Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Trying another marathon

My previous marathon attempt was aborted after completing three of the four-lap course. I was “doing OK” until the point about half way round lap three when I was no longer “doing OK”. It was quite demoralising, my first DNF (Did Not Finish). It showed me that I should have a little more respect for these events. I may have been able to take it in my pre-injured stride when I was in Ironman shape (probably the best shape I’ve ever been in), but you can’t just knock out a marathon willy-nilly – not without a more established fitness base at least.

So, I’m going to try again. I entered the Rotterdam Marathon a while back. There are 18 weeks to race day (actually two days short of 18 weeks). On the recommendation of Martin Harris I got hold of Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas. They present a number of different training plans for varying levels of ability. The plans are are divided by the number of miles you want to run each week. Each plan has an 18-week version, and a 12-week version. Additionally they also present a lot of material on the theory of running - nutrition, training, life balance, etc.

Training so seriously that I even bought a book

I’m going to go in at the lowest level – and even that is 55 miles (88km) per week! I was initially considering getting stuck in to the 18-week plan, but as I’m currently averaging 10-20km per week I suspect that would be too much of a jump. Instead I’m going to follow the 12-week plan, and use the next 6 weeks to build up my weekly volume so I'm in a position to start it confidently and without risk of injury.

So, this week I'm running 30km. Next week, 35km. Then 40, 45, 45, and finally a down week to recover of just 25km. Combined with a renewed focus on eating well, and twice-weekly trips to the great blokes at Athletic Edge I should be more run-fit come April than I’ve ever been before.

This email also helps focus the mind!

Besides, I made a silly bet with Mrs that I could break 3:30 in Rotterdam – I don’t know how practical that is yet, but I know I haven't a hope in hell without structured training! She’s running it too, and so is my friend Chris so it should be a good laugh, and give some focus to cold dark winter training.

The race entry is paid. The flights are booked. The hotel is reserved. All I have to do is get there. Let’s go!

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