Milton Keynes marathon race review

Milton Keynes marathon was my big goal race of the year, a PB attempt and an attempt to crack 3.20 for the first time. The theory being that training for the Quadzilla gave me a great base to work from in the 10 weeks leading up to the race. All was going well until 5 weeks before the race when we went on holiday to Cornwall, a great week with the kids and some nice running on the coastal path but I lost my focus and momentum and quite honestly never got it back. The final few weeks of training were ok but I missed a few sessions for various reasons and then a week before the race got ill. Somehow the stresses of life and work often seem to peak close to a race, Murphy’s law I guess, but it quickly derails your running.

Ultimately this meant a change in goal for the race from a PB attempt to just being happy to be well enough to be on the start line. ¬†And what a start line it is, lining up outside the beautiful Stadium MK (which I know sounds a bit odd but it really is a great stadium inside and out) and to top it all the clouds cleared and the sun put his hat on. While it may have been a nice start line it was most definitely not an organised one, in fact I’d go as far as to say it was chaos. The kids superhero run lining up at the front didn’t help things but there was also close to zero control of people entering the pens and the signage was crap.

There also appeared to be a confusion amongst the pacers who seemed to be standing in quite random spots, not helped by having both marathon and half marathon starters and pacers in the pens. I’d love to know whose bright idea it was to stick balloons to the pacers backs with their time goal written in felt tip on them also. Maybe the budget wouldn’t stretch to the normal flags that pacers wear? The strings were getting tangled up and then when actually running the balloons kept hitting people in the face.


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.


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.