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  • Writer's pictureTom

Training for the Valencia Marathon - Week 5

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

I started the week still recovering from my cold (was it covid?) that I had the week before, and which had left me drained after my long Sunday run. Thankfully I got stronger as the week went on and by the end of it finished in a good place. Here's how week 5 of my Valencia marathon training went.


I fear for the near future of my Monday 400s. As the Sunday long run increases, my capacity to do much the following day is going to diminish, and combined with still feeling worse for wear I could not face this sort of session. Instead I did a gentle 5 mile run with surges every mile or so. The surges up to marathon pace felt like sprints, I was working far too hard for them!


Double day. Morning session of 2000 (6.16/mile) and 2 x 1000 (5.51/mile) with easy running totalling 6 miles. This felt much more like business as usual.

It was then back to Hell Hill for a similar session to the week before, in fact slightly more uphill running overall. One thing I did was sit out some of the short 15 second sprints, as they seemed like the most likely potential cause of injury on tired legs. I made sure I had plenty of recovery skipping every other one, and didn't go at them full blast. It meant that I was strong on the longer, more sustained efforts. That said, on the final full climb of the hill I felt like I was going backwards as I approached the top. There really is no feeling like it, the build up of lactate is more intense than anything I've experienced in running.

With the warm up/down it meant that in total it was around 11 miles for the day.


Double day with a coaching session in the afternoon. Both runs were very easy with some surges thrown in, but nothing particularly structured. I was feeling a bit leggy from the day before. Around 11 miles in total.


The staple, 1000m x 6. My aim here was to run just inside my marathon pace, and I managed that on all of them except the first which I treated as a bit more of a warm up. The average for all but the first was 6.04/mile. These felt pretty good, and I finished the session with the hope that I'll be able to dial in this pace more over the coming weeks. 8 miles in total.

I did a strength session in the evening with dumbbells, mainly single leg moves like split squats and deadlifts.


This one didn't go quite as planned as I felt a little twinge in my calf so I decided to play it safe and cut the session short. I had done 400m x 6 which felt pretty comfortable around 1.21 pace before jogging the rest of the way home, around 5 miles in total.


A full day of rest.


The first long run of the training block to include marathon pace is always a slightly daunting prospect. You spend the time prior to the faster segment in trepidation about what is to come. I used to do one longer block within the run, anything from 2-10 miles. However I found it very, very fatiguing and it would leave me compromised for running in the days that followed. In my last marathon block I broke up the efforts, spreading them across the run and found this worked well, giving me the workout while not draining me as much. One of my club mates joined me for 2 of the 3 miles I ran at marathon pace, which made things easier. I had planned for 18.5 miles but 20 miles seemed tantalisingly close and I'm afraid all those irrational thoughts take over where you think that you need to have these magical numbers in your training log. A cooler head would have told me to stop being stupid and to keep my powder dry for the week(s) to come.

Later in the day I managed a short strength session at home.

Week summary

62 miles

3 sessions

22500m of intervals/fast pace running

20 mile run

2 strength workouts

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