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Monday, 2 March 2015

London Marathon 2015 (Week 4 of 12)

Week 4 of 12

Just a couple of months to go now to this year's London Marathon, the point when most people will be reaching peak mileage in their build ups. 

That wasn't quite the case for me this week as long working days resulted in overall mileage taking a bit of a dip but there will always be ebbs and flows in time available, a subject which is much more starkly highlighted in Helen Williams's blog this week .

So what did this week contain? As with previous weeks, a bunch of solid miles in the 8:00-9:00/mile range filled up the midweek runs and then the more testing stuff was tackled at the weekend.

The idea was to have a gentle parkrun and then have a good bash at the brilliantly organised Podium 5K on Saturday evening, hopefully with something around 17:20-17:30. However, this idea seemed a bit pointless with weather warnings of 30mph winds on Saturday evening, so York parkrun became a bit more of an effort than was originally intended.

The Podium venue at Colne in Lancashire was certainly windy on Saturday evening but not as bad as had been expected so in the end there were two good solid 5K efforts on Saturday as opposed to concentrating all efforts on one.

Sunday then saw a trip to the very enjoyable, but again very windy, Anglesey Half Marathon.

Week 4 (Mon 23rd Feb - Sun 1st March)

Mon 23/2: 10.0 Miles @ 8:55/mile
Tues 24/2:  8.0 Miles @ 8:36/mile
Weds 25/2:  10.0 Miles @ 8:54/mile
Thurs 26/2: 8.0 Miles @ 8:57/mile
Fri 27/2: 6.21 Miles @ 8:45/mile
Sat 28/2: 4.0 Miles (incl York parkrun 18:02 (3.1 miles @ 5:48/mile))
Sat 28/2: 4.0 Miles (incl Podium 5K 18:07 (3.1 miles @ 5:50/mile)
Sun 1/3: 14.0 Miles (incl Anglesey Half Marathon (28th) 1:23:51 @ 6:24/mile)

Total Mileage : 64.21 Miles

Sat 28th Feb - York parkrun (18:02)

As the York course consists of one and a half laps of the service road inside the Knavesmire racecourse it very much came down to judging your efforts against the wind. Hannah ran it much differently to how I tackled it but somehow we ended up crossing the line almost in synch. My dipping for the line techniques came up short once more :p 18:02 on a windy morning will do though :)

Sat 28th Feb - Podium 5k, Colne (18:08)

This is a new event which has been set up with no other aim than to provide an opportunity for everyone to have a crack at their 5K PBs in highly competitive racing conditions.

The course consists of 5 laps of an almost pan flat, smooth purpose built cycle track. Entry fees are minimal at £4 and to encourage some great racing at the front end entry is free for any sub 16 males or sub 18 females. 

It all makes for a great atmosphere for Saturday evening floodlit racing. Much credit I believe goes to Chris Barnes for getting this off the ground, along with Terry Lonergan's sponsorship.

My legs were feeling a bit weary for this one but 5K at 5:50 miling is still another good training input. The pic below was just after the start in the B race with Christina Singleton (189) in the middle, the photogenic Ian Ogden (149) in the red and gold and myself on the far side (195).

As an aside it is worth noting that as all the participants were lined up on the start line for this race, Hannah was nowhere to be seen. Apparently, a last minute realisation that she had forgotten to put on her sports bra resulted in some frenzied fumbling behind the shipping container followed by a breathless 200m sprint to join the rest of us at the start. She was ever so grateful that Chris had a few announcements before we got going :p

Sun 1st March - Anglesey Half Marathon (1:23:51)

Predicted winds of 25-30 mph seemed to be reality as we heard the wind whistling outside the hotel on Sunday morning. Battling the headwind to get to the car only served to confirm that this was not going to be a race to pay any attention to the resulting time, it was just going to be a morning to toughen up and get on with it.

Despite knowing that it was not going to be the most pleasant of conditions we couldn't help but be impressed by the scenic nature of the course as it followed an out and back course along the Holyhead coast, starting on the Menai Bridge.

The now customary Sue Gregson pre-race hug :)

The race itself was a game of two halves - getting to 6 miles in 36:36 (6:06/mile) was a good bit better than expected, especially after Saturday's efforts and the hilly nature of the course, but turning around to make the return journey presented a tougher challenge.

The remaining 7.1 miles took 47:15 (6:39/mile) but turned out to be a real confidence builder as the way the legs responded to both the strong winds and tough climbs was pretty good. Hannah made very similar comments at the end despite having real doubts about her fitness on hills beforehand.

An overall 13.1 miles at sub 2:48 marathon pace given the conditions was another good building block. Hannah took a more cautious approach to the first half and then spent the second half whittling away the gap between us. By the finish 1:24:22 was good enough to secure 2nd place and a place on the podium, a situation she finds embarrassing to say the least ;)

The Anglesey Half Marathon Ladies' 3-1-2, Jenny Clague (3rd 1:25:09 ), Lauren Jeska (1st 1:22:58), Hannah Oldroyd (1:24:22):

Marathon Building Blocks:

15th Feb: 18.6 miles @ 6:16/mile
22nd Feb: 10.0 miles @ 6:04/mile
28th Feb: 3.1 miles @ 5:48/mile
28th Feb: 3.1 miles @ 5:50/mile
1st March: 13.1 miles @ 6:24/mile

Week 5 will be interesting but for the time being remains fluid in nature!

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