Week 10, day 7 – things just got serious

Up until now the training sessions have all been pretty manageable. I won’t say easy or particularly comfortable, but I’ve got them done and it’s been OK. We’re now 63 days away from London and things are getting serious. My schedule has been brought forward slightly (my own fault for saying that last week’s two and a half hour run wasn’t too bad) and that meant marathon pace in a long run, after tiring my legs out a bit.

The session was 90 minutes of easy pace (which at my heart rate zones comes out to be around 6:00 min/km aka 10:00 min/mile pace), then picking it up to 45 minutes of marathon pace (4:55 min/km aka 7:55 min/mile pace), before cooling down with 15 minutes back at easy pace.

The first 90 minutes was fine, it’s still tricky running that slowly and I was getting lots of alerts of my heart rate going over the zone limit and having to slow it down again. The initial pick-up to marathon pace also went surprisingly well, actually going faster than scheduled to start with, but then the warnings started coming in that I was going too slowly and I had to keep pushing to get back on pace. From then on it was a constant battle to stay on pace. I just about managed to get on board a couple of gels and some water whilst maintaining the pace (and crossed a couple of roads), but it was tough and there was a lot of clock watching and counting down. As soon as the 45 minutes was over and I dropped the pace everything that had been hinting about hurting started to say hello. Even running slower than I had at the start, my heart rate refused to drop back into the required zone (and any slower I would have been walking). How I’m going to manage 3 hours 30 of that pace I can’t see right now, but I’m focusing on the fact that I did manage to complete the session as set. I hit the pace I wanted and managed to maintain it for the full duration, even if I was hanging on there towards the end.

Feet up for the rest of the day now (after a bath that the kittens were very curious about). The watch gave up on recording my recovery time in hours and advised me I needed 3 and a half days off, but it’s 45 minutes recovery run tomorrow, let’s hope the epsom salts do the job.

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