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Training for the Valencia Marathon - Week 3

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

I needed a good week here after missing a few days of training. It meant that I was relatively fresh, and with a race upcoming on Saturday my plan was to front load the week. Thankfully it all went more or less to plan, so here's a breakdown of week 3 of my Valencia marathon training.


Monday


My usual Monday 400 x 10, averaging around 1.23.


My son was still off nursery so I took him out in the running buggy in the afternoon for about 45 minutes, just a plod around the local park with plenty of stops.


Tuesday


I want to start bringing in some longer, sustained efforts which later on will be integrated into the long run, but for now are a separate workout. This was 2000 x 4, with 800m recovery between each interval. These were done a bit slower than my marathon pace, averaging around 6.24/mile. By the fourth rep this felt like quite hard work.


Wednesday


My last big day before starting to get ready for racing at the weekend. Started off with 800 x 5, averaging around 5.38/mile.


In the afternoon I did a short strength session at home, and kept it quite light, staying away from anything that might bring about DOMS.


Following this I took the girls out for their weekly run, which again was bookended by 200 x 5, most around 40 seconds.


Thursday


Kept it simple here with a 45 minute recovery run on a hilly route, throwing in some surges around marathon pace every mile.


Friday


Like the week before, my pre-race tune up with 2 x 200 at race pace, and 4 x 100 strides.


Saturday


My first ever relay! My club had a strong contingent at the SEAA road relays in Aldershot, bringing five teams in total. A real pain to get to which - around 2 hours driving - wasn't the best preparation and being on the first leg meant I didn't have lots of time to warm up. I managed around a mile with a few strides.


The course, unbeknown to me, was a hilly 2-lapper of 6000m. The M40 A team, which I was leading out, started at the same time as the under 40s, so a lot of speedy people. Without knowing the course, I got sucked into going out a bit harder than would have been sensible, and subsequently got slower over each kilometre, save for the final one where I managed to empty out anything that was left.


I got around in 20.58, an average of 5.33/mile. I had been targeting an overall average of 5.30/mile so I wasn't too far off it, and had I managed the course better I believe I would have achieved it. A good lesson ahead of the cross country season, where this type of racing with surges and hills requires more care.


I finished off with a 3 mile cool down jog around the course stopping at various points to cheer on my club mates.


Sunday


A lot of our Sunday club runs tend to be flat and familiar routes. The new generation of Garmins have such good maps that make it a lot easier to plot out and follow more adventurous routes. I think early on in the marathon training block it's good to mix up the routes and include hilly courses too, as there's no pace target or quick segments. They will come later. This was a 14 mile run with over 800ft of climbing, largely concentrated on two big hills.

After a few hours recovered at home, I did a strength session around 20 minutes in duration.


Overall a solid week. I feel a lot further ahead than at the corresponding time in my last marathon training block.


Week summary


60 miles

4 sessions

26600m of intervals/race

6k race

2 strength workouts

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