It’s time to talk Marathon training!! Somehow this has happened …
First time around in 2017 it didn’t go all that well …the aim was 3:20 .. I didn’t have a plan ..I didn’t really commit to the training. It pretty much went to shit at mile 17 and I hung on for dear life, finishing in 3:40. Ok, not the end of the world but performance wise, very disappointing.
Still, it’s a learning curve after all. You need the mistakes. How can you learn if you turn up for your first marathon and absolutely smash it. Where’s the fun in that! It was a great finishers T-shirt though – ’Remember the journey’ … errr I’d rather forget this one if it’s all the same to you.
Second time around … I had to make amends so back to York the following year to run the 2018 marathon. 3:20 aim again (7:40/mi pace).
There was plenty of extra motivation this time when you know that you know you can do much better and you have a score to settle. There was a plan that I stuck to by and large and finished in 3:18.
You can read my blog post here Yorkshire marathon.
It’s a bit lengthy .. you might want a brew 😊
Given that it went so well (check out those splits) and I got round it quite comfortably I know that with ‘better’ training and an increase in the weekly mileage there is definetly a quicker marathon in me. I’m confident of that.
I decided I didn’t want to run a marathon in 2019. A four month training plan really does take a lot of time and commitment, paticularly with two young kids who also need your time, and I just felt like I didn’t want to commit to it again so soon. Plus my wife had had to live with it two years on the trot so I figured we both deserved a break.
So, 2020 it is but which marathon and when?
I have ran York twice and I loved it second time around but I don’t want to run the same course again and whilst York suited me as an Autumn marathon I also didn’t want to wait until October.
So I started looking at spring marathons – Manchester being the main draw. It’s flat, fast, well spectated and popular with my club so there’ll be others training for it too.
The only drawback for me is that having put a 16 week plan together training would start a couple of weeks before Christmas and I just know I would struggle to get into the groove over that period as it’s family time and I am usually travelling to see family etc etc AND I’m not the most motivated to run in winter. I’m ok once I’m out .. I like the cold … I just find it hard getting out!
So what else is there…
I wanted a PB course. If the reviews claimed it wasn’t a PB course it was crossed off the list. So it was bye-bye Liverpool, Loch Ness, Windermere (hardly suprising!), Hull …. I was tempted with Milton Keynes given we have family there but I binned that off after seeing the promotional video on their website which showed a shitty little inflatable finish line in a near empty stadium. I’ll save you looking for it …
I’m not sure how accurate this is as reflection of the actual marathon so I apologise if I have offended anybody! I’m happy to put MK on the ‘next marathon’ list if you tell me it needs to be on there.
Edinburgh showed promise. I kept reading that it’s not the most interesting route and if the weather isn’t great that can really affect you along the coast but all things being equal it is a fast route and I’ll be totally honest – I’m in it for the time (and clearly, a decent finish line 😂).
Also in Edinburgh’s favour, the marathon takes place on Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May. Well that sounds about perfect! Training can start beginning of February so I can get xmas out of the way and whilst some of the weather will still be garbage it won’t be long before the days start getting longer and the weather starts (hopefully!) improving. Then come the Summer, the marathon is done and dusted.Another plus – it’s an ideal chance for me and my wife to have a well overdue weekend away without the kids. Got to keep her on side 😊
I intend to follow a similar plan to York but increase the mileage, do more hill and mid-week tempo sessions and maybe double up on one or 2 days depending on how it’s going.
The plan I have set up (yep, it’s already drafted out) will take me to a peak of around 65 miles a week, potentially up to 70 with double run days .. but that’s easy to say sat here. It will mean a noticeable increase on last years numbers where I averaged around 40 miles per week, peaking at 55 miles on a couple of weeks.
All I heard before York was people telling me that the race really starts at mile 20 but if you look at my York splits I wasn’t really troubled from mile 20 to the finish. I didn’t lose much pace, I was passing a lot of people at this point and I even managed a sprint finish 😊
So what time should I aim for?
3:15 is 3 minutes off my current PB and ok, a 3 minute PB is a PB but I don’t want to pull my plums out following a 16 week plan to knock ‘only’ 3 minutes off. I plan to work my balls off and I want more than 3 minutes out of that work.
Based on that I think I have to aim for <3:10.
What do you think? Does that appear to be realistic? I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you can offer any advice please do so.
Also, I know there’s a lot of you out there that have ran Edinburgh so come on … let me know what it is actually like…