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Paris Marathon training: Week 19

March 14, 2010

It almost goes without saying, but the race is getting very close now. This week was a big week, both psychologically and in terms of working out how fit I actually am to run what is ultimately a pretty long way. The warm-up race seems to be a fixture for most distance runners, and it was a chance to find out what it’s like dealing with the kind of congestion only 11,000 runners can bring to a city.

I'm on the front cover of the race supplement from the 2010 Bath Half Marathon

No autographs please! I (and about a million other runners) featured on the front cover of the 2010 Bath Half Marathon race supplement in the local paper

It’s fair to say that the buzz of the event has stayed with me for the past few days. It’s not surprising that running that kind of distance with a strong crowd, lots of other people, and a great atmosphere is different from the solitary long evening runs in the dark of the past few months. While the previous week I had doubts about my ability to sustain 7-minute miles, on race day, wired with adrenaline, I managed an average mile pace of 6:24.

The experience of Bath has been propelling me through my runs this week. I’m picking up the pace, and experimenting with progression tempo runs (starting off at a manageable pace and then picking up the speed gradually through the course of the run) in anticipation of the taper starting and training building in intensity while the volume drops away.

Ultimately, I’m getting excited about Paris now. It’s less than a month away, I’ve had a good race, I know I can manage the distance, and spring finally feels like it’s on the way (the weekend has seen sunshine and temperatures around the 10°C mark).

Sunday: 21km @ 3:58 per km

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 14.5km @ 4:21 per km

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 20.5km @ 4:25 per km

Friday: 6km @ 3:57 per km

Saturday: Rest

Next week is the last week in my training schedule of high volume. So while this week’s total came in at 62km (slightly down from previous weeks due to the shorter Sunday run and the need to recover from the race), next week I’m looking for 77km. Building intensity into that volume is going to feel difficult, I should imagine…

My, you’re probably thinking, accessorising that yellow vest with those yellow gloves is a brave fashion statement. You’re right, of course, but what the front of that yellow vest doesn’t tell you (but the back does) is that I’m running to raise money for The Stroke Association. In fact, I’ve set myself the target of raising £1000, which is pretty substantial amount of money. If you want to show your support for this effort, please go to my JustGiving page and make a donation. Thanks.

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