John's Pre London Marathon Musings
My last blog but one was 8 days out from the Amsterdam Marathon so it seemed appropriate (and cathartic) to sit down and do the same thing with only 8 days until London.
Condensing 6 months of prep into one blog is probably too much to ask anyone to concentrate through so, in a nutshell, my training approach can summarised in to 3* points. All my training is on Strava if you'd like to have a look (STRAVA Link)
1. Race more - I raced a full x-country season which was a hell of a lot of fun. Unfortunately I had a shocker at Southerns and missed Nationals with an injury but other than that raced more in 4 months than I had in the previous 2 years. There is no real substitute for racing other people, especially when you don't really care about time and the surface isn't going to trash your legs. If you've never done it before I strongly recommend it regardless of ability. I've also raced two half marathons as part of my build posting PBs at the Brass Monkey in York and then Reading Half Marathon in 69.02 and 68.52 respectively.
2. More work at marathon pace during the specific phase and not worrying if I have to skip a track session. I've been lucky enough to train with a cracking group at Battersea Park on a Thursday night where we've I've been pushed way harder than I could have done on my own. A huge thanks to Dave Morgan and Rich Philips in particular for dragging my ass round on more than one occasion.
3. Be consistent - since November I can count my days off on one hand and, from January 1st to last Saturday I've averaged roughly 86 miles a week. Probably the best 15 week spell I've had since starting the sport.
Photo. 12 Stage Relays. Courtesy of Adrian Royle.
In spite of all of this the last week or so has been rocky - after a confidence boosting session my SI joint tightened up badly (I'd been nursing if for several weeks and it had never been anything more than a literal pain in the backside until then) and I had a shocking run at the recent National 12 stage coming in 40 seconds off the pace over 9k. The next day brought 15 rather painful miles as the entire left side of my body from waist to knee seemed hell bent on stopping me running. "STOP" - shouting aching glute, "STOP" - shouting stabbing pain in groin, "STOP" shouted spasming lower abdominal. All in all I was worrying if I'd be able to walk the next day, let alone run.
Thankfully a regime of massage, trigger point and stretching 3 times a day seems to have reduced the issue back to "pain in the arse" status and I'm hoping a massage will get me to the start line close to 100% - it's always worth remembering all the pain merges into one by about 18 miles anyway...
What does race day hold? I'll be gutted if I don't run a PB. My 2:28.01 from 2013 is long overdue a revision and I think 2:25 is doable but I have a eerie feeling I wrote something very similar before Amsterdam and drafted something almost identical in an un-posted blog before Manchester and neither of those went to plan. Half way in 72:30 and we'll see.
My number is 1122 for anyone who wishes to track and my progress.
*Obviously my actual training is more complex than this and I'd like to thank David Chalfen for his guidance Run Coach 1to1