Sessions and Miles Ramp Up

Road to Berlin Blog 5 - Week starting 30 July 2018 (7 weeks to go)

Over the next few weeks I'll be explaining how a normal guy with two daughters, a wife and a full time job can try and realise his dream of running a sub 2.30 marathon in Berlin on September 16.  

I'll try and keep this quick as I need to fit writing this in my lunch hour and with everything going on I can't remember too much about 2 weeks ago; I must catch up so I'm only writing about the last few days!  

Sarah is able to help out a lot more over night now so my responsibilities have decreased a bit!  Monday was a quiet day; getting on the Nomad treadmill at 6.30am wasn't a lot of fun, but apart from that things were ok.   3 mile TM, check family ok, get lunch out the fridge and pack, 4 mile jog to work with quite heavy backpack, swap my running shoes for work shoes at my locker, dash to the changing room, shower, dry, change, back to the locker, throw everything in, get to my desk.  Finish work, back to the locker, get kit, change, get outside, run home with slightly lighter bag.  

Tuesday was session day.  Alarm off at 5.20, dress, drink water, stuff a banana down, gather my belongings and get in the car.  I went back to the same place as the last couple of weeks and absolutely nailed it.  2 mile warm up (including dashing into the bushes) and then 4 almost identical reps of 15 minutes each with 3 mins recovery.  The plan for marathon pace is around 5.40 per mile, I did 5.32, 32, 32, 35.  Absolutely delighted.  

Nursery drop off and collection went well on Wednesday and Thursday; although running on tired legs pushing a buggy and carrying a rucksack is not fun.  

Onto Friday, the second big session of the week, but after the last couple of Fridays I had confidence I could run 22 miles with around 15 miles at quick pace.  Grandparents arrived as planned on Thursday evening and I got a decentish sleep before setting off at around 6.30am.  I'd mapped out a simple route 5 miles along redways (segretgated walking & cycling paths) to one of the old villages of MK and then across to Willen Lake.  Do a few laps and then back the way I'd come.  I'm not a huge fan of out and backs, but when running so many miles it's good to have one less thing to worry about.  I also had the added support from Joanne from Momentum Hire; they've been great providing me and she wanted to see me in action and take some photos.  I cheekily asked if she could bring some water down which was a huge help and good to practice.   

It's downhill pretty much all the way for the 5 mile initial section; any run at 6.30am starts feeling hard, but I was soon into a decent rhythm.  I pushed a little harder and got down close to 6.00 per mile with the aim of staying there for the next 15 miles!  It is pretty flat round Willen lake so good to be able to zone out.  I did laps of the south lake so Joanne could get a photo every 10 minutes or so and I kept pace right where I wanted it to be.  It was a nice warm morning so the lake was busy; but she was able to take some great shots, see below!  After about an hour and 20 mins of running I grabbed a bottle of water from her and sunk my first gel and guzzled as much water as I could.  I then told myself I needed to wait 5 miles for the next gel so I had a mini-aim.  The gel worked a treat and my pace actually slightly increased and as I headed towards home I kept telling myself 'just one more mile at this pace' and 'run the mile you're in' (thanks for that one Russell).  I hit 21 miles and then had a nice warm down jog for the final mile; the whole thing took 2 hours 18 mins.  I've got to say I was ecstatic with the run and it gave me a real confidence boost that I could run a good marathon at Berlin either under or very close to 2.30.  

Saturday morning I was very tired, but I figured I could fit runs in when family allowed and break my remaining mileage down into 4 x 5 milers on the treadmill.  As mentioned before a big plus of treadmill running is that I'm seconds from the family if they need anything and it allows me to get off the concrete and protect my body a bit with all the miles.  The first run of the weekend was horrible as the wifi was down; treadmills without entertainment are not fun, 37 minutes of watching the clock.  Fortunately, TalkTalk had got their act together by the afternoon and Breaking Bad was back on the menu.  

After gentle pace on Saturday I could go a tad quicker on Sunday and felt good; another positive of the treadmill is a machine taking control of pace for you, I just focused on the TV and go the miles in the bank!  

93 in total this week; which cumulatively took around 10 1/2 hours.  

Week Summary

Mon AM 7 miles (inc 3 TM) PM 4

Tues AM 15 (4 x 15 mins) PM 2.5 (not fun!)

Weds AM 7 (inc 3 TM) PM 4 

Thurs AM 7 (inc 3 TM) PM 4 

Fri AM 22 (6.17 avg)

Sat AM 5 TM  PM 5 TM 

Sat AM 5 TM  PM 5 TM

Total: 93