Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Marathon #4 11 days away

11 days 'til my next marathon, which will be my fourth (excluding my ultra in December), and it's already time to reflect on the process. It has been so different to previous build-ups - fewer sessions, typically just 4 per week, but a greater emphasis on tough long runs.

I am however feeling for the first time somewhat overtrained. Yesterday I completed 24 km in the hills, and on a gentle tarmaced down-hill section could only just manage 4:17 for that kilometre toward the end. I just felt so weary. It's time to back off, and it's time to taper anyway, but I must find ways of keeping the wheels in motion, I don't want to be rusty a week on Sunday (my word that sounds close!) I hope to still feeling up for a final 10 miler on Sunday.

Other recent long runs have included:

  • 36 km in 2:42, adopting a 4:45/km x2 4:15/km x1 strategy throughout, and attempting to hold this in the last couple of K. 
  • 29 km, inc. 1 km warm up, 15 km 4:45/km, 4 km 4:15, 4km 4:10, 4km 4:05. "Fast Finish". That's how to knacker yourself!
  • 2 x 18 km with 1h30 break between. Not too difficult really.

Nutrition and health
2 weeks to go diet: It was recommended on a recent Marathon Talk episode 165 by Matt Fitzgerald to have a high-fat diet until 2 days before the event.
2 days before the marathon: Switch to high-carbohydrate diet.

I was intrigued by this (and generally love eating fatty products!), but was quickly scuppered as I am also battling chronic stomach issues, which are gastritis, but are caused neither by gluten or bacteria. Advice is against a fatty diet. I shall be emphasising rice and bananas in my last two meals.

I am also undergoing a couple of heart checks as I sometimes get heart palpitations. Quite satisfying to hear the cardiologist make a comment about me having a "sportsman's heart", around 50 bpm, sometimes less! Something must be going right. I have another check in another couple of days...

Why run?
Taking it a bit easier is also an opportunity to reflect on those bigger why do it questions. It's great teaching some PE to a local christian class, where we focus on the fact that running, and functional bodies, really are amazing and quite a privilege to be appreciated in recognition of who made them, gave them to us. We certainly didn't deserve them or ask for them! I still want to run for Him.

What's on the horizon?
I still feel that my longer term plan is to steer away from marathons to off-road long-distance stuff, it's just so much fun! But I'm not abandoning it yet as I still can't wait to experience what London 2014 is going to be like. Apparently Mo Farah will be making his London marathon debut there too, so it's a head-to-head there! I wonder what he'll do? My vote is for a new British record, finally breaking Jones' 80s record. Of course I won't be too far behind, just an hour or so ;)

Otherwise, I have two more off-road events scheduled, one around 24 km with 2000m positive ascent and a 55 km ultra later in June with similar climb (i.e. a "quick" ultra, pacing shall be an interesting one).

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