Staying Patient (Week 4)
23-29 April 2018
Despite my best intentions I didn’t find the energy to build on last week’s increased mileage.
Much of the week consisted of staying realistic about my chances in my upcoming race and keeping my body healthy.
Lesson #7: Don’t push the pace unless you can
Ideally, the week would have consisted of more miles at my intended race pace*. Except for the first two miles of Wednesday’s (25th April) run my pace was not close.
The effort required to get up to speed would not have been worth it, as I didn’t feel confident I could sustain it. Rather than risk injury, especially in wet conditions, and further discouragement I focused on slower-paced miles**. The 27.45 miles I covered in five days was beneficial to keep my legs and my mind active without much stress.
Approaching my taper week, the most important aspects of my training are now remaining injury-free and eager for the challenge ahead. As I developed some tightness in my left calf muscle I now must ease off to ensure full recovery before race day.
Lesson #8: It’s not always about times or distances
On Sunday (29th April), a week after the 2018 London Marathon, I purposefully ran 3.7 miles.
I thought of Matt Campbell, the man who collapsed and died 22.5 miles into the capital’s most iconic race. The sadness of his death reminded me that although running performances are important for motivation it’s the sport itself that should bring the most joy.
Sometimes times, distances, races and medals are not important. Instead, all the support, globally and from non-runners, has the greatest impact. Unfortunately, mass participation events in relatively hot conditions will very likely result in casualties, but the best of people often shines