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Training for the Valencia Marathon - Week 6

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

As anticipated this was a week dealing with the aftermath of a hard Sunday run which had left me feeling a bit beaten up. With one eye on an upcoming half marathon I based this week around more double days, breaking up my efforts so that I could recover better while still packing in the mileage. I got stronger as the week progressed, my foam roller never far away as I sought to loosen up the tension in my calves, and I finished feeling pretty content with my week's work. Here's how week 6 of my Valencia marathon training went.


Monday


I felt fairly recovered from the previous day's 20 mile long run, except for one thing - extremely sore calves. It's quite a strange sensation where generally you feel good but there's one part of your body which unfortunately can't be ignored during running. Calves are felt on every stride so if they are hurting then it makes for an unpleasant experience. I decided to keep this day easy, with two runs totalling 10 miles with short surges up to marathon pace every mile or so.


Tuesday


Still feeling sore I ditched my double day plan and instead did a morning EIM session of 2000, 1000 x 2 (5.5 miles in total), and then a strength session in the afternoon.


Wednesday


Double day, 1000 x 6 in the morning, averaging around 6.05/mile pace. This felt ok but my calves were still raging. They actually seemed happier during my afternoon session which involved 200 x 10, I guess because the ground contact time was less and I was skipping along quite nicely. I averaged around 37 seconds for these, including a final quick one in 34s.


12 miles for the day.


Thursday


An easy hour on a fairly hilly route, throwing in some surges and also pushing on the downhills a bit more.


A short strength workout in the evening.


Friday


400 x 8 in the rain, calves still sore and generally feeling very sluggish. Averaged around 1:28 and even that felt quite hard.


Saturday


A new parkrun! Blaise Castle in Bristol, somewhere I would go and play when I was a young boy growing up nearby. The course was a 2-lapper on mixed terrain. I arrived in good time to do a little recce, assuming that I would be near the front and not wanting to get lost. The race went as I expected (based on scrutinising the results of previous weeks and eyeing up what sort of competition I might face), with only one other person at the front with me. I decided early on that rather than sit on him, I would instead push past and try to demoralise him a bit, and hopefully leave me with an easier second lap. In fact I was kept honest, more or less having to hold my effort to maintain my advantage. I ended up coming first by about 10 seconds in 18.57. Warm up/down meant 6 miles for the morning.


Sunday


What's this, a cold, crisp morning? A few weeks ago it was so humid on the run that one of my club mates took his shirt off midway through, and here I was now wearing a jacket and hat. I love running in these conditions, particularly following a period of warmer weather, everything feels easy by comparison and this was no exception. This was also helped by not being in London and appreciating the peace and quiet alone on country lanes. 8 miles total.


Drove back to London and rounded off a solid week with a short 4 mile run.


Week summary


60 miles

4 sessions

26600m of intervals/race

2 strength workouts

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