Dorset retreat (Brighton marathon training, week 9)

Week nine of my marathon training was completed at various locations, primarily in Dorset where my wife, my daughters and I spent half term. Serendipitously, week nine was also an easy/adaptation week. Target tempo pace this week was again 4:08/km.

Saturday’s easy run was completed at home in Beckenham and only just in time – much to the consternation of the Cyclist – to make our local travel connections to catch our pre-booked train from London Waterloo to Dorset. Sunday’s tempo intervals, following a warm up starting in Langton Matravers, took place on the seafront in Swanage. Running into a stiff breeze made it too hard to achieve my tempo pace on the odd numbered intervals, but this was redressed by running with the wind at my back on the even numbered ones such that, overall, my average was on target.

Arriving to visit my middle sister and her family in Bournemouth on Monday afternoon, meant that I was able to do my tempo run in the shadow of Bournemouth AFC’s Liberty Stadium the next morning. Unfortunately, I was also running in the shadow of Bournemouth’s defeat to Manchester City the night before which explained why our family meal that evening remained unpunctuated by the roar of the home fans.

Back with my mum and Alan again, for the last day of our family holiday, my long run started in Langton Matravers in a grey mist that considerably restricted visibility. Nonetheless, since my weather app showed clear skies, I set out with sunglasses perched optimistically on the top of my head. After a couple of kilometres in country lanes, the sun was visible through the lifting clouds and by the time I was approaching 5k and descending towards Swanage seafront I was running, sunglasses in place, in the forecast bright sunshine. I ran along the seafront, through the town and back out towards Langton Matravers before turning into the country lanes again and repeating my loop. As I passed along the seafront for the second time, I decided that I would try to complete the remainder of my run at marathon goal pace – 4:30/km – or slightly faster, once I reached 12k. This turned out to be a further 3.2km. Initially, I did well, averaging 4:31/km over the first two kilometres, but this slipped to 4:35/km for the final stretch. As I was running I was monitoring my pace closely and getting frustrated that I was unable to achieve my target; notwithstanding that I knew I was running uphill. I shouldn’t have been so concerned. Reviewing my run I saw that I had gained 11 metres of elevation over the initial two kilometres and a further 27 metres in the final stretch; significant enough that I revised my frustration to satisfaction and thoroughly enjoyed my rest on the train home.

week 9 – ending Thursday 16 February

day* training
Sat 52 mins easy (4:57/km average)
Sun 14 mins easy (warm up)
5 x
3 mins tempo
2 mins jog
10 mins easy (warm down)
(4:54/km average)
over all sets:
(4:08/km average)
(5:19/km average)
(5:11/km average)
Tue 11 mins easy (warm up)
11 mins tempo
15 mins easy (warm down)
(4:51/km average)
(4:04/km average)
(4:51/km average)
Thu 72 mins easy (4:56/km average)
total 3 hrs 30 mins (+10 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 9 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.]


1 thought on “Dorset retreat (Brighton marathon training, week 9)

  1. I did the same bit back at the end of 10k time trial up that hill. Tough! Alan said you said exactly the same… 🙂


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