Consistently consistent

fullsizerender-13London Marathon Training
Week 4, Day 4

fullsizerender-10If it’s Sunday that means a long run, and today that was nine miles according to my training plan. The idea is to increase the long run by 1.5 miles per week so that by the first Sunday in April I’ll be up to 19/20 followed by three weeks blissful tapering. A slow, gradual build-up rather than the steep curve I had to endure last year.

My goal today wasn’t speed – I did that yesterday – but to work on my stamina and to build up time on my feet. With that in mind I felt the run today was a success. I was aiming for marathon pace and achieved it, more or less. That meant I was slower than last Sunday but that won’t have been sustainable long term anyway.

I started, as usual, at the top of the Antrim Road but instead of heading towards the dual carriageway I decided to run down Ballee Way, a nice descent to kick things off. After that it was up the Wakehurst Road, into and around the industrial estate, down past Tesco’s and into the town centre.

From there, it was along the Cullybackey Road and up Princes Street the opposite way, out the Galgorm Road, past Tullygarley, down the Toome Road and home.

That was all well and good, apart from me not realising just how many sharp climbs there were! What was I thinking when I plotted that route? Schoolboy error.

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But it all worked out well. As I said, I was slower than last week but that was intentional. Apart from the first two kilometres the entire run was conducted at a very consistent pace. I seemed to settle into a rhythm early on and stuck with it throughout. Indeed, if anything, I started to increase the tempo a little towards the end.

Time wise, I’ve only done this distance as a stand alone run once before and that was back in March 2016. Compared to then I was 66 seconds quicker per mile today, I’ll take that.

My legs seem to be holding up well. That said, I woke up with a slight ache in my thighs but that disappeared once I got going. Hopefully that was just a consequence of yesterday’s fast run and what will be, by the time January is finished, my most miles in as month since I started all this.

An easier week next week, as per the plan, finishing with the London Winter Run 10k on Sunday. Penguins and a medal, what’s not to like?

And now a shameless plug for the Virtual Run I’m organising to help with my fundraising. It’s quite simple …. donate £8, run or walk etc. 5km, send me the proof and receive a nice shiny medal for your efforts. More details here.

London Marathon Training (58 miles – 14 runs)
Week 1 – 12.2 miles (4 runs; average 3.05 miles per run)
Week 2 – 9.3 miles (2 runs; average 4.65 miles per run)
Week 3 – 17.7 miles (4 runs; average 4.4 miles per run)
Week 4 – 18.8 miles (4 runs; average 4.7 miles per run)

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