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Monday, 20 April 2015

London Marathon 2015 (Week 11 of 12)

Week 11

Week 11 was the penultimate week before the London Marathon but it was also, of course, a marathon recovery week after Canberra last Sunday. 

This actually made things quite straightforward with the emphasis on getting as much protein into the diet as was practicable whilst at the same time keeping runs short and slow to give the muscles and connective tissues a fighting chance of recovering full strength relatively quickly.

This was also our last full week in Australia so there was still plenty exploring still to do, especially after flying over to Perth on Monday, providing a whole new playground to run amok in :)

After 8 relatively short and easy mid week runs, the weekend consisted of a parkrun at Dawesville, about 40-50 miles south of Perth, on Saturday and a Gallipoli Remembrance 10k at King's Park in the centre of Perth on Sunday. The combination of the two would give a good idea how the muscles were coming along.

Mon 13/4: 3.1 miles @ 9:02/mile 28:01 Bowral parkrun Freedom (Bong Bong Common)
Tues 14/4: 6.21 miles @ 9:13/mile incl Claisbroke Cove parkrun Freedom
Weds 15/4: 4.0 miles @ 8:16/mile Heirrison Island parkrun Freedom
Weds 15/4 7.0 miles @ 8:30/mile Kings Park, Perth
Thurs 16/4 4.0 miles @ 8:47/mile incl Claisbroke Cove parkrun Freedom
Thurs 16/4 12.0 miles @ 9:00/mile Caversham to Perth
Fri 17/4 3.1 miles @ 8:57/mile Bibra Lakes parkrun Freedom
Fri 17/4 3.1 miles @ 8:40/mile Rockingham parkrun Freedom
Sat 18/4 4.0 miles incl Dawesville parkrun 17:39 (3.1 miles @5:40/mile)
Sat 18/4 3.1 miles @ 8:18/mile Canning River parkrun Freedom
Sun 19/4 7.0 incl Bankwest Gallipoli 10k 35:15 (5.8 miles @6:04/mile)
Sun 19/4 3.1 miles @ 8:32/mile Cottisloe parkrun Freedom 

Total Mileage - 59.7 miles

Monday 13th April - Bowral parkrun Freedom (Bong Bong Common)

The first post marathon run was a visit to Bong Bong Common on the trip up from Canberra to Sydney to have a look at the Bowral parkrun course. To be fair, even if there hadn't been a parkrun course there we would probably have been unable to resist running around a place with a name like that:

Wednesday 15th April - Heirrison Island parkrun Freedom

Wednesday morning involved a short run out to Heirrison Island, a parkrun venue with a difference.

Just across the road from the famous WACA cricket ground, Heirrison Island offers a chance to run  a parkrun with an audience of kangaroos. There's not much chance of them joining in though, 5k is far too energetic for their liking:

Wednesday 15th April - King's Park, Perth

Later in the day a 7 mile run around King's Park next to the city centre convinced us that we wanted to enter the 10k Gallipoli run that was due to be held here on Sunday. The phrase 'stunning setting' has been much used in the last few weeks but it would be difficult for anyone to argue that this wasn't one:

Thursday 16th April - Caversham to Perth

Thursday involved a bus trip out to Caversham Nature Reserve and then running the 12 miles back into Perth. 

The main discovery of the day was that kangaroos and Labradors have plenty in common. 'Please tickle my chest, Mr Human ........'

Friday 17th April - Rockingham parkrun Freedom

Rockingham must provide the ultimate in parkrun PB potential!

A flat, fast out and back course with the added bonus of snakes loitering on either side of the path. What more incentive could you need to get a shift on? :p

Saturday 18th April - Dawesville parkrun (17:39)

So, 6 days after the Canberra Marathon and the first opportunity to give the legs a bit of a test.

Surprise, surprise .... out pops the fastest parkrun of the year with a 5:40/mile 17:39 clocking. Then again, it may not be as much of a surprise as it first appears since the previous fastest parkrun of the year was a 17:54 at Melton Mowbray, which was 6 days after Wrexham Marathon.

This tends to suggest that upping the frequency of marathons has dramatically improved the recovery rate, especially of fast twitch fibres. In years gone by the next parkrun following a marathon tended to be a real struggle and a good minute or more slower than usual.....

In terms of unique features, Dawesville had dolphins in the bay next to the start/finish line breakfasting on the local fish stocks. Where else do you get that?

Sunday 18th April - Bank West Gallipoli 10K Run, King's Park, Perth (35:14 (13th))

ANZAC day is the biggest national day of the year in Australia, a day with commemorates the landings at Gallipoli in the WW1 and this year it is going to be bigger than ever due to being the 100th anniversary.

There will be no parkruns in Australia next Saturday (25th) to make way for all the early morning events taking place.

The 10k run in King's Park on Sunday was also part of the ANZAC remembrance events. It turned out to be a tough hilly course and was undoubtedly short, being about 5.8 miles, but that was of little interest once we started to learn of the background of the young man in the picture below with Hannah.

This is John Gilmour, a 96 year old ex POW, held by the Japanese for three years before returning to Fremantle after the war severely malnourished, blind and weighing about 40kg.

Despite the punishment his body had been through he became a legendary distance runner in Australia. He currently holds numerous age group world records including running a 1:17 half marathon as a V65. A bit of Googling and his story keeps getting more fascinating ....

Sunday 18th April - Cottisloe parkrun Freedom

As the Gallipoli 10k event kicked off at 7am, it was all over by 8am.

So another spot of Freedom parkrunning down the coast at Cottisloe, which held it's inaugural the day before, before an afternoon soaking up the sun down on the beach and then a spot of Mancester Marathon tracking down in Fremantle. At least that was the plan but the tracker seemed to get all it's bits and bytes in a bit of a knot and spewed out a pile of nonsense for most of the race.

Nonetheless, big congratulations go to stand out performances for:

Kelvin Dickinson 2:43:08
Steve Middleton 2:42:54
Ben Hartley 2:58:06
Keith Littlewood 2:50:02
Tony Aimon 2:52:27
Mark Ramsey 3:45:43
Chris Singleton 2:33:15
Christina Singleton 2:58:46

PBs all round except Kelvin who was a mere minute or so off :)

London Marathon next week ..........

So, how are things shaping up for London? With a near enough 24 hour flight between now and then it is difficult to tell. 

On the plus side, the marathon building blocks below look solid enough and the recovery from Canberra seems to have been pretty swift from the evidence so far but it won't really become too clear how well recovered until somewhere around the Isle Of Dogs next Sunday.

The Red Lion awaits .........

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
8th March: 26.21 miles @ 6:23/mile
14th March: 3.1 miles @ 5:46/mile
14th March: 3.1 miles @ 5:36/mile
15th March: 20.0 miles @ 6:25/mile
21st March: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
22nd March: 9.65 miles @ 6:18/mile
28th March: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
29th March:  11.2 miles @ 6:08/mile)
4th April: 3.1 miles @ 6:00/mile
12th April: 26.21 miles @ 6:35/mile
18th April: 3.1 miles @ 5:40/mile
19th April: 5.8 miles @ 6:04/mile


  1. What an amazing journey you've had, very jealous!! Wishing you a safe flight home and the best of luck to you both for London. I'll be running Blackpool marathon on the same day, so I'll look for you in the results when i get home! All the best - Dan Cobb

  2. Thanks Dan and best of luck at Blackpool.