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Paris Marathon training: Week 16

February 21, 2010

Part of the problem with long runs is that they’re so long. So, if you miss a long run at the start of your training week, you immediately find yourself trailing behind your target schedule. Take this week as an example: while my schedule, drawn up months ago, stipulated that I should be running 40km (or just over 25 miles) I was in fact tucking into my last Tuscan pizza before catching the plane back to the UK. (Despite being on holiday, I had managed to cram in a few runs.)

On arrival back into Heathrow I was greeted by a familiar winter chill and the knowledge that I’d have to try to squeeze an extra 7 miles or so on to each of my runs for that week if I wanted to catch up with where I should be. Of course, I’d have been mightily sensible to decide that it probably wasn’t a good idea to take that approach. And in retrospect, of course that sounds ridiculous. But still, I thought, worth a shot…

So, having had my first day back in the office (having got home just before midnight the night before), I ran home, expanding the run to take in a lap of Abingdon. There are two small portions of the run that have no street lighting. Trying to maintain a 7-minute mile pace when you can’t see the ground you’re running over is a bracing experience, and perhaps not one I’d recommend.

Things started to fall apart on Wednesday, when my partner was struck down with a lurgy and I had to take on the role of principal carer rather than run 13 miles. Thursday brought a Biblical rainstorm, and while I like to think I’m not a fair-weather runner, I shirked off to the gym. Friday, though, I thought I could squeeze in enough miles to try to make up for some of the shortfall by doubling up my runs. It turned out that three tempo runs in 24 hours isn’t a good idea.

And so the peak weekly distance in my schedule will have to shuffle along. Next week will probably be my most intensive training week before I can start the fine-tuning that comes as the distance covered starts to taper.

Sunday: A Room With A View, Florence

Monday: 24.5km @ 4:26 per km

Tuesday: 10.7km @ 4:09 per km

Wednesday: Florence Nightingale

Thursday: 13km @ 3:55 per km (Florence and the [Running] Machine)

Friday: 13.5km @ 4:13 (round Oxford) followed by 10km @ 4:03 per km (in the gym)

Saturday: Rest

Want to know why I’m running more than is probably advisable? Already heard something about it, but a bit forgetful? Not quite numbed to indifference by hearing me bang on about it? Well, I’m running the Paris Marathon on 11 April to raise money for The Stroke Association. It’s a worthy cause, and preparing for the marathon isn’t an easy task. Surely, you’re thinking to yourself, that’s worth a couple of bob? Come show your support at my JustGiving page. Thanking you muchly.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Wazza permalink
    February 22, 2010 11:51 am

    Hi Lewis, I’m still training away on the other side of the world. Your Florence report was great and your long runs and tempos should give you a lot of confidence for Paris.

    I’ve just finished my holiday schedule for “post” Paris. This is about 3 weeks in each of France and Italy plus a few days in Germany (away 8 weeks in total). Had not put Florence on the agenda, as have been there before (i – alcohol fueled “backpacker” tour and ii – honeymoon nearly 25 yrs ago) BUT I might have a rethink after seeing your photo.

    Metaphorically, we’re past the Eiffel Tower with our training now, so heads down for the finish and let’s get this thing done!

    • February 24, 2010 11:59 am

      Hi,
      It’s getting close isn’t it? A post-run holiday sounds like a great idea. We’re combining the trip to Paris with a family visit, but really it’s not much more than a long weekend before heading back to work.
      If you do decide to go to Florence, I can heartily recommend Hotel Athaneum, which is where we stayed. As you can see from the Garmin map, it’s pretty close to the city centre – and just 400m away from Michaelangelo’s David, if you fancy a bit of culture!
      Good luck with the rest of your training. Not so far from the last easy 26.2 miles now!
      Lewis

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