Brighton Marathon Training

Well I’m at it again this year. After coming in over the four hour mark in last year’s London marathon (4:10:46), I figured that I couldn’t really cross ‘marathon’ off my bucket list. After having completed two marathons, I now have a much better understanding of how to structure training. I figured a rigid training diary was not going to work. When you have set days to achieve certain goals, life can get in the way. Events with friends and family, leisure and work commitments, and random curve balls like getting ill or picking up injuries can throw a rigid diary wildly off course. Instead, I work with a training spreadsheet. I mapped out a training period of 22 weeks, starting in mid-November. I set an initial weekly target of 15 miles. By week 16, I intended to have built up to 40 miles, so I could spend a month maintaining that distance. I could then interpolate between those two values to give me weekly targets between week 1 and week 16. All I have to do is hit my weekly targets, with whatever combination of running distances that seems appropriate. So here’s what I have so far, half-way through my running program:

A gentle increase in weekly distance ensures that I’m not over-stretching myself.

Last year, I had a similar training regime. One major difference in my approach to runs was that I was running almost every day, but doing smaller runs. Having a 17.5km commute distance into work was one of the factors that encouraged me to invest more time in doing longer distances, and I must say it has been useful. My shorter runs tend to be around the 7.5km mark, and I get to have more rest-days, if I am working two long runs a week into my routine. Last year, I was almost training every day, so the longer runs at the weekend were painful, as I was always on the brink of injury.

The Brighton Marathon seems to be the ideal marathon for many reasons.

  • It costs £70 to enter, as opposed to the £1800 I had to raise for charity to enter London.
  • It’s one week before London, so I can train with other London marathoners.
  • I can feel smug on London Marathon day, knowing I’ve already done my bit.
  • It’s not going to be clogged up with slow traffic all the way round.

The Route

Here’s a map of last years route:

So now I’m half way through my training, I just need to keep it going. Week 11 had me doing 32 miles, so I’m not too far off getting to 40 miles. Training is definitely becoming achey, tedious and dare I say it, lonely! If I hit my 4 hour marathon target though, it’ll be worth it.

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Marathon Training: Final Big Run

Sponsor me!
After trying to do this last week (got to Hyde Park and my legs were dead), I decided to give my Edgware to Hyde Park and back run another go for my final big run.

The run out to Hyde Park went well. Managed to maintain an average pace of 5:36 per kilometre. The return run was painfully slow though. So I averaged at 6:03 for the whole run. I need to get that under 5:40 and add another 10km to the end on race day if I’m going to get under 4 hours for the marathon.

At the start line; the glamorous McDonald’s Stanmore at the top of the A5.

Half way point after 90 minutes at sone fancy Roman statue…

Which looks so much more impressive without my ugly face. 

Half time treats on a warm spring day at Hyde Park Corner.

Back at the finish line complete with farmer’s tan, stains and very painful ankles!

Those final splits were rotten! Got through the run without injury though. Two weeks till race day now, so time to recover and get strong for race day.

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Marathon Training: Hyde Park Run

So here’s the latest in my efforts to raise money for the White Lodge Centre.

www.justgiving.co.uk/andydavismarathon

As part of my marathon training, here’s a run I’ve been trying out. The A5 runs from Edgware to Hyde Park in Central London, and it’s pretty much bang on 10 miles.

Can’t say that the view along the way from Edgware is overly photogenic, unless you’re into retail parks and dual carriageways. Very satisfying when you arrive in central though!

This massive horse head greets you as you arrive at the park.

The eponymous Marble Arch…

Met one of the jolly locals…

Got this shot of Wellington Arch at the turnaround point near Hyde Park corner, the second time I did the run. Then it’s all the way back to sunny Edgware…

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Marathon Training: Competition

After a rotten week of not training and being completely ill, I arrived at last Saturday’s Parkrun in pretty poor form. Because the legs had gotten some rest, the time for that 5km was ok but by the end I was wheezing like Albert Steptoe.

