Ringing the changes

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting different results and it’s probably a good thing to keep in mind when planning your training for a race. I’m marathon PB chasing again with Milton Keynes marathon on 2nd May 8 weeks away now and a pretty aggressive time goal in mind. Currently my PB is 3 hours 26 minutes which I set at the 2014 Yorkshire marathon. I was on track to beat it last year again at the Yorkshire marathon but the fact that I’d spent the year triathlon training became very apparent at 20 miles as I hit the wall pretty hard.

quote-Albert-Einstein-insanity-is-doing-the-same-thing-over

But I know I’m capable of faster if I can get a solid block of training in and stay healthy. However there is no point just blindly following the same plan as for the other marathons I’ve done and expecting to be somehow in better shape. Training has to be an evolution where you learn race by race what works for you and what doesn’t, but also what you can learn from how others approach their training. Make a small change each time and review the impact it has, what is the result in the race and how do you feel.

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Race preview – Yorkshire marathon

It’s been an odd experience training for a marathon that I’m still not sure if I’m going to be running or not; our 3rd baby is due on the 16th so in theory could come any day now. So for the past 10 weeks of my training I’ve had to stay committed to the plan all the while knowing that it may have been essentially a waste. Although to be honest I quite enjoy the focus of a training plan and my mileage didn’t increase much beyond normal so it wasn’t a great hardship.

Now just 4 days before the Yorkshire marathon starts I’m feeling ready and relaxed. Assuming I do make it to the start line I feel confident in attempting my target time of 3.15, training went really well with almost zero missed sessions and good quality throughout. However I’ve definitely reached that point at the end of a training block where I’m really quite ready to stop the long runs and just get on with the race.

I tried out some great speed sessions which brought a nice variety to my normal runs and hopefully helped me get a little speed back after all that ultra training. I also managed to get 2 long runs in longer than 20 miles which I haven’t done before, I’m hoping this helps when I go through the rough patch I’ve had in my last 2 marathons around the dreaded 21 mile mark. This time I’ll most likely also have my little brother on my shoulder though which is a great motivator to push on when things get tough.

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Yasso 800’s – the great marathon predictor?

I’m going to be bold and say that Yasso 800’s really aren’t a great predictor of marathon times, in fact I’m not even sure they’re a great speed session for marathon training. I’m making this statement based on my extensive research of a grand total of 3 sessions and just the one athlete, me.

If you’ve never heard of Yasso 800’s then let me explain; the idea came from Bart Yasso who was an editor for Runners World and back in 2001 suggested that a test to know if you were in shape for your target marathon time was to run 10x800m at a pace fitting your target. So if you’re aiming for a 3 hour marathon you would do each rep in 3 minutes and then have an equal amount of rest in between.

In my quest to get some speed back for my autumn marathon this sounded like a perfect session so I headed out for the first time. I thought I’d be sensible and just try 5 first and see how I got on. That felt pretty easy but I stayed disciplined and didn’t do more. The following week I did 7 which also felt easy so in the 3rd week I did the full 10.

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Run with a view 12/52

Today’s run should have been a 2 hour easy pace run on the road as a final longish run before Taunton marathon, instead I did 90 minutes on my favourite trails with the hound for company. I just couldn’t face another plod along the tarmac when the sun was shining and the Ridgeway was calling Read more about Run with a view 12/52[…]