Saturday, 2 November 2013

12 hours until my first stand-alone marathon - eeeep!

So, tomorrow I’m running my first stand-alone marathon (no, the marathons at the end of Ironman races don't count) - the Thames Turbo Triathlon Club Richmond Park Marathon for Turbos and friends. It’s a significant event for me, it was the first race I pulled out of after picking up some ITBS at the 2012 Royal Parks Half Marathon (where I smashed my PB to pieces as well as my iliotibial band).

The general advice is that you should always to write down your race plan, so here we go.

The plan is set:

Last year I was hoping to burn round at the peak of post-Ironman fitness and smash out a sub-3:30. No chance of hauling my arse round in that time at the moment – I have a bucket less fitness, and around a bucket more weight. I would dearly love to hit 4 hours, but love is not enough – need to run a bit too.

So, I’m going to go for a solid consistent 6 minutes per km, from start to finish. If I have any beans left then I’ll see if I can just nudge a negative split, that would be the icing for my inaugural marathon cake. 6min/km works out to 4:13.12, so with a few seconds for stopping at the drinks table the big target is 4:15.

Mrs will be on hand to yell encouragement, check her twitter feed (@totkat) for updates (maybe). She ran an incredible 50 mile (80km) off-road ultra-marathon in Rotherham recently. The bar has been set, and I'm not going to get anywhere near it!

The route is set:

Well, it's just around the park right? How can you go wrong...

One lap of about 9km followed by 3 of about 11km.

Start at the green marker, run anti-clockwise to the red marker (that's the 9km lap), turn around and run clockwise round one full 11km lap back to the red marker, turn again and run 11km anti-clockwise, then one more turn and an 11km clockwise circuit, all the way round to the red marker to finish.

Though it is a bit lumpy

Clothing is set:

  • My trusty Brooks T7 Racers (though with some of the 2kg of mud I picked up at Orpington parkrun this morning knocked off)
  • Long 2XU compression socks to keep my calves under control in the later stages
  • Super-comfy Nike long sleeved base layer
  • Valencia triathlon t-shirt on the top (bringing the spirit of the sun, even if there isn’t any actual sun)
  • Sailfish peaked cap, thin gloves, and two small squares of surgical tape to protect my pec-nuts

Food plan is set:

Despite a little more cake lately than an LCHF food plan might advise, I still seem to be well adapted to fat burning – a few weeks ago I ran a come-back PB parkrun and followed it with a 90km bike ride and all on a cup of coffee. That was a fun experiment - I was hungry by the time I’d finished but that’s because I didn’t have any food in my stomach – I certainly wasn’t bonking or feeling drained of energy. So, with that in mind I shouldn’t need to fill myself with sugar every 5 minutes to get round. 

  • Breakfast: Salmon, avocado, cream cheese, and scrambled egg for breakfast (no carbs before exercise, you’ll immediately break fat burning) and a nice large mug of coffee
  • During the run: Mainly nothing but water – if I do get hungry I’ll nibble on a Clif bar. Like a good boy scout though I’ll be prepared Just In Case, so I’ll keep a couple of ultra-power Double Espresso Clif shots in my pocket…
  • After the run: Pies, beer, and whatever the hell else I fancy :)

Weather is set:

Temperature fine, might be a bit breezy

Alarm is set:

Ouchy... It wouldn't be race day without a crazy early alarm

Plan B is set:

Ah yes, you’re supposed to have a plan B. Plan B is “adjust pace if required, but try and keep consistent, take as long as you need to finish – but do try to finish”.

I’ve entered the Rotterdam Marathon which is on 13th April 2014, and I’m going to train for that properly – until then, this will be my PB.

See you on the other side!

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