Tag Archives: Achilles

Marathon training week 7/20: run, turbo, run, ride, run. Hard, cold and a bit painful (who said it was going to be easy).

A slightly rare long bike ride on Saturday – it was very hard following the previous day’s run, but less damaging on the body

I was rather nervous running on Monday – the 13 miles three days earlier marked a backward step with the Achilles tendons and even my quads were still sore – something I’ve rarely experienced before.

However, a training programme is a commitment so I drove the car to the garage (a brake pad warning light turned out to be a faulty sensor) and ran to the gym with my usual gym companion. He’d checked that it was open on New Year’s Eve – but hadn’t checked on the opening time … and it was still shut. We ran back to the village (he lives nearby) and I added a bit more to get beyond the target 5 miles.

My wife and I drove up to London later in the day and saw in the New Year there. I must admit to not being much of a New Year person. Perhaps I’ve seen a few too many of them to get very excited and I tend to view life as a continuous stream of days rather than slightly arbitrary blocks of 365 (or 366). We had a very good meal, a bottle of champagne, a short walk to see some local fireworks and a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Happy New Year to everyone.

We dropped off stuff that our sons hadn’t taken back with them on the train when they returned to London after Christmas. New Year’s day is certainly the right day to drive around London – gloriously (relatively) traffic-free.

By Wednesday my legs had improved (but it’s not encouraging that they took so long to recover from just 5 miles on Monday) so I got on the turbo before we went out for supper with friends – 23.63km in 45 minutes @31.5kph (14.68m @19.5mph) – my best with this turbo trainer.

I did the long slow run on Friday morning – 20.12km (12.5 miles at within 30 seconds a mile of 4 hour marathon pace) which is OK but a bit faster than planned. Normal hobbling resumed immediately after the run.

Could I have run faster? Yes.

Could I have run further? Yes.

Could I have run faster and further? Hmmm …

I was the host for the cycle club’s ‘red’ ride on Saturday – if I hadn’t been ‘on duty’, I wouldn’t have gone.

In all, 48 miles (77.2km) in some lovely Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire countryside but it was too cold for me – despite a compression top, merino base layer, winter-weight jersey and light cycling jacket. It stayed within a few degrees of freezing the whole time which made it one of the very rare occasions that I didn’t enjoy it enormously – but I’m pleased I went out.

It was very hard and I clung on at the back with just about nothing in my legs from start to finish. Riding 48 miles after running 12 miles the previous afternoon is a really bad idea.

I’m counting that as the week’s cross-training – it involved 3 hours of riding which certainly covers the required hour of cross-training in the marathon programme (but I recognise the double count in taking credit for the miles and the cross-training time).

That just left the week’s final run for Sunday – a couple of degrees warmer than the previous day’s ride, thank goodness. The Achilles tendons were just about up to the challenge – the target was 5 miles but I ran one loop with my wife, and a second alone, for a total of 7.75 miles (12.48km) with the second loop a bit quicker than 4 hour marathon pace.

Week Run Cycle X-train
1 16.1m  (25.9km) 9.8m (15.8 km)  2:00
2 18.5m  (29.8km) 13.3m (21.5km) 2:00
3 20.7m  (33.25km) 65.8m (105.9km) 1:00
4 22.2m  (35.8km) 13.7m (22.07km) 1:00
5 24m (38.6km) 13m (21km) 1:00
6 (Christmas) 13.2m (21.3km)    
7 25.5m (41.1km) 62.7m (100.9km) 3:00
‘Running’ totals 114.7m (184.7km) 178.2m (286.3km) 13:00

So, over a third of the way to the Rotterdam Marathon. In general, it’s going OK but the Achilles tendons are still a major issue and so is speed if I’m going to break the 4 hour mark.