Marathon training – week 3 of 14

I stuck closer to my schedule this week than last week; I missed 8 minutes off a run on Tuesday, and five minutes and ten minutes off other runs here and there, and I ended up rescheduling my Friday runs for Sunday (and then doing them the wrong way round: recovery run in the morning, hard run late at night) but altogether, although I’m 45 minutes down on the schedule, what I chopped out felt like it would have been junk miles rather than things I should have been doing. Funnily enough, that’s two weeks where I’ve done almost exactly the same mileage – 86 or 87 km – and then next week is a bit easier. OK, it will be a week with two hard track sessions and a lactate threshold test, and on Saturday I don’t get any breakfast because I have a fasted blood test to give to the doctor, but I’ll have no days requiring two runs during the week, which will be nice.

The week after that looks like hell, but we’ll reach that when we come to it.

This morning I woke up and apparently my resting heart rate was 33, which is unprecedented in all the time I’ve measured my heart rate, over 17 years. That didn’t translate into boundless fitness; instead, I went for a very slow jog where I was incapable of lifting my heart rate above 125bpm. I hope nobody was watching me run 7 minute kilometres. Whereas this evening, after a long day (where it’s seasonably hot again) when I thought a 35 minute hard session would wreck me, I did pretty fine. I probably could have run harder if there hadn’t been a great big hill in the middle of my route (it’s hard to keep your effort up while running down steep hills) but I’ve been doing nothing but flat stuff all week, so I needed some gradients to keep me honest.

I’d actually started the week a bit too hard. On Monday night I went for an easy run, and then saw red when a guy on an electric scooter overtook me. I spent most of the rest of that run going all-out (why? I overtook Scooter Boy after a couple of minutes when he wimped out on the descent by the bus stop) but it didn’t seem to destroy the rest of the week. I guess I was probably lucky. Then I smashed my phone on Tuesday and on Thursday programmed the wrong workout into my Garmin so I guess I’m not as good at technology as I thought I was.


My heart rate training zones are looking a bit better – only 16% hard this week, rather that what was overcooked last week. On the other hand, my marathon pace runs have only been at 4:45 per km rather than the 4:25s I was doing last week. Some people are never satisfied…

Finally, I can’t work out how to start thanking my wife for her support on this. Tolerating me vanishing for that much time this week has been a real help, as has putting up with the amount of revoltingly sweaty kit all this running produces…

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