Brighton Marathon Training Weeks 12-13

Week 12 of training I spent travelling and only managed two short and not very interesting runs, so I decided not to do a specific post about it, and just roll it into this.

Week 12 total: 9.2 miles

I decided to treat week 12 as a bit of a recovery week after my half marathon, albeit by necessity really as I was travelling for a lot of it and struggled to find time to run.

I did do two short runs, both of around 5 miles, while I was in California. The nice thing about flying to the west coast of the US, from the UK, is that for the first few days you wake up extremely early, and can take advantage of that to go out and run. The trouble is, actually, I was up so early that it was still dark, and the very built-up area of Irvine I was in didn’t seem particularly conducive to running. So I ended up doing what I often do when overseas and doing a run that is as much about exploring as training, and just bimbled along at a sub-8/mile pace and probably achieved little training benefit. Hey-ho. Call it a rest week.

Week 13 total: 24.8

Monday: 4.8 miles at 7:34/mile

Following quite  heavy weekend, and a week off, I went out for a pacey evening run along my favourite clifftop route. Not even going to pretend it really conformed to my training plan, but it felt good.

Thursday: 4 miles at 7:15/mile

After my article extolling the virtues of the tempo run, it occurred to me that even my reasonably fast runs probably aren’t really ‘tempo’ runs in the right sense, so I decided to make Thursday a shorter but properly fast run at a pace that I could only just about maintain for that distance. To be honest, the overall speed is a bit disappointing – I’d have liked to think I could have kept closer to 7 min miles for such a short distance, and maybe I’ll have another go at this and see if I can improve. Bearing in mind that a roughly 7 minute mile would be required to get a 3 hour marathon, and therefore a Boston Qualifier or a London Good For Age place, this was a nice illustration to me of just how much faster that is, and how much training would be needed to get there.

Sunday: 16 miles at 8:00/mile

I’m deliberately reducing the distance of my LSRs now, and this is probably the last properly long run I’ll do before the marathon. I’m starting to feel twinges and niggles from what has been (by my standards) a fairly intensive period of training, and I’m keen to avoid injury before the big day.

As for this run, it felt ok, and I reasonably comfortably maintained the necessary pace, although of course on the day I’d have had to do another ten miles of it. One thing I realise I haven’t done is trained much with nutrition. On the one hand, that should mean I perform better with it. On the other hand, it’s always risky trying new things on race day. And while gels are by no means new to me, I haven’t touched a gel since Brighton marathon 2018, exactly a year ago. I have been working on my race nutrition plan (another post on that, I expect) and I have a rough idea of what I’ll be using, so in the last few weeks of training I’ll start incorporating that.

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