Thursday, March 31, 2016

Another Last Workout

Calling Monday's run the last workout was a bit premature, I suppose. A lot of marathon plans have a workout 10 days before race days, and a lot of them seem to feature mile repeats on that day. Mine was no exception.

It said 5-6 mile repeats, no faster than 10-mile race pace. I happen to have run a 10-mile race not so long ago but truth to be told my legs are still not feeling all that great, not since Tralee, and I could still feel Monday's run, so I toned it down by 10 seconds per mile: the first one at 6:30, the rest at 6:20, and, as always, finish when you think you have one more repeat in you.

Conditions were nigh on perfect, if a little bit cold, though a 2-mile warm up followed by a few strides took care of that. The first repeat was more to get into it, though it was a tad slower than planned. No matter. The other ones were all around 6:20 pace; I had the effort tuned in pretty well and managed it even without checking the watch. After the fourth one I reckoned I had energy for 2 more and therefore decided that this would be the last one, though a quarter mile into it I came to the gradual realisation that I barely had that one in me, so I probably should have left it after four.

If you've ever done mile repeats you know that one mile can feel pretty damn long, even if you don't run them all-out.

It took a while to catch my breath again after that, wondering how I had managed 10 6:11 miles in a row last month, though for some reason Ballycotton always makes me run faster that what I would think possible.

This really was the last workout. The rest is just ticking over, with the odd mile at marathon pace, and if the weather cooperates I'll run on the Kerry Way over the weekend to get a little bit of much-needed strength into those calf muscles, though none of that will be even close to exhausting.

I'm still not sure what to expect in Manchester. Just let the legs recover a bit and I might feel a bit more optimistic. After all that's what the taper is supposed to be for!

29 Mar
5 miles, 41:54, 8:22 pace, HR 136
30 Mar
8 miles, 1:04:02, 8:00 pace, HR 140
31 Mar
9.5 miles, 1:11:41, 7:33 pace, HR 152
   incl. 5x1 miles @ 6:35, 6:21, 6:18, 6:17, 6:20


  1. Nice, Thomas. Taper well and let the chips fall where they may. You've certainly put in solid work and can be proud. Best of Luck, as always. Teutonic work ethic, luck 'O the Irish. I raise a pint to ye.

  2. When I saw your mile repeats session pop on strava I surprised that you struggled on the last repeat given it was slower than the Ballycotton pace. The rapid onset of fatigue in the last mile may be the subconscious (Central Governor) doing it's calculations on benefit vs gain and just deciding for you that it's struggling a bit too much to be happy going further. With the absence of adrenalin in training vs race I suspect the Central Governor is a lot more conservative.

    I do get the sense that you haven't fully recovered from the last few races and harder training sessions. In previous years you've often seemed to bounce back quicker. The background stress in the rest of your life is probably part of this, both in reducing your ability to recover quickly and potentially how far the Central Governor will be willing to let you dig into your reserves - as you can't afford to be a physical wreck at home and work.

    I am sure you still have a sub 2:55hr in you, for Manchester though I suspect a sub 3:00hr goal is more solid a goal. Best of luck with taper.

  3. Great training cycle again Thomas even though you think you haven't traned as well as before. I think you will suprise yourself in Manchester, a course that seemed to attract a fair bit of comment last year.

  4. Good to hear that really was the last workout! Can't comment on the difficulty of mile repeats as I've never done them (the benefit of living in a metric country - we always did 1k or 1200m repeats).
    Enjoy the taper, carb up and all the best!