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Paris Marathon training: Week 17

February 28, 2010

This week hasn’t been great. Let’s just get that little incontrovertible fact out there. It’s been quite poor. Having crammed miles in the previous week to make up for a shortfall, I started this week with absolute determination that I was going to work hard to build up consistent miles in order to make up for several deviations from the all-important plan. It didn’t quite work out that way, with one run stunted by an ill-conceived energy source and several others cut out as I recovered from a cold.

The inexorable countdown to the Paris Marathon is nudging up against 40 days (41 days until the big event on Sunday), which means that there’s time to make up for the past couple of weeks and get myself into good condition. But not that much time. The next week is important for two key reasons:

  1. I need to crack the long run, which is due to be my first race-distance run. I’ve got close before (up to 23.9 miles), but this time the gloves are coming off (literally and metaphorically – the weather’s wet, but warmer than it has been for a long while). Making the distance will be a massive psychological boost, so while it sounds like overdoing it, I know it will be necessary for my confidence on race day.
  2. I need to be in good condition for  the Bath Half Marathon, in just seven days’ time. As a big race (a field of 14,000 runners) it’s a good precursor for Paris, so I can get a feel for the impact of crowd congestion over the first few miles, and see how I feel at the end. The plan is to go for it; this isn’t practising marathon pace, this is running a strong race and earning a new PB. No pressure, then.

Being sensible and taking time away from the schedule to recover seems to have paid off relatively well. The cold has more or less blown out and I was able to take a lunchtime run on Friday at a reasonably relaxed pace. While I felt I could have done more on Saturday, the main focus is on keeping my muscles fresh for the 26-mile training run on Sunday.

Sunday: 36.1km (little over 22 miles) @ 4:54 per km

Monday: Rest, and feeling rough

Tuesday: Rest, and feeling rougher

Wednesday: Capitulation, resting at home, and receiving a surprising number of cold calls (appropriately enough)

Thursday: Recovering and resting, still

Friday: 13.1km @ 4:26 per km

Saturday: A bit of cross training at the gym

So you know I’m running the Paris Marathon, but did you know I’m running it to raise money for The Stroke Association? Yes, because I’ve been going on about it here? In a week’s time, on 7 March 2010, I’ll be donning The Stroke Association vest for the first time in running the Bath Half Marathon. If you get your skates on and scarper over to my JustGiving page you can feel like you’ve grabbed yourself a bargain because you’ll be getting 50% extra running free in return for your sponsorship. All contributions are gratefully received (and I’m very grateful to everyone who has kindly donated so far).

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