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Paris Marathon training: Week 14

February 7, 2010

One of the challenges of taking marathon training fairly seriously is fitting it into your life. Running five nights a week can take its toll on what you’re able to do – even if some of the runs are still on the short side. The theme of this week was really getting the most out of the time I had available as work and social commitments started to get in the way.

Different runners deal with time management in different ways.

Some run early in the morning, squeezing in a few miles before their full day at work. Personally, I’ve manage this once (at the gym) and despite it being fine, I’m not that much of a morning person and getting up at 6am each day for a run would be a bridge too far.

Others run in their lunch break – in fact, I often see a couple of people darting out for a quick lap of the Peace Mile around midday at work. Again, I don’t really feel like this is for me. Working backwards, I’d probably only be able to squeeze in a 40-minute run considering that I’d need a shower afterwards.

So, that leaves me with running after work. Having effectively hit the wall on Sunday when I had to cut my long run a mile short because my legs had cramped up, I was lagging slightly behind in my mileage from early on. Tuesday’s club run was fairly easy and helped loosen my legs, which in turn helped for Wednesday’s 20.5k run.

And then it all fell apart. On Thursday I didn’t leave work until 8:15pm, which meant missing the club track session. On Friday it turned out that I’d rashly agreed to go to a school production of Bugsy Malone. This meant that my window for running 7 miles on Friday was closed. On Saturday I decided that in the long term I was better off keeping it as a rest day and not cramming in the missing miles to the potential jeopardy of my Sunday run.

So, a completely different approach to training this week as opposed to the previous week. Time will tell whether it’s a more effective approach to training, or whether it’s just a little more convenient.

Sunday: 34k @ 4:39 per km

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 11k @ 4:27 per km

Wednesday: 20.5k @ 4:14 per km

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest (with splurge guns)

Saturday: Rest (with rugby viewing)

So, three runs covering a total of 65.5k this week. A bit behind schedule, but Wednesday’s run was strong (being, as it was, about 400 metres short of a half marathon and at sub-90 minute pace). For various reasons, next week is also going to be a little short on distance, so I’m going to need to find the most effective ways of training in the run-up to the Bath Half in early March.

You may already know that I’m running the Paris Marathon on 11 April 2010 to raise money for The Stroke Association. If not, well, I am. I have set a fundraising target of £1000, and have currently raised a smidgeon over £300. As my employer is matching donations up to a total of £500, my target is reachable with around two months left until the big day. So, if you want to lend me some moral succour as I pace countless miles in the chilly, rainy, dark evenings, please head over to my JustGiving page. All donations are gratefully appreciated!

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