17 Feb 2013
My goal for the Greater Manchester Marathon is to do another marathon in less than 4 hours. This means running every one of the 42.2 kilometres at a pace of 5 minutes and 37 seconds - or preferably a little bit faster than that. My ideal race pace for this race is 5 minutes and 25-30 seconds per kilometre, as it would give me some leeway...unlike the Edinburgh marathon last year, when I finished on 3 hours, 59 minutes aaaaaaand....54 seconds!
Today I went out for a long run. The sun was just coming out from behind the clouds as I set off and the weather was pretty lovely.The plan was to go along the River Lea up past Walthamstow marshes and beyond (which basically means running until I see the big IKEA in Edmonton...and then see how I feel). The first 10k's I clocked off at a pretty steady 5.25 pace but as my legs grew a bit tired the pace came down to 5.30-5.35 pace up to the 22k mark. The last 5k's I was pretty tired and the pace was only around 5.45 per kilometre. All in all it wasn't the greatest long run I've ever produced but considering this weeks training with, among other things, a 2 hour spincycling class, an interval session on the treadmill and one on the spin bike and some good weight sessions I give my legs top marks for holding up the way they did. Race pace didn't feel all that tiring in general, and with less tired legs I think the whole run could've been pretty grand. I ended up doing 27 kilometres, which was what my training plan said, so I can't fault the distance either. And yes, during those last gruelling kilometres I did think 'this is rubbish, why am I doing this??!' but I know that when I'm standing on the starting line in Manchester I'll be thanking myself for not stopping when I'm tired, but stopping when I'm done.
The best part of today's run? The weather. Thank you London for a sunny day, I really needed it. Spring is indeed in the air!