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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Chester Marathon - Week 1 of 10

Since the training for the Chester Marathon is going to take up a fair old chunk of the second half of the year I thought it might be worth blogging the 10 week run up to the event.

I have given myself the improbable task of ducking under 2:45 at some point in the next four marathons. These will be Chester 2012, London 2013, Amsterdam 2013 and Boston 2014.

So how improbable is 2:45?

If I had to put a figure on the chance of success it would probably be in the region of 10-15%.  A 2:45 would mean a London Marathon Championship entry and only 26 V45s qualified to apply for one of those in 2011. So chances are pretty slim but that will make it all the sweeter if it happens. And, as I always say, at least I'll get fit trying :)

Since starting again in 2008 this is how the marathon efforts have gone:

Apr 2009: Blackpool Marathon 3:24:17
Oct 2009: Fleetwood Marathon DNF
Apr 2010: Blackpool Marathon 3:08:13
Oct 2010: Amsterdam Marathon 3:04:27
Apr 2011: London Marathon 3:18:30
Apr 2012: London Marathon 2:57:04
Oct 2012: Chester Marathon
Apr 2013: London Marathon
Oct 2013: Amsterdam Marathon
Apr 2014: Boston Marathon

So they're going in the right direction if you ignore the 2011 London time, which was effectively a DNF, and that offers at least some hope that there are more time improvements to come.

On to the training:

Week 1 (Mon 30/7 - Sun 05/08)

Mon: 10.0 Miles Easy 1:19:23 (7:56/mile)
Tues: 10.0 Miles Easy 1:18:07 (7:49/mile)
Weds: 7.0 Miles incl Spencer Arms Dash (5th of 6 in series) 22:26 (5th/2nd vet)
Thurs: Rest
Fri: Rest
Sat: Rest
Sun: 10.0 Miles Easy 1:23:22 (8:20/mile)

Unfortunately, the first week included a pretty rare event in that I was struck down with a bug, probably food related. Because I rarely fall foul of these things when they do get through the immune system you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be nasty little sods and so it proved this week.

It was a shame really because I had a weekend lined up consisting of a 10K race at Battersea on Saturday morning, where I was hoping to have a good bash at getting a sub 36 minute 10K under the belt, followed by some Olympic viewing, including the Women's Triathlon and Women's Marathon.

By Sunday morning I was feeling better so felt up to having a bit of a run. As expected, the legs felt strong after their 3 days of rest but there was still something a bit off with the oxygen transportation system. Another day or two and things should be back to normal. I hope!

Ah well, probably better to get a week like that out of the way fairly early on and leave the path clear for a good solid block of training in the coming weeks.

What does Week 2 hold in prospect?

Week 2 will be fairly unusual in that it will include a 1500m race, something which I have only ever done once and that was a 4:30 effort at Crystal Palace in about 1987, a mere 25 years ago.

This will be at Stretford in Manchester on Tuesday evening. I dont quite know why but I'm quite looking forward to it even though I know myself and Tom Williams (in his mission to run a sub 5 minute mile by September - will be well down the field even if we get close to our target of 4:45 - 4:50.

I'm expecting something around a 70-80 mile week in total.

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