First a word or caution – I’m not a pro, have no training in running, coaching or similar and other than an inherent stubbornness and an addictive personality I have no natural aptitude for running. Everything I write should be taken with caution as the ramblings of an amateur making it up as he goes along.
Also worth noting I’ve built up miles consistently since I started running in 2011 (when I couldn’t run the length of a parked car) so am often on the higher end of the weekly mileage compared to the average runner, with an average of 48 per week last year (although nothing compared to the serious club runners). If MK is your first marathon and you’re relatively new to running then don’t try and follow my training session for session as you’ll likely break something.
Likewise if your an experienced runner looking for a massive personal best at MK then stick to your own proven training schedule as I will threw in a few marathons and even an ultra in the training as oppose to the traditional 20 mile long runs. Basically I view any run over 16 or so miles without a medal at the end as pointless.
Marathon Training – Week 1 (slightly elongated 8 day week as it’s a new year)
Sunday – Two parkruns on New Years Day. After getting to 100 parkruns in December 2015 I only managed to fit a handful in for 2016 so decided to do a double to inch slowly towards my next free top. I ran the Linford Wood and then Milton Keynes parkruns at 21:25 and 21:28 respectively. Failed miserably to sort myself out and run to and in between them as part of intended long run so ran each separately. Happy to hold a fairly consistent pace for both but would have liked to be under 21. Work to do.
Monday – 10k run with the dog in 52 minutes as a fairly relaxed run. Would have been conversational pace but the dog isn’t much for chit chat.
Tuesday – 10 lots of 1 minute intervals with 1 min recovery. Pace was a bit off and splits ranged from 5:34min/mile to 6:13min/mile. The purpose of speed work like this is to raise overall speed and intervals should be run at a consistent pace.
Wednesday – 5am 9 mile run at average of 8min/mile. Been running this session for 18 months or so and it’s never easy getting up in the dark to run up a hill in the pitch black with other sleep deprived lunatics but it’s probably the most worthwhile session I do. Normally run as a tempo effort and close to the previous nights intervals it’s a good leg stretcher. This week I ran well for first half and then legs started to object to unusual punishment and pace slowed.
Thursday – Would normally be a 10 mile loop with running club but was unable to make it so did another 10k run with the dog in 51 minutes as a fairly relaxed run in the morning, and then a rare occurrence of a spin class in the evening. Not done one of these in a couple of years and even then very infrequently. Proper runners swear by cross training (doing exercising other than running to improve fitness but limit impact damage from running) so I thought I’d give it a go. 45 minutes of pain and my arse was bruised for next few days.
Friday – Saturday – Rare but two rest days in anticipation of….
Sunday – Enigma Winter Marathon. As above I tend to do a few more marathons than most (plan to reach 100 marathons by September 2017). This one was more of a long training run and test of fitness than a PB attempt. I went out a little too fast, hit halfway in about 1:36-1:37 and then held on to sub 8min/mile as long as able. It wasn’t long and I slowed as I found new legs muscles to hurt since the spin class. With half a lap to go some other runners had the cheek to try and catch me, and wasn’t keen on losing podium so had to snap out of the zombie plod and make an effort to hold onto 3rd place and a 3:36 finish. Marathon 88 ticked off.
Total miles – 62 over 8 days
To give some perspective my first marathon was in 2011 and I barely beat the 5hr cut off. The thought of ever getting under 4hrs was a ridiculous dream but with assistance from running clubs, coaches and enthusiastic running friends I tend to hit around the 3:30 most marathons now. Still a long way off getting a Good For Age but aiming to improve so when I hit the big 40 I can target a sub 3:15 in the new age bracket.