It’s been exactly two weeks since my first marathon; I’ve written blogs about it, bored everyone with talk of my annoying finishing time and showed way too many people my medal. I think I need to move on, if only to stop people glazing over when I talk to them. To be fair it’s mostly in preparation of me mentioning it all again (Have you felt how heavy/seen how big/admired the magnificence of my medal yet?!) and boring them rigid. But the vacant grin and unhinged nodding can get a little off putting.
Mentally I feel recovered and ready to push on with training again, but physically I’m still a bit knackered. I’ve had easy weeks since, and mostly gone out to keep ticking over and just enjoy being outside. On Saturday however I did my first bit of serious, fast running for a while. I did four 800m (0.5 mile) intervals at 6 minute mile pace with 400m recovery jogs, and boy did I feel it. By the last one I was ‘scrape me off the floor and throw me away’ gone.
It was really warm on Saturday (remember that, sunshine?) so I turned the recovery ‘jogs’ into walk/trots to give me more of a breather, but the last one was still really painful. We’re talking the full ‘breathing like a horror film monster whilst sweating copiously and losing limb control’ feeling. (Apologies to any motorists on the B2004 who had to see that early on a Saturday morning.) It could be I’m a little out of practice with intervals, and lost some of my anaerobic fitness. With the tapering and recovery after the big one (Have I mentioned I ran a marathon two weeks ago?) I haven’t run that hard for about a month, but I think it was me still being a bit worn out.
My legs don’t quite feel right yet, and I know from my watch that my heart rate is still a bit elevated and my MAF pace (for me, how far I can run a mile at 153 bpm) is about 20 seconds slower than I was before. I shouldn’t be surprised as I read somewhere – it think it was the excellent Fat Man to Green Man – that it takes the same number of miles you raced to recover in days after. That seems a little too neat to be 100% right, but the further you run the longer it will take to recover does makes sense.
The catch though is I have the Shoreham 10k coming up on the 5th September, which is 24 days after I ran 27 miles… Ah. So hopefully I will recover a bit quicker and be back on form, especially as this is my first 10k race for a while and I would love to get a PB. It will be tough, the course is on trail and is supposed to be hilly, but my previous best is from nearly a year and a half ago. I’ve been training a lot since then and my PBs in all other distances have been set in the last six months, from 1k right up to the half marathon.
I don’t want to set unrealistic targets without seeing the course however (Have I mentioned I did a marathon and there was a hill and the weather was really crap…?), so will try and aim for around my previous best of 41:45 and see what happens. I think the less expectation I have the more I will enjoy it. The reviews of the race are really good and the course takes in some lovely woods and countryside, so looking forward to it. Claire is also running it so looking forward to supporting her in her longest race to date, and re-paying all the times she has supported me at races. I just hope the British Summer takes a break from the norm and we get a little sunshine. Or failing that, we just get as little wind and the R word as possible.
After that I have no races booked in until January. So I’m going to focus on getting some long runs in to be marathon ready for then, but also intervals so I can improve my speed and get my 5k time down. I fear the burn already. Oh and plans to run the Saxon Shore Way further a field are also in development. (Moody music) Watch this space…
Thanks for reading.
Have you got any big races booked this year? Or running goals you have set yourself?