The Marathon Fire is Back
13 September 2020
My first post in a year! Sorry about that, there hasn't been too much to say. Hope everyone is well!
How's running been going since the last post? Well my 2019 summer season finished almost exactly how I had hoped with my 2nd quickest 5k and 2nd sub 15 coming 3rd at the Kent AC Club championship in 14.56; huge thanks go to my brother Owen for his excellent pacing. I'm very appreciative to have a brother that can turn up at a race and can find running 71/72 second laps (x 12!) so comfortable!
I then started my 2019/20 winter season also almost exactly as I'd hoped coming 5th at the Chiltern League opening cross country fixture at Oxford beating some top class runners. Unfortunately, that was as good as it was going to get (in running terms) for a year. I have a couple of annoying injuries and I just couldn't seem to get fit so I decided to take some time out to let my body and mind recover. Then, when I planned to return covid-19 hit and lockdown has disrupted all of our lives (although I was so fortunate to have my NoblePro treadmill to train on even in the height of lockdown) .
Over the past few months I've had a lot of time to think about what I really want from my running and that is still to break 2.30 for the marathon. I've got other goals of course, but with two kids (growing up fast!) I can't do everything. I've made plenty of mistakes in marathon running before and will try and learn from as many of them as possible. The first of those is not to rush; so I'm aiming for autumn 2021. I'm pretty fit at the moment having put together some good, consistent training since April (I've averaged 60 miles/100km per week for the past 12 weeks) but I have a lot of work to do if I want to be in sub 2.30 marathon shape.
I'd thought a lot about what marathon I wanted to do and I'm still not sure. There are huge benefits of big city marathons, but I also really enjoyed racing at Abingdon in 2016. It's only an hour from my house so I'd be able to sleep (well as good as I'm going to sleep the night before a marathon) in my own bed and have a much more relaxed start and general experience. That said, London (if feasible) is planned for October 2021 (rather than the usual April) so could also be perfect.
The main issue with London is I don't currently have a qualifying time having not raced any longer distance races since the collapse at Berlin in Sept 2018. To add to the challenge, as they have now had to postpone twice the standards for Championship entry has been made harder (now sub 2.40 marathon or 1.12.30 half) and they have to be achieved by 31 Dec 2020 in just over 3 months! That doesn't leave a lot of time, or many options.
Having looked around for events that are still planning to go ahead, have reasonably quick course and aren't too far away I've settled on Silverstone Half in mid November. I did a 10km tempo this week in just over 5.30 per mile (~34.20) pace which if I could do that for the half would see me home in time and I've still got 2 months to get in better shape. I need to get race sharp though; so I've entered the NoblePro MK 5km PB Special in 2 weeks (27/9) that we are hosting (see below!) and the Brighton 10k on 11 October. If i can run just under 16 mins and then hopefully 32 mins then I'll feel very confident going into Silverstone (where I'd need to do do each 5km in ~17 mins).
I don't even know for sure that I want to do London in October 2021, but it will be great to have the option and will also set me up nicely to start 2021 strongly if cross country races are able to go ahead and start to build up for the autumn marathon.
If you want to know a bit more about the NoblePro MK 5km PB Special, how it got started, the recent events and the future of the events (as well as a bit about my running background) have a listen to the excellent Running Hub podcast hosted by @CleanCoachKatie link below (or on Spotify and other podcast providers):
I'll aim to blog more reguarly to update on my progress!