Training Diary (31/10/16 – 06/11/16) 12 weeks to go until the Gran Canaria Marathon

Monday was a 10 mile general aerobic run and it was my first proper outdoor run of the winter. The cold north wind was back and it blew the pollution away for 24 hours and also dropped the temperature below freezing. It felt good to be outside, even if it was getting a bit to dark to be running around the school playing fields by the end. I ended the run with 10×100 metre strides before running back across the fields and inside school to warm up my fingers (must get some running gloves).

Tuesday was 6 miles recovery on the treadmill (the pollution was back). I listened to a Marathon Talk podcast from February 2014. It was brilliant.

Wednesday was 12 miles at 10-20% slower than marathon pace (what Pete Pfizinger* calls a ‘medium long run’). It actually turned out to be 11 miles running and 1 mile on the elliptical trainer because the treadmills were full when I got to the gym just before 5pm. The run felt hard, even though I was judging the effort by heart rate and the distance shouldn’t have been a problem. I think it was a combination of the long day at work, the stuffy and hot gym and the feeling that, compared with the workouts I have coming up, this one should have felt easier. But the fact is, I finished the run and the miles are in the bank. I’m training my brain as well as my body.

Thursday was 6 miles recovery on the treadmill because the pollution continues to get worse (352 as I type). I continue feel like I could eat a horse. Is it the weather, the increase in mileage or just my mood?

Friday was 11 miles at 10-20% slower than marathon pace on the treadmill. Compared with Wednesday, this was much easier. It might have been caused by the sugar high I was experiencing after having consuming three or four sweet pastries, two biscuits and a cup of hot chocolate at different points during the day (there was a training day at school and I’m terrible at resisting free food). Those sweet treats probably also caused the need for a bathroom stop after 9 miles, which was not so good. Need to eat better.

Saturday was 6 miles recovery feeling good, feeling easy, feeling ready for tomorrow’s first experience of marathon pace.

Sunday was 17 miles with the last 8 miles at marathon pace on the treadmill. Phew. It was always going to be tough having such a long marathon pace run at such an early stage in my training and so it proved. This was the hardest training run I’ve done in a long time. I even had to reduce the gradient on the treadmill to zero for the second half (my ‘flat’ is usually 1% to make it as difficult as running outside), so I technically didn’t complete it. I had to use every mental trick in the book to keep myself going but I got there. It feels good to have really pushed myself after 4 weeks of steady running since the Brussels marathon. Bring on the 72 miles of next week… after a good night’s sleep.

Total mileage for the week: 66. A full Pfitzinger!

*Advanced Marathoning by Peter Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas (2009)

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