Marathon Training Wk 12 – Half PB But Toughest Week

17 Sep 16  / Pete

I ended last weekend by knocking 2 minutes off my half marathon PB! It now stands at 1hr 31m 52s. A time I was over the moon with giving that I am at the peak of my marathon training and I am certainly not running on fresh legs!

Hill reps

After a lovely rest day (something I now enjoy. Thanks marathon training!), I then hit the local park for some hill reps with walk recoveries, all in the good company of Dave and Tony from the Sweatshop group. Both are great runners and Dave is currently at the same stage of marathon training as me and aiming for a similar time, so we are running at very similar paces. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

I felt good at the hill reps session, as I usually do. Reps seem to be something a lot of people hate, where as I love them. These are the drills that help improve my running so I say ‘bring it on’ every time! I am clearly one of those people who likes short bursts of torture (there’s a name for idiots like me).

22 miles – the biggie!

Thursday came around and I was as ready as I could be for running 22 miles after work. I felt I had eaten well for it, I had rested my legs the day before with my monthly sports massage thrown in for good measure, and I had ran my half well a few days prior to this. Gels in my bag… Water on my back…off I go!

13.1 miles gone

I was feeling good, really good, in fact. 1hr 41 was showing on my Garmin which was really good at this point of my run, so I just kept on going, holding the pace.
Come on lad, you can do this!

Refueling with SIS gels

22 miles is just not something my body can handle without being refueled. My tank simply isn’t that big! This is where my caffeine gels from SIS (Science in Sport) have come into play with my recent long runs. I choose to take them half a gel at a time to cause smaller energy spikes as I believe this is a better way of taking the gels to help cope with less of a sugar drop after the run.

19 miles in

I began to get tired. I was at about 2hrs 40 or so and had just taken my last half of a gel pack. My calves were getting tight and all of that good feeling was going out of the window fast. The past hours of positive thinking were becoming a vague, distant memory… Slowing more and more as I run, negative thoughts were creeping in. I recognized this mental state, I had been here before last October, in Bournemouth. I was about 18 miles through my first ever marathon and had clearly hit the dreaded wall!

Hitting the wall

Ahhhh shit! The bloody wall! What the hell has happened? I thought I was doing so well. Was my fueling not sufficient? Did I mistime the gels? In all honesty, I am not sure. I will certainly be trying to consume them a little earlier in my next long run, a 20 miler next weekend – easy run! Haha

Am I feeling defeated?

After this setback, my initial feelings were not great. When I hit that wall, every positive fiber in my body pissed off somewhere and Mr Glass Half Empty popped up all of a sudden.
‘You sir, can sod right off!’
Negative thinking is not me. It’s the polar opposite of what I am all about. As for making me doubt my desire for running or my capabilities, not a chance! This is just a hiccup. Everyone has them, and sometimes over this distance, they can feel horrendous. But I am a runner. I’m a doer and a f*cking winner! This will simply be a learning curve that makes me stronger, both physically and mentally.
If there is one message I can pass to other runners, it is that you will have ups and downs. You might have such a bad run or race that you wonder why the hell you bother running. Just know that every runner has had this or will at some point. You aren’t on your own here. Even the Mo Farrah’s of this world have been there. In fact, I bet the higher up you go, the more they have experienced it.
The trick is not to never fall down, it’s just to make sure you get back up. This is where winners are born!
‘You don’t have to finish 1st to be a winner, you just have to give it everything you’ve got and never give in.’
Frankfurt 10k
Off to Frankfurt!

Onwards, upwards and off to Frankfurt

My long run was done and I had a 10k race abroad to pack for. A race taking place in the very small, quiet town of Berkersheim, in the North East of Frankfurt.
This tiny race with just 38 runners, in a quaint, lovely town was the perfect tonic to end my week. You can view some of the beautiful race below on my GoPro video footage.

So that’s it. Week 12 done and I am going to start my taper. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m damn happy about it. I have dedicated myself in so many ways this last few months and I am now almost ready to let my marathon time do the talking. I hope!
Thanks for reading you lovely bunch. Keep running, smiling and having a bloody good week!

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  • Louisa

    The dreaded wall! Don’t worry, you’ll get it next time, just try fuelling slightly earlier! I’m currently supposed to be tapering but I’m actually sweet fuck all as I’ve hurt my leg!

    • Will I hope you are soon ready to do a lot more than sweet FA 🙂
      The wall is a bitch! It could be a case of fuel earlier, but it could also be that I fueled too early! The ill feeling I felt afterwards definitely felt related to a severe sugar crash.