and that I would have to up the ante. After all, only a week before I ran for 80 minutes at 16 kph... and my shortest intervals I have been running at 18 kph. It was hard going and I took a short break half-way because I felt myself overheating and the 3 minutes at 13.5 kph stopped feeling like any kind of break.

So, by the time Sunday morning came around I was more than a little nervous about my impending 35 km outing. I needn't have worried: it felt pretty easy as these things go and I managed an average of 4:27 minute kilometres (13.5 kph). This compares favourably with the same run I did at the same point in my training cycle for Seville in February because that was in London, a few degrees cooler, 650 m closer to the sea and, more importantly, with half the amount of climbing and was only 3 seconds per kilometre faster (which all came from the last 5 kilometres which I decided to "sprint" that time).

I'm starting to get psyched for the New York Marathon but imagine if it were cancelled or disrupted for the second year in a row? Not possible? In America, Anything is Possible™...

In other news, I've been very slack this week in my extra-curricular training (PowerBreathe, achilles, core, plyometrics). I just didn't feel up to doing any more either for time constraints or energy constraints. In any case, I'm in the specific part of my Marathon preparation from which I basically worked backwards to come up with a training plan. In other words, I thought what the maximum training week should be and then trained for that. I think that my achilles is much better and is not at all sore after running any more so any extra load would not be so much preventative but perhaps more likely to lead to overuse during these hard weeks. The same goes pretty much for the plyometrics which can be quite risky. But, if I am honest, I am making excuses for myself. I'll try to at least keep up the PowerBreathe and core exercises several times a week from here on out.

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