Monday, 23 April 2018

London Marathon 2018 Part 3 - Spring Training and Race Prep

In a nutshell my spring training for the 2018 London Marathon went a little like this....

55 miles
61 miles
71 miles
82 miles
101 miles
71 mile (Wokingham Half Marathon 74:52)
110 miles
90 miles
101 miles
101 miles
105 miles
102 miles (inc a windy/wet York parkrun in 17:11)
97 miles (inc Salisbury 10 mile race, 6th place in 55:46 & a new PB)
64 miles (inc Poole parkrun in 16:37 for another PB!)
62 miles (Taper week with marathon)

The basic structure of the training was high mileage with a weekly or so 60-70 minute steady run around 80-85% maximum heart rate. I also slotted in a few parkruns as shorter but harder training runs. There should also have been a 20 mile race in early March as I was selected to run for Hampshire in the Inter-counties 20 mile match as part of the Essex 20 race near Southend, but the 'Beast from the East' snow put pay to that race (and many others) and I didn't find an alternative.

Although my time at Wokingham was a little disappointing, it was after only 6 weeks back into regular running post achilles injury rehab, so it might be expected. However by the time I ran Salisbury in April I was confident I was back into sub 2hr 30 marathon shape and raring to go. I also track my heart rate efficiency, the average number of beats per mile of each run, and this number had been progressively dropping from well over a 1000bt/mile in Janurary down to 920-30bt/mile by the start of April. The value estimated by my Garmin watch for my Vo2Max (maximum volume of oxygen my blood can carry) had also risen from 66-67 to 70-71%, A number which I have some trut in as it's matched with accurate lab testing in the past.
Running sub 5:30 miles at the start of the Salisbury race

Then the weather threw another curveball and from up to 10 days out from the London raceday it was looking likely that it was going to get unseasonably warm. I'd not done any adapation work for the possibility of higher temperatures on race day, such as running overdressed (either outdoors or on a treadmill) or extended sauna sessions. So implemented a hasty plan of daily(ish) overdressed treadmill 3-4M runs followed straight away by at least 30 mins in a hot (100C+) sauna. This was not a lot of fun, but may have had it's benefits.....

My London marathon weekend is a well practised routine of Expo visit on Friday afternoon to collect my number (and catch up with the guys from Alton Sports!), then back to my brother's place in High Wycombe for Friday & Saturday night. My last pre-race run was Wycombe Rye parkrun which I usually do moderately hard (feels worse due to the lack of carbohydrates eaten during taper week, largely to get my weight down as much as possible). This year this translated into a 18:08 & first finisher, which was probably a bit exuberent, but not damaging for the following day.
Up the lovely steps halfway through the parkrun!
My brother had come to parkrun too and afterwards we got in a final half hour sauna session in the Lido complex right at the finish to parkrun! I was also testing out one final attempt at dealing with the higher temperatures (forecat now up to 23C) - shaved legs and arms, which felt super nice with a cooling breeze! Then it was just a case of getting the carbs in through the rest of Saturday, get a racing hair cut, prepping race kit and getting to bed (and a bit of playtime with my 9 month old neice!).
Race Day Nutrition Planning (and carb loading!)

2018 Race kit ready to go

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