Marathon Training Week 7

Welcome back to my Marathon Training blog, this weeks update on how week 7 of my Marathon Training plan has gone.

This week I have picked up the mileage again with a couple of runs over 9 miles, my short run at 7 miles and the long run of 14 miles including the Great North West Half Marathon in Blackpool on Sunday.

Sunday morning saw an early rise, quick breakfast and out of the door to pick Deke and begin the one and half hour drive to Blackpool. We arrived in Blackpool at around 9:45 not really knowing where we were going but just heading for the famous Tower. We parked the car and headed to McDonalds for a quick coffee and a toilet stop and we saw some fellow runners who advised us that the registration and start was about 1 mile up the coast. Back to the car to change into the running gear and after feeling the winds and rain decided to keep the running jackets on. We had a steady 1 mile jog upto the registration area were we realised that running North wasn’t going to be that problem but the South run was going to be very difficult.

When we arrived at the registration it was a few tables set out under the promenade with a fenced off area for the baggage storage and some long queues for the few portaloos which were available, we collected are race numbers, pinned them on dumped the bags and went to join the queue for the loos. We could see that the wind was wild and the waves were crashing up onto the sea front and then we noticed the 1 mile marker which was next to the sea and already washed over with the waves. After a quick chat with the race starter we realised that we were going to be running along the sea front waves and all for half of the race and against the fierce winds on the cliff tops into the winds, we also realised that the race consisted of 2 loops of the bottom part of the course, followed by 2 loops of the top part of the course before finishing in the bottom part of the course against the wind. At first we thought that this might be a bit boring and take some of the enjoyment out of the race but it actually helped to break up the running with and against the wind although when running with the wind there were frequent waves crashing over the tops of our heads and quite a few screams from Men & Women. Running into the wind must have added around 4 or 5 minutes to the the time and I was taken clean off my feet at one point and blown to the side but we both still managed to take sometime of our Half Marathon PB’s (Deke 1:33:18.2, Myself 1:48:06.2) this is definitely a course to break PB’s if it isn’t windy. Here are a few photos I managed to take:

Fuel

I haven’t been doing anything different this week and have still been using MyFitnessPal to keep an eye on my overall food in take and my weigh in on Saturday I was at  12 Stone  8 lbs so another 1.5lbs off.

Sleep

Sleep during the week was fine no complaints this week.

Stay Strong

The Boxercise & Circuit Training for Runners I mention later is great for improving core strength and mile proofing your body. I also perform Single leg calf raises to failure, slow squats and single leg bend and reach a few times a day when I am making a coffee, feeding the dog or just stretching my legs. I have added Whey Protein to my routine immediately after workouts / runs which are helping me recover and feel stronger.

Stretch

Again the Boxercise & Circuit Training has some great stretches and begins with lots of dynamic stretches to get your muscles warm before some static stretches. I try to avoid performing static stretches without warming my muscles first so when I am at home after the exercises I mention above I do some upper and lower calf stretches and quads.

The Ice Baths (or rather very cold water baths) have been great in helping reduce the swelling you experience after long runs and I have also added cold showers when I don’t have an ice bath. I am also determined to try and touch my toes from standing so am practicing that stretch a few times a day and am reaching about half way down my shins now.

Progress and pacing

Week 7 of the Plan

Day 1 Monday 15/02 – Rest Day.
Day 2 Tuesday 16/02 – 10 x 800m – 2 Miles Slow – 10 x 05 Miles Fast each followed by 1:00 Min Slow – 1 Miles Slow after 10th one (Fast 7:05/mi – 7:20/mi)
Day 3 Wednesday 17/02 – 5 Miles Slow
Day 4 Thursday 18/02 – 2 x 3 Miles – Slow 2 Miles – Fast 3 Miles – Slow 3 Mins – Fast 3 Miles – Slow 1 Mile (Fast 7:15/mi – 7:29/mi pace)
Day 5 Friday 19/02 – Rest Day.
Day 6 Saturday 20/02 – 7 Miles – 1 Mile slow – 5 Miles Steady – 1 Mile slow (Steady 7:39/mi – 8:09/mi)
Day 7 Sunday 21/02 – 14 Miles – 9 Miles Steady – Fast 4 Miles – 1 Mile Steady  (Steady 7:39/mi to 8:09/mi Fast 7:45/mi – 7:55/mi)

Here is what I actually did:

Day 1 – 01:30:00 Circuit Training for runners hosted by Halifax Harriers.
Day 2 – 9.34 Miles at overall 08:36/mi – 2 Miles 8:35/mi – then 10 x 0.5 miles followed by 1 min slow (8:05/mi, 8:04/mi, 7:46/mi, 8:08/mi, 7:54/mi, 7:32/mi, 7:58/mi, 8:06/mi, 8:21/mi, 8:12/mi) – 1 Miles slow 10:22/mi
Day 3 –  9.62 Miles run with Northowram Pumas at 8:57/mi – 2 miles slow 8:16/mi – 3 miles fast 9:24/mi – 3 min slow 8:20/mi 3 Miles fast 8:19/mi – 1 mile slow 10:44/mi
Day 4 – Boxercise class – 5 Stations 1:30 Punching 1:30 Pads (different combinations), 1 Station 1:30 Knees & Punches 1:30 Pads, 1 Station 2 x 1:30 Sit Ups passing 4Kg Medicine Ball between partner at top of sit up, 1 Station 1:30 KB Figure 8 with 1 x 5kg Kettle Bell 1:30 KB 2 Handed KB Swing with 6Kg Kettle Bell & 1 Station with 1:30 Skipping speed rope & 1:30 on Step with 20 Quick Feet, 20 Jumps both feet either side of step on to step, 20 Side to side on step with 1 feet on step at all times & 20 burpee’s jumping onto the step.
Day 5 – Rest day
Day 6 – 7.01 Miles run – Overall 8:48/mi – 1 mile slow 8:50/mi – 5 Miles Steady 8:42/mi – 1 mile slow 9:16/mi
Day 7 – 14.15 Miles run – Overall 8:22/mi – 9 miles steady 8:13/mi – 4 Miles fast 8:33/mi – 1 mile steady 8:38/mi

Overall I was a bit slower than the plan and completed slightly less than the suggested mileage and completed Circuits & Boxercise on a Rest Day’s.

I have also been focusing on recovery and each night I have been spending around 15-30 Minutes with the Foam Roller, Massage Stick and an empty Baileys Bottle, mainly focusing on my calves and feet but also some on the IT Band from my hips to ankles (after training). I supplement this with self massage on my calves, down the shin bone, around the ankles and underneath the feet along with Ice Baths.

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