Spring Marathon Training – Week 3

A view of frosty grass in the foreground and a bridge, behind which is a church and buildings in Port Sunlight village with blue skies

I was supposed to be running in a Cross Country race this morning but yesterday I thought my legs would not hold up and pulled out.

Yesterday, I was on my feet for a little over 3 hours and 10 minutes doing a Long Slow Run, which turned into a Long Slow Walk with occasional shuffles in the last few hundred yards of my 14.5 miles. My calves were like concrete jelly (yes, all at the same time) and refused to play anymore.

It was no surprise as I had not taken more than one gel out with me and zero water. The water wasn’t a problem as it was a crisp, cold and beautiful morning with a light layer of frost on the ground, and I was planning to just jog slowly and comfortably. The lack of food, however, showed. I’d had porridge and half a banana two hours before I began. During the run I lasted until 7 miles, around 1.5 hours in and then I was forced to rip open my sole gel. It made me more buoyant until around 11 miles when I started to dip again. I was hoping my body would work out how to open the fat stores within me and use that for energy, but the keys must have got lost as the dip kept on dipping.

It was mildly disappointing ­­– I’d hoped to get to 15 miles – but it was the longest number of miles I’d done since 2017, and at least I knew why I’d folded. Plus, it was only two days after a club session at the track.

That was on Thursday night. A little over a mile or so of warm up running and then lots of drills, followed by 800 metre repeats (for us slower runners – 1000 metres for the fast ones), with 3 minutes of rest in between. It was a chilly night, and a few sections of the track were still a bit skiddy from the week’s cold spell, but I pushed it, with three out of my four intervals being well under my 5K best speed.

There is a satisfying precision to track running that I like. Although I’m constantly getting overtaken by ten year old kids, it’s a whole different way of running to racking up a few miles on the road. Depending on the length of the interval, you push yourself to different limits. And you become more aware of your form, flinging your leg back, propelling your knee forward and really pumping those arms. I’m pretty sure I awakened one or two extra fast-twitch muscle fibres in that session.

They came into use this morning when I aimed to go for a little recovery run and started speeding up as my legs felt like flying.  In the words of the Marathon Talk podcast that I’m working my way through past episodes of, it was a negative-split royal flush. Every mile got faster and faster. A nice way to end the week, and I’m still, roughly, on track with my Yoga With Adriene 30 day challenge.

This is the breakdown of Week 3

DayWhat I didWhat Ben Parkes Wanted Me To Do
Monday5.08 miles [8.18 km] at 12.35 min/miles [7.67min/km] Slow run after the parkrun and
half marathon at the weekend.
Yoga – 20 mins
4 miles easy with strides
(left strides as busy weekend)
Yoga – 25 mins
WednesdayStrength and Mobility Class (1 hr)Strength (30 mins)
ThursdayTrack session
1.23 miles warm up [1.98 km] + drills
4 x 800 metres with 3 mins rest (avg 8.35 min/mile – [5.19min/km])
Yoga – 50 mins
10 mins easy 5×3 min interval pace with 2 mins walk 10 mins easy
(close enough)
Yoga – 20 mins
Saturday14.58 miles [23.46 km] at 12.57 min/miles [7.81min/km]Long run 12 miles with some tempo Had tempo last weekend so compensated with longer mileage.
Sunday5 miles [8.04 km] at 10.49 min/miles [6.52min/km]
Yoga – 50 mins
Total miles: 27.8 miles [44.74 km]

8 thoughts on “Spring Marathon Training – Week 3”

  1. I love that you are continuing to keep track of your training. You are doing so well even when your calves feel like concrete jelly. I’m excited for you and your progress. Maybe your good fitness habits will rub off on me. HA! I’m holding out until March when the time changes again, and we get more daylight in the evenings.

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