London Marathon Training Diary Weeks 1+2
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London Marathon Training Diary Weeks 1+2

Rob Murray
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Rob Murray

Rob is a self confessed running geek, obsessed with all things related to the sport, whether road, track or triathlon.
Rob Murray
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Back on it again. Sucker for punishment etc etc.

After doing my first 26.2 at the Brighton Marathon in April last year in 2:59:04, I realised that after years of entering the ballot for London, I had achieved a Good For Age time! This was an unexpected outcome, but an opportunity which I figured I had to take. I could have delayed it a few years but who knows what might happen in the future – time to do the London Marathon!

So having been over the moon with getting sub-3 on my first attempt at Brighton, the first thing was to find some motivation to get me through the months of gruelling training ahead… A new target time! As ever for a marathon I;ve created 4 targets; Plan A) 2:50, Plan B) 2:55, Plan C) sub3, Plan D FINISH!

Plan A gives me a marathon training pace of just under 6:30/mi which right now, fills me with uncertainty. Keeping that pace up for 26.2 miles is a big ask and, it might not sound a lot, but a huge jump up from the 6:50/mi pace that I trained at for sub3.

I am again using the 55-70 miles per week training plan by Pfitzinger and Douglas in their book ‘Advanced Marathoning. This plan has at its root high mileage (starts at 54 miles, finishes on 70 miles per week), combined with faster miles to improve speed endurance. So I’m using exactly the same plan, but where it says for example, ’18 mile run with 10 miles at marathon pace’, the MP section will now be run at a pace of 6:28/mi rather than 6:50.

Week 1

Falling 18 weeks before the date of the London Marathon 2017, Monday 19th December saw the start of my training. Fortunately, it also coincided with the beginning of the time I had taken off for Christmas! For the first week I was at Center Parcs – lots of forest and car-free paths which was perfect. I did the following:

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Running in Center Parcs

Mon – Rest day yay!

Tues – 3m easy, 4m @ HM (half marathon) pace, 2m easy = 9m total

Wed – 9 miles easy

Thurs – Recovery 4

Fri – Progressive aerobic at ave 7:40 pace

Sat (Xmas Eve) – Back home and decided to do the week’s long run today rather than on Christmas Day. 15 miles @ aerobic (7:30/mi pace)

Sun (Xmas Day) – 4.5m recovery

Total mileage: 50 miles

Week 2

Really feeling the mileage of the first week after going from 20-30 mile weeks to suddenly doing 50 miles. This should last around 2-3 weeks until my body starts to make the necessary adaptations. Until then, tired and aching.

Icy run through beautiful countryside

Icy run through beautiful countryside

Mon – Very naughty and ran a 10k race in my rest day. WOuld not recommend this as it massively increases your chances of getting injured. But the Round the Lakes 10k on Boxing Day is a family tradition, so ran this with my dad and wife. 1 mile warm up, 10k in 39:00 dead, 1 mile cool down. 8 miles total.

Tues – Rest day

Wed – MLR (medium long run) or 12 miles @ 7:13/mi ave pace (aerobic to tempo).

Thurs – Recovery 4. This was after ice-skating with friends and a KFC, NOT recommended run prep!

Fri – Early morning 9 miles at an easy pace. Very icy so hard work slipping and sliding around.

Sat – Recovery 4.3 miles.

Sun (New Year’s Day) – OK, naughty again, two races in one week! This time it was the first race in our club championship as well as the local road running league – a Quarter Marathon. I figured if I ran a bit before, held off a bit in the race and did a bit afterwards then this would all be equal to a long run!

So I ran 6 miles down to the race start, got there just in time to grab my number (my wife had luckily got it for me and was waiting at the entrance), then to the start. Ran the race (6.5 miles in 42:16) at exactly target marathon pace (6:28/mi), then warmed down for 2 miles with Coggs. This made it 14.5. for the day and although it was meant to be 16, I reckon race miles count for more, so happy with that.

Total weekly mileage: 52.5

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Author: Rob Murray