week 13 – ending Sunday 19 March
|Tues||15 mins easy (warm up)
5 mins tempo
2 mins jog
7 mins easy (warm down)
over all sets:
|Wed||8 mins easy (warm up)
56 mins steady
4 mins easy (warm down)
|Fri||58 mins easy||(4:54/km average)|
|Sun||170 mins easy||(5:10/km average)|
|total||5 hrs 18 mins (+13 mins versus training plan)|
I employed the same nutrition and hydration strategy in advance of, and during, my long run as described in last week’s blogpost. As I concluded that post, my plan for this week’s long run was 2 hours at around 5:12/km followed by a final 10k/45 minutes at 4:30/km, my marathon goal pace. Taking into account how tired I was feeling during the week, by the time I started out on Sunday morning I had modified my plan to something slightly less aggressive. I had it in mind that I would run seven progressively faster 5k’s paced at 5:15, 5:10, 5:05, 5:00, 4:55, 4:50 and 4:45/km … In terms of duration, these two variants produced total run times of around 165 and 175 minutes respectively. (As I described in my last post, I had decided that running for 205 minutes, as prescribed in my training plan, would inevitably lead to me running too far.)
However, even within the first 5k, I felt that the planned increases in pace later in the run would be too much for my tired legs. I modified by 5k split pacing to “run each 5k at least as fast as the previous one, or a second or so (per kilometre) faster”. Following my, more exuberant than planned, first 5k which averaged 5:08/km, I completed the subsequent splits at average paces of 5:03, 5:03 and 5:04/km. Running the same route as in previous weeks – from home in Beckenham to the Cutty Sark, along the Thames, past the Dome and, this time, to within a kilometre of the Thames Barrier – I reached this 20k point shortly after re-passing the Dome on my return.
My overall average pace of 5:10/km, in the summary above, looks quite respectable but disguises that, beyond 20k, my run deteriorated. My final 5k splits were 5:09, 5:11 and 5:44/km (and this last one not a full 5k as planned, but 3k). Looking at my individual kilometre splits after the 20k point they immediately dipped (5:11, 5:06, 5:07) and then faded significantly (5:23, 5:20, 5:17) as I struggled with fatigue. During the next kilometre, out of nowhere, my fatigue suddenly lifted and I was able to return to goal pace (5:01). Still feeling good I caught up with a group of four runners which helped psychologically and I recorded another good kilometre (4:56). They stopped in Ladywell and shortly afterwards, running alone again, my fatigue returned with a vengeance (5:13, 5:20, 5:28). I forced myself to jog further, deciding I should at least equal last week’s long run duration of 2 hours and 50 minutes, before stopping (5:57 and 5:48).
As a first time marathoner, I wish I knew if it is supposed to be this hard?