Marathon training week 15/20: run, turbo, run, run, run. Endurance OK. Speed a bit of a j(OK)e?

Not sure if this ’11’ is impressive or a bit sad and inadequate. Either way, this is not from the soles of my trainers (and I’m pleased they are not my tyres)

The week’s long run was supposed to be a half marathon race, with a target time of 1 hour 50. I couldn’t find a convenient race to enter and was sure I couldn’t run it that fast, even if I had.

I decided to do the run on Monday and drove out to a nearby back road that gives a fairly flat 5km. The aim was to do it out and back twice, plus a bit, leaving it to Strava to work out my best half marathon time.

As it was, I ran a little over the half marathon distance at 9m 40 sec/mile (6 min per km). I ran a slight negative split and had a best half marathon time of 2h 06m. I ran consistently, but consistently not fast enough. I didn’t do a single km at 4 hour marathon pace.

So, here is the question – is it just that I cannot judge speed, is it that I cannot motivate myself to push the pace when running alone – or am I simply unable to run fast enough? Would I have been able to go faster if I’d been following someone with a ‘4 hour pacer’ sign on their back? Hmmm …

I’ve missed out on speed training to protect the dodgy Achilles tendons – is it too late to introduce some (carefully) into the last 5 weeks of the programme?

I used the turbo for 45 minutes on Tuesday (13.9m – 22.31km) before we went to London and saw friends in the evening. I had a really enjoyable run on Wednesday morning, through Kensington Gardens, into Hyde Park and around the Serpentine lake, trying hard to run faster.

I did 11.85km (7.4m) at a whole 3 seconds per km faster than 4 hour marathon pace – quite pleasing, given the number of junctions and pedestrians to navigate on the way to and from the Parks.

After that, we took a trip to St Paul’s Cathedral to (successfully) track down the memorial to one of my wife’s ancestors (a personal physician to King George III). We also climbed the 528 steps to the highest publicly accessible part of the Cathedral – that must be worth something for the marathon training.

I ran with a friend on Friday morning and did a route of his. There is a danger that I end up running the same routes so the variety was welcome but this was along some slightly muddy and hilly tracks – 8.14miles (13.1km) at just over 6 min/km.

Alex came back for the weekend and we ran together on Saturday morning – by his phone app we did 17km at just under 6 minutes/km. Sadly, my Garmin recorded it as 16.25km (10.1miles). How can the two systems be different by nearly 5%? At least we agreed that it we ran a negative split.

Four runs in the week and nothing hurts too much. That’s it for the week – three quarters of the way through the training, gulp.

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
15 39m (63km) 13.9m (22.31km)  
‘Running’ totals 327m (526km)   271m (435km)   49:00

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