Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Almost There

I always write a small summary of my training before a goal race, so I might as well to the same again.

Training (from 24 Sep, 3 weeks after Dingle)
24 weeks (25 if counting this one)
Miles per week:
72, 75, 83, 84, 64, 76, 81, 84, 58, 83, 76, 85, 77, 68, 71, 79, 75, 67, 62, 59, 59, 50, 55, 49
Fairly high mileage in base training and a drop over the last few weeks
Average miles per week:
# runs of 20 miles or more:
6 (including DCM and SMB)
# of PBs:
2 (5k and 10 miles), though I ran 4 5ks with a faster time than my previous PB, and in Ballycotton I passed the 4 miles, 5 miles and 10k mark faster than in my "official" PBs
Going by the races I ran during training, I had a spectacular training cycle with me clearly running at a higher level than ever before. The hope is now that I did not stoke the fire too much and am now left with the dying embers, but I feel good and I am confident. It's always a dangerous thing to say, especially in the marathon, but a new PB should be a given. In fact I have set my sights a bit higher than that. The golden goal is 2:53, anything below that would be a bonus. Breaking 2:55 is the fallback option, and considering that it's a hilly course it may well be an ambitious target on its own. A new PB the bare minimum target, anything less and I will be disappointed.

When the winter returned on Sunday I did break my habit of not checking the weather report so far out from race day, but the indications are good. It looks like we will have a cold but calm day, which would be perfect apart from the odd rain shower (well, we're still in Kerry). It's not as if you could do anything about the weather anyway, but I'd take the predicted conditions any time.

The course has plenty of hills between miles 10 and 22, which can easily cost a minute or two. I guess I'll find out.

While I can only influence my own performance, I am hoping for some podium place, be it in my age group or the Kerry championships or my age group in the championship, but that's not something I am directly aiming for; if I run well enough, the finishing position will look after itself.

If there is a runner, or better still a group of runners, settling into a pace very similar to mine I will of course try to work with them. We shall see.

Training this week was of course minimal, I only did 3 miles on Monday and even less on Tuesday, where I basically did a mock warm-up for a 5k race but instead of racing I was done.

Today (Wednesday) I did the coach's taper workout. I started at 6:50 pace, worked my way down to 6:30 pace at one mile and then did 6:30 pace for 3 more miles, though I was a tad faster than planned in 6:26; on the other hand that was the Garmin's pace, which would probably match 6:30 in reality. That was followed by 15 minutes of easy running and then I did 3 half-mile repeats in 2:58, 2:52, 2:51 with about 2 minutes rest. It is a fairly easy workout, but 3 days before the marathon you don't want to do any more. In fact, I wonder if I should have done it yesterday instead, but what's done is done. I probably should not run at all tomorrow and Friday; if I get too itchy I might shake out the legs but no more than 2 miles and all at a very easy effort.

There is just one little detail that could derail the whole train. Lola has been sick with a bad cold since Monday. She is coughing a lot, and not exactly careful to avoid coughing into someone else's direction. Nobody else in the family has been affected yet. I do live in hope/fear/paranoia.
11 Mar
3 miles, 22:17, 7:26 pace
12 Mar
2 miles, 14:37, 7:18 pace
13 Mar
9 miles, 1:00:27, 6:43 pace
   4 miles @ 6:33, 3 x 800 in 2:58, 2:52, 2:51


  1. If you don't get sick I'm putting the garden shed on you to break 2:53.

  2. Great summary. Everything is looking good. My two cents: hold back until the 15 mile mark and then go for it. Although the hill out to the golf course at 10 miles is steep and hard on the legs when you come back, it's the next 4 hills out to Fenit that will do the damage - these are real glycogen sappers. I think you'll find that many of the runners who try to run by pace, especially those planning to run around 2:40 - 2:50, will start coming back to you around the 20 mile mark. The hill into Spa, followed by the long drag at 20 miles into the Kerries will stop bring many to their knees:)

    Be patient and you'll surprise yourself. You'll be in the prizes if you run conservatively. I've trained a lot on the course - I do my weekly 18-20 milers on it. It's a nice run if you're a jogger but if you're racing, it's tough!

    All the best for Saturday. I'll be all over the course, chucking stones at you:)


  3. It's been great seeing how you training has progressed over the last few months. Must admit with a little jealousy, injury niggles have plagued me since I got back into running, I look forward to the day that my body can take the level of effort you've put in without breaking down ;-)

    With the pace of your March 13th run I was starting to wonder if you might be looking at 2:50 time and suspect on a perfect day, perfect run with a flat course this is just what you could be capable of. Earlier my hunch was for 2:52 for the perfect run based on some of your fast long runs. Given the hills I think 2:53 is ambitious for sure, but a reasonable gold target.

    Any time sub 3:00 would be just plain awesome though.

    As for the final few days, relax, enjoy, sleep, but keep some antibacterial wipes near by! For your final run keep it short but I don't there is a need to purposely make it too easy and hold yourself back, doing a mile warm up and final mile at race pace would leave your legs nicely tuned up and give your brain a little bit of teaser of the joy of flying effortlessly along at race pace.

    Best of luck.

  4. Good to see that training has gone so well. Good luck at the race!

  5. If I had a lazy dollar it would be going on you Thomas. You haven't left much to chance, go get that PB!

  6. I think its time to change the name of the blog.

  7. Looks like a tough course alright so best of luck Thomas.

  8. dont bother posting a post race blog unless its a sub 2.55 story best of luck ..p m