Thursday, 9 March 2017

BQ Chasing - The Story so far

I was really happy with my new PB at Manchester Marathon last year, but I knew that this year I was on a mission to get that elusive Boston Qualifier and ready to work for it like I've never done before. So 10 weeks in to my training I thought I'd look at how it's going.

The biggest difference I've made to my training is the mileage. I'm currently averaging around 50 miles per week which is WAY more than last year or any other marathon cycle I've done, where the highest mileage was about 38 miles, maybe once.

But the way I'm training is different too. For all of my 4 marathons I have seen the mileage due on my training calendar that day, and just gone out and done it - without any thought of speed other than trying to run at marathon pace, like all the bloody time. WRONG. This cycle has been much more focused, with tempo runs, progressions runs, intervals, and most importantly the long slooooooooow run. I am making sure I listen to the experts and running my long runs about a minute slower than goal pace. Laura aka Lazy Girl Running explains the science behind this much better than I can - see here.

Training with these more focused sessions has made it much more enjoyable too. Im not just out logging the miles, but constantly thinking about pace, time and speed and its much more fun. Running fast is HARD. Running slow is HARD. It's all HARD. But it's much better. I've also noticed that slowing my pace on the long runs leaves me with much more energy to complete my fast sessions during the week, and I'm no where near as tired. Bonus. But I am hungry. Very very hungry. And I am making conscious efforts to keep the Food Mood at bay but have had to say 'sorry for what I said when I was hungry', a couple of times...Oh and I've also given up booze. '?' I hear you cry! 'You've changed!' Yep, yep yep. I figured lent coincided nicely with the marathon so no booze til the finish line. That will keep me going if nothing

I have no idea if all the extra training will pay off come April 23rd, and I had a massive confidence wobble after following a long run with a way too hilly recovery run earlier this week. My legs just about gave up on me and I thought there was absolutely no way I could run a marathon at goal pace. My confidence was low but after a bath, some foam rolling and a big ol' pep talk to myself, I'm feeling better. Whether it pays off and I get the 3.30 time Im looking for or not, at least I know I will have worked much harder and given all I have to the training.

London, Im ready for you. Well, almost - I still need the next 6 weeks actually.