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Paris Marathon training: Week 4

November 28, 2009

 This week, I finally chose the charity I’ll be supporting for the Paris Marathon: The Stroke Association. Each year, around 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. Strokes are the leading cause of severe disability and the third biggest killer in the UK – beaten only by cancer and heart disease. The Stoke Association is the only charity solely concerned with preventing stroke and supporting anyone affected by the devastating effects of stroke.

It’s taken a long time – probably longer than it should have done – but I’ve also set myself the target of raising £1000. That’s a whole lot of money to raise, ideally by April, and I need your help. Yes, you. Please visit my JustGiving page, donate, leave comments of support, tell anyone you think might be interested in supporting this important cause.

In the meantime, though, my training has been juggled around my work, again. This week is the first time I’ll be mixing the long-distance training with a mini-peak for a weekend race.

Sunday was originally scheduled to be the long run day, but with a late return from a weekend in London and some frankly filthy weather, I swapped it round with Wednesday’s planned 11.5km run (at the gym, rather than the usual lap round Abgindon).

Monday, then, turned into the long run. Running for more than two hours after a full day at work takes determination, but I somehow managed to set off. As you’d expect, it was cold and dark, and although it was dry, there was a strong wind. For a change, and to make the most of Oxford’s street lighting, I decided to do a convoluted lap of the city.

If you’ve run long distances, you’ll know that running has a tendency to… ahem… act as a digestive aid. That’s all well and good, but when you’re running around the suburbs of a city at a time when all public toilets and long shut, the chances are you’re going to be put off your stride. On Monday I spent a good hour of my run waddling like a penguin until I took advantage of Marston Ferry Sports Centre’s facilities. Anyway, that’s my excuse for a slower-than-expected time.

Tuesday followed with the usual club run, although I suffered from a similar problem towards the end of the run. Wednesday was a day of rest – or at least being free to work a bit more flexibly – and for the first time in ages I managed to make it along to the Thursday speedwork session at the track. Friday was spent driving the 330-odd miles to and from Manchester for a meeting, and since I didn’t get home until 8.30PM I decided to cut out the 5km top-up run for this week. Today (Saturday) has been rest in preparation for tomorrow’s 10km race.

Sunday: 11.5km @ 3:56 per km

Monday: 27km @ 5:08 per km

Tuesday: 10km @ 4:35 per km

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 10 x 400m @ 1:17-1:24 per rep

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

So, that puts this week’s training total at 52.5km. Despite skipping a distance session, that puts me at just 0.5km under the planned distance. However, looking at the times, I’ve been missing the mark for effort and speed. With no long run planned for next week, but plenty of tempo runs, I’ll be aiming to pick up the pace. Especially on Sunday, where I’m aiming for a PB, but that may depend on the weather (with strong winds, rain and chill forecast so far).

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