Marathon training 14/20: run, turbo, run, turbo, run. Second 20 miler, 3 days after the first … another bad idea.

I ran the whole 20 miles on Tuesday – but you could have been excused for not knowing that if you’d seen the speed with which I tackled this in the 18th mile.

After the 20 miler on Saturday, and Sunday’s excellent trip to the Velodrome, I broke a good habit and took a rest day on Monday (apart from walking our neighbour’s dogs).

I wasn’t sure what to do on Tuesday but the scheduled long run for the week was 20 miles so I decided to go for it again using the same route as I did on Saturday. That felt a bit ambitious beforehand – and even more ambitious once I started.

I was pleased to be able to do it and it felt good to have got the long run out of the way so early in the week, but it was very hard and 9 seconds a km slower than on Saturday – which itself was slow. Perhaps the biggest win was on the mental toughness side as I often felt like bailing out – but didn’t.

I could feel lots of aches and niggles on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning but I managed to get on the turbo Wednesday evening (20.75km – 12.9miles – in 45 minutes). That was another questionable idea, based only on not wanting to take two rest days in the first three days of the week.

On Thursday I ran the now standard 8.4 miler (13.5km). I ran it about 10 sec/km faster than I’ve done before – but don’t have any proof as the Garmin failed. There have been plenty of bad runs I’d have been happy not to record – why does it have to fail on a good one?

No doubt, to anyone unlucky enough to have seen me, it was just an old bloke lumbering around in a sweat – but to me it was (almost) proper running.

On Friday I resisted the temptation to run as the Achilles tendons were a little sore (but not half as bad as they were every day before skiing). I guess the tendons were complaining about running faster on Thursday and I think that justifies my approach of not doing the speed sessions in the training plan – but how much that has held the training back I’ll never know.

As cross-training, I did an hour on the turbo for 27.43km (17miles) and I ran another 8.4 miles (13.5km) on Saturday morning. With friends coming for lunch, the rugby to watch later and a trip out with other friends on Sunday – that was that for the week.

I totted up the training programme milage over the 14 weeks so far (counting just the 3 weekly runs I’ve been trying to match). The programme has required 250 miles and I’ve actually done 288 (in spite of the Achilles’, Christmas and skiing) so my approach of trying to go over-distance much of the time seems to have worked.

I’m pleased, but I’m putting a huge amount of faith in the remaining training (and the benefit of the taper) if I think I can run the whole thing in less than 4 hours. Based on my longest runs so far a prediction nearer 5 hours would be more realistic.

Next week the target long run is a half marathon in 1:50 (I don’t think I can do it that fast and, anyway, I don’t have a suitable event to enter). The following week is 21 miles and I am then into the taper (15, 12 and 8 for the long runs). On one level I’m really pleased – on another level that means it’s all getting a bit close to the real thing.

Week Run Cycle X-train
1 16m  (26km) 10m  (16 km) 2:00
2 19m  (30km) 13m  (22km) 2:00
3 21m  ( 66m (106km) 1:00
4 22m  (36km) 14m (22km) 1:00
5 24m (39km) 13m  (21km) 1:00
6 (Christmas) 13m (21km)    
7 26m (41km) 63m (101km) 3:00
8 14m (24km) 13m (21km) 7:00
9 (Skiing) 16m (25km)   12:00
10 (Skiing)     12:00
11 (Skiing) 7m (11km)   6:00
12 34m  (55km) 35m (56km) 1:00
13 38m (60km) 14m (22km) 1:00
14 38m (60km) 30m (48km) 1:00
 ‘Running’ totals    288m  (462km)     271m (435km)   49:00

Now rounded to nearest whole mile/km

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