This run was a test to see if I should even bother doing the Silverstone Half Marathon which I had signed up to do the following day with the White Lodge Centre team. I decided I should give it a go.

It was great to do a competitive run as it gave me the opportunity to realise that my understanding of race tactics was poor! I started way too quickly, taken up with the flow of fast runners. My sub 5 minute splits had degraded to 5:30 by the end and the last km was atrocious!

Still managed a half marathon pb.

With 6690 runners finishing, I was placed in the top 25%. Briefly encountered one White Lodge runner as I was pipped by Craig Waddle on the finishing line.

With my dodgy race tactics, I felt pretty burnt out at the end. I’ll be aiming for a more manageable pace in the big race. It’s so easy to go too fast and end up fighting and hurting to keep pace!

SPONSOR ME!

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Marathon Training: 30km

Sponsorship cash is slowly starting to come in. If you haven’t done so already, please help me support The White Lodge at www.justgiving.com/andydavismarathon

Two months to go till the marathon and finally got to the 30km mark.

That was Brockwell Park Parkrun followed by eight further laps. A little bit slow, but just under 6 minutes per kilometre.

Partook in my customary mocha pit stop at the Lido Cafe after 20km.

And people are actually swimming in that freezing lido! Maniacs…

Two more kilometres to go and looking smug…

Downhill from here… Top of the hill at Cressingham Gardens on the final lap.

Painful Aftermath… bleeding nips plus ice bath: not a good combination.

And in other news… my race number arrived.

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Marathon Training: Half-Way Point

So I’m half way through my training. Managed to get my weekly miles up to the recommended 36 mile point. Slowly starting to build up my distance runs.

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And this afternoon, managed a 27km run, by doing 5 laps of Clapham Common. The post-run ice bath was as usual, VERY unforgiving!

27km-run
Starting to get some great donations in for the fund-raising.
If you can help me out, I am raising money for The White Lodge Centre.

SPONSOR ME TO RUN THE MARATHON: www.justgiving.com/andydavismarathon

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Marathon Training: Distance Runs

I am running the Virgin London Marathon this year for The White Lodge Centre.

HELP ME OUT!

So I’m starting to get into the swing of training now. Slowly logging up the kilometres.
marathontrainingjanuary2017
Saturday is my favoured day for doing a big run, then I can spend Sunday doing far fewer runny related things.

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Park Run in Brockwell Park is my way of getting going. A 9am start on a winter morning isn’t exactly an appealing prospect, but joining hundreds of other runners doing the same is great motivation…

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So after 5km, I get my Park Run timing chip, and I have the first chunk of distance under my belt. The Park Run pace is fast… I don’t look too good at this point!

So this is what the Park Run folk told me:

Brockwell parkrun, Herne Hill results for event #310. Your time was 00:23:54.
Congratulations on completing your 12th parkrun and your 12th at Brockwell parkrun, Herne Hill today. You finished in 125th place and were the 113th male out of a field of 312 parkrunners and you came 13th in your age category VM40-44. Take a look at this week’s full set of results on our website. Your PB at Brockwell parkrun, Herne Hill remains 00:22:21. Congratulations on your fastest time this year.

It’s not easy to continue running after a quick 5km, but I get into a more comfortable pace. Four more laps of the park…

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This is probably a little cheaty, but I like to take a break two-thirds into the run at the Lido Cafe, and get a quick fuel boost. Granola with yoghurt and fruit, and a cheeky mocha. Then it’s back to the job.

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Run complete. Just managed to sneak under the two hour mark for the half marathon (by two seconds).

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Apologies for the nudity! Post-run ice bath… not fun. The final chapter of pain! Well this week, I managed to get my run up to 24km. That’s Park Run, plus six laps of Brockwell Park. So next week, I’ll be breaking the 25km barrier. Marathon training takes up a lot of time, but hopefully, I can raise some cash for The White Lodge Centre. If you would like to help me out, that would be just great!

DONATE

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