March – 3x Marathons & return to form

As you might have read here I hammered the miles in January (nearly 360) to condense months of training into a few weeks for Transgrancanaria. My one marathon attempt was a disappointing 3h30m20 which after a couple of years of being able to count on sub3h30 was a reminder that big miles do not make a fast Mark. It also make it very clear that a London GFA time (sub 3h05) was as likely as a successful conclusion to Brexit.

The Garmin greed was kept at bay (mostly) for the rest of February due to tapering and recovery from TGC (it went well and I didn’t die!) and I managed a more sensible 268 miles. I should probably have run less as some of these runs were awful, especially compared to January. I was stuck in the usual ‘more miles = less weight’ and trying to look less like a blimp for the impending 40th Birthday.

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March approached and whilst some clubmates were undertaking the full seven marathons in seven days at the Enigma Week At The Knees event I joined them on Tuesday (day 2) to enjoy all that Storm Freya had to offer. It was a relief to finish and bag 1st place with a 3h28 having held as constant a pace as I could manage in the wind and a steady 8min average feeling relaxed and easy. Hooray, I was good again. My form was back.

Then I wasn’t. Friday I battled the wind again, lost 1st place with half a mile to go and stumbled in at 3h32. Pah. What happened to easy sub 3h30?

img_2166There followed a few weeks of running like arse and mostly being miserable. Even the short 10k relaxed runs in the woods with the dogs felt like effort. I got used to this being the new norm. I was going backwards.

img_2213Tuesday in the run up to my final marathon of the month and my tardiness on arrival at a club run meant I missed the 7m30s paced run and had to join on the 6m40s paced group. Expecting to be dropped like a stone I surprised myself by mostly keeping up and realised maybe I was OK.

Three days later back at an Enigma Running marathon I tried again for steady 8min miles. It felt comfortable and I allowed some creep as my legs wanted to run. I gradually moved up from 4th place, sneaked into 2nd place in the final lap and bagged a very comfortable 3h22m which has now got me wondering if some proper speed work and less miles could get me close to that GFA.

Next month is April. Most runners are doing Manchester (too far) or London (I’m too slow) so nothing much on the schedule.

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