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Paris Marathon training: Week 2

November 14, 2009

Two weeks into the training schedule, and a busy work week has meant that keeping to the plan has been difficult. I’m sure other runners juggling life with ambitious training goals must struggle with the same challenges as I’ve faced this week. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s likely to get much better until January, and with the tempo runs starting to get longer, I need to find a solution.

Sunday: 22.3km @ 4:20 per km

My long runs, at the moment, consist of two laps round north Abingdon. As I add distance to the Sunday runs, I’m looping further into south Abgingdon (this run was measured retrospectively, which wasn’t ideal, and marginally over target length). The advantage of running laps is that it’s easy to monitor progress and see whether you’re minusing (where your second lap is slower than your first). I was pleased with my splits, and it felt like quite a strong run (1.25km: 5:18; 9.9km: 43:22; 9.9km: 42:45; 1.25km: 5:14), but my legs were beginning to get quite stiff at the end.

However, despite all that, I still managed to have a 6km walk round Blenheim Palace with a friend who had come over to visit for the weekend. It probably helped work some of the soreness out of my muscles, so no bad thing.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 10.8km @ 4:08 per km

The club tempo run came with the option of an extra long route that would have added another 1.5km to the distance. However, that day I’d left the house at 6am, driven to Manchester for an Edexcel training event, driven back (a 230-mile round trip, all in some pretty miserable weather), reviewed a bit of manuscript at home and then headed out for the run in the rain. Given the long run on Sunday, I didn’t have the motivation for anything beyond the long route.

Wednesday: Rest

This was an unscheduled rest day, as a result of a beast of a day at work that ended with me working until about 10pm. There was literally no chance of going for a run this day, which resulted in a tweak to Thursday’s session.

Thursday: 10.5km @ 4:02 per km

I ended up swapping the club speedwork session for a longer run in the gym, partly as a result of Wednesday becoming a rest day, and partly because I didn’t leave the office until nearly 8pm. All taken into account, I didn’t have dinner until 10pm. I know other people must grapple with the demands of work and cramming in the distance training, so I’d love to know if there are any tricks to improving this situation. It’s certainly something I’m going to look at addressing in the next few weeks.

Friday: Rest

Another impromptu change in the schedule as a result of work, and also because my partner was singing after work. It became a good excuse to go out for a meal and have a pleasingly refreshing evening after a frankly manic week.

Saturday: 10.5km @ c4:00 per km

I’ll be having a run at the gym later today. It’s a vile day – gales and squallish downpours are battering Oxfordshire at the moment – so I think it’s going to have to be an indoor run. After all, tomorrow I’ll be out for a 24km run in the great outdoors. I’ve not yet found a satisfying way of avoiding boredom by around the 5km mark on the treadmill, and often find I need to slow down around the 8km mark because I’ve lost all motivation. Maybe I’ll have a revelation today… Maybe not…

Update @ 5:30pm: 10.5km @ 3:55 per km. Turns out the rugby was showing at the gym, and putting a towel over the treadmill display stopped me counting down every 10 meters. Distractions at the gym are, it seems, key.

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