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Paris Marathon training: Week 23

April 10, 2010

Taken in isolation, you’d have no idea I was training for a marathon. The final week of the taper, and the hard work has long been done. The few runs this week have been all about speed, running easily and preserving energy for 11 April.

A squirrel monkey photographed at Woburn Safari Park

A squirrel monkey enjoying the sunshine – and probably considering nicking something – at Woburn Safari Park

Uncharacteristically for a bank holiday weekend, the sun came out. Great for the evening or morning runs – it makes such a difference to be out in the warmth, as opposed to drenched or frozen. It also turned out that preserving energy and going to a safari park go hand-in-hand. (Although, having driven through a traffic jam outside Bicester to go and sit in traffic jam in a lion enclosure is probably an indication of why these places should be avoided on a bank holiday.)

Carb loading is top of the agenda at the moment. I’m told that I’m meant to eat something like 500g of carbs a day – which is going some. Still, it’s quite pleasant to tuck into big bowls of pasta, extra potatoes, and a sneaky bit of chocolate. Finally, this must be the pay-off for all the running!

(As a slightly tenuous anecdote, it seems lemurs love a bit of carb loading too. Someone foolishly took a banana into the lemur enclosure – seriously, what were they thinking? – and one of the lemurs spotted it, bounded off, and relieved the visitor of their snack. A slightly blurry photo of the banana thief below, but I like to think you can see just how overjoyed the lemur is to have quite so much banana!)

A lemur at Woburn Safari Park, clutching a pilfered banana

Nom nom nom... banana... nom nom nom

So, the week’s runs are below:

Sunday: 7.8 miles @ 6:36 minutes per mile

Monday: Rest (and sitting in traffic)

Tuesday: Cross country club run 7.5 miles @ 7:13 minutes per mile

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 7.2 miles @ 6:32 minutes per mile

Friday: Get on plane

Saturday: Mooch about at Marathon Expo in Paris

And… that’s… it… No more runs till the marathon. A slightly bracing thought, but I think I’m ready. Well, as ready as I’m going to be, anyway.

On Sunday (eek!) I’m going to be running the Paris Marathon. If you happen to be up bright and early on Sunday and have access to Eurosport, it’s going to be broadcast live – I’ll be in a particularly fetching luminous yellow running vest. In fact, it’ll be a bright yellow Stroke Association vest to mark the fact I’m running to raise money for the charity. I’ve been touched by how generous everyone has been with donating, but if you fancy showing your support in advance of the event, please pop over to my JustGiving page. I’ll post here with how I got on, in case you’re interested…

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