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  • Writer's pictureTom

Training for the Valencia Marathon - Week 2

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Not the week I was hoping for here, but one with some lessons and things to reflect on. Here's how week 2 of my Valencia marathon training went.


Monday


Felt pretty tired from Sunday's 14.5 mile run in sweltering heat. According to my HR, it had been the equivalent of a long tempo run. 400 x 10 here, starting off a lot easier than usual around 1.29 and finishing up quicker with the final one at 1.20.


Some light strength work in the afternoon, trying to avoid loading to the point that would result in DOMS, as I wanted to remain fresh ahead of a 5k race on Friday.


Tuesday


Still a bit fatigued but wanted to get some good volume without exerting myself too much, so did 1000 x 6 averaging around 6.12/mile pace, and around 9 miles of running overall.


Wednesday


Same as last Wednesday with 2 sets of 200 x 5 either side of picking up/dropping off the girls for their weekly session. They both qualified for the school cross country team, result! Around 7 miles in total.


Thursday


A tune up for tomorrow's race. Copying a session I saw that Morgan McDonald (Australian Olympian at 5000) likes to do the day before a race, including 2 x 200 at race pace, and 4 x 100 strides. Overall a light session, 4 miles done in just over 30 mins.


Friday


Race day! I often find myself racing in the evening, as Battersea Park (which puts on 5k races through the summer) holds them around 7pm. I hate sitting around all day waiting for the race so I always get out in the morning for a shakeout run, including some strides (2.5 miles).


I got to Battersea Park early hoping I'd have lots of time to warm up, as I always get there a bit too late to do the full one I'd like to, however there was a long queue for registration and it meant I didn't have much time left. I did a shortened version of the Tinman warmup, which included some tempo running, then some race pace strides as well as short sprints.


The race itself was a bit disappointing as I made the choice to go out more aggressively than I normally do (and advocate!). I'm not sure why I decided this in hindsight, as I had not raced for around 8 weeks and my training had been only been ok, a bit patchy with a couple of recent stomach bugs causing interruption, including missing several races. I would have been better served sticking to my usual strategy of going out cautiously and winding up the pace. However, while I couldn't hold my first mile pace of 5.18, I did not collapse too much, with the second mile at 5.32, and found that I was quite able to resume the third mile at 5.20/mile before putting in a good kick for the final 200m. I ended up with 16.38, which was 7 seconds faster than my last race here in the middle of July, though a long way off my 16.10 PB from earlier in the year. Still, it was a good experience in suffering and also regrouping midway through a race. And 16.38, while I don't believe to my reflective of my current fitness, converts to around 2.40 for the marathon, so I'm around where I need to be in terms of my speed. Now for endurance...


Saturday


There are germs in the house, my son was sent home from nursery earlier in the week and it turns out he has tonsillitis. My wife is also struck down and I have a cold brewing, oh dear.


Sunday


Inevitably I had to bail from the group long run which I had planned, mainly in order to look after my son but I wasn't feeling great either. I had opportunities later in the day to go out for a shorter effort but decided in the end to stay indoors. I did a strength session later in the afternoon with slightly more load than usual, no doubt will pay for that tomorrow.


A reminder of the priorities of the amateur runner! Also that the best laid plans do not always materialise, and during a marathon training block there are always going to be challenges to overcome. Onwards and [hopefully] upwards. 11 weeks to Valencia!


Week summary


35 miles

4 sessions (3 EIM)

14800 intervals/tempo

5k race

2 strength workouts

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