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Virgin London Marathon training: Week 15

April 9, 2012

Entering into the taper, my main concern was to get some faster running under my belt and try to avoid aggravating the hip pain that has accompanied the last week or so of training. I was successful on one of those counts.

So, to quickly run through my training for the week, I ended up having three training runs. The first was a fast 8.5 miles on Tuesday, then the usual Thursday 14.5-mile run home via Canary Wharf and Stratford, and finally a 17.5-mile run along the Lee Valley on Sunday.

It quickly became apparent on Tuesday that the pain is exacerbated by running fast – largely because it involves a longer gait – but I was able to put it out of my mind for most of the run. On Thursday things felt much better, and once I left Stratford I was able to put a decent pace into the run with relatively little discomfort. I felt a little sore from the run on Friday, so had an easy cycle and decided not to go for a short run so I could let my body recover properly.

On Sunday I wanted to run at around marathon pace. I decided to set off without water or gels, which was probably an error given the distance and speed. I kept up a good pace with little discomfort, passing 13 miles in 1:25:30ish. However, when I got to mile 15 I started to notice the hip pain and inevitably slowed a bit. The last few miles weren’t terribly comfortable, and to compound matters I was feeling thirsty and like I could probably have done with a carb gel. Still, I made it home with 17.5 miles at an average of 6:45 minute miles under my belt. Given water and a gel, I feel I could have kept up a faster pace.

If there’s one thing this week has highlighted it’s that I’m going to need to be mentally strong to keep up the pace I want come race day. It seems inevitable that I’ll have hip pain, but the pain doesn’t seem to be affecting my strength (it might be a trapped nerve, or a little-used muscle group, I just don’t know at the moment). I know I’m in good shape and that I can sustain a good pace for a substantial amount of time in less-than-ideal conditions. I just need to work out strategies that will stop me focusing on the pain.

Fortunately, distraction techniques are surely a core skill for distance runners. I don’t know about anyone else, but I often find that trying to mentally calculate split times and finish times seems to be what works for me. For example, I’ll try to work out what a mile split would work out as in kilometres (6:26 per mile is 4:00 per km), or what speed I’m running at, etc. While my body channels oxygen to my muscles I’ve got an excuse for my mental arithmetic skills, but I may need to come to the start line prepared with some more engrossing mathematical quandaries to act as true distractions…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2012 5:31 am

    Nice post it was, thanks for sharing this to us. Looking forward always for more updates, great training you had.

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  1. One Step At A Time, Remaining Focused « mondessinnumero1

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