Cutty Sark (Brighton marathon training, week 8)

Eight weeks of Brighton marathon training plan completed this morning with my regular running partner, Simon, on a long run of just over 26k from our homes, in Beckenham, out to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich and back. This was my second longest run ever which, on the one hand, is an achievement I take some satisfaction from, but on the other, it leaves me a little daunted by the longer runs** remaining in the second eight weeks of my training plan not to mention 42.2k on race day itself …  All the same, since tiredness and stiffness only began to become apparent from around 19k, I guess we did pretty well. This week I didn’t use any nutrition during the run, set out without breakfast and ate a low carb meal the previous evening. I rationalised that this would stimulate my body to use fat as an energy source rather than rely on stored carbohydrates, or those added during the run. I am now thinking that I will save proper “practice of race nutrition” for longer, possibly harder, runs later in my training.

The hardest run this week was Sunday’s interval session. I missed my target pace – fast intervals at 3:40/km – by quite a margin although I think I might have set it too high in the first place. Although I used intuition to come up with this target, it matches the pace suggested by the McMillan Running calculator for 400m sprint work for my ability, but perhaps given the number of sets and that I am in the midst of marathon training this was too optimistic. It didn’t help that I misread my watch during an early fast interval and stopped after 60 seconds instead of 90. After taking the additional 30 seconds of rest I made the next several fast intervals a few seconds longer to compensate which of course made it even harder to hit my target. Ho hum.

The most joyful run of the week was the first. As is my occasional habit, I travelled to my sister’s on Friday evening and, having spent a relaxing evening with her and her family, slept over before running Oak Hill parkrun with her the next morning. This time she had asked me to pace her to a course best 22:30 which fitted in well with my marathon training. As soon as we set off I could see that she was running fast and strong. By the time I moved alongside her, at about 500m, she had settled in to 22:05 pace and I could see no reason to slow her down. Briefly, perhaps during the fourth kilometre, I needed to encourage her to work a little to maintain the pace she had set, but she rallied and was even able to push during the final half kilometre to reel in a runner or two ahead. She finished in 22:00, a 32 second course best and just 10 seconds outside her all time PB!

week 8 – ending Thursday 9 February

day* training
Sat 52 mins including 22:03 parkrun 5k (4:45/km average)
Sun 11 mins easy (warm up)
10 x
90 secs fast
90 secs jog
12 mins easy (warm down)
(4:57/km average)
over all sets:
(3:57/km average)
(5:33/km average)
(5:10/km average)
Mon (swim 1.4k, 41 mins)
Tue 11 mins easy (warm up)
2 x
12 mins tempo
3 mins jog
12 mins easy (warm down)
(5:11/km average)
over all sets:
(4:08/km average)
(5:27/km average)
(5:09/km average)
Thu 130 mins easy (4:57/km average)
total 4 hrs 48 mins (+8 mins versus training plan)
* The plan I’m using has long runs on a Sunday, as is traditional. I currently do mine on a Thursday, hence the shift compared to the snippet below.


Week 8 of the ‘2016 improver plan’ that I am using as a template for my training. [Available via Virgin London Marathon plans, devised by Martin Yelling.]

** Remaining long runs are: 75 minutes, 150 (which I am swapping for Brighton Half), 160, 170, 205, 90 and 70 followed by the race itself.


1 thought on “Cutty Sark (Brighton marathon training, week 8)

  1. What a lovely read! You are doing so well. We both are! Just keep holding it together and don’t go too mad. I was in such a high from my course PB! Thanks again. Xx


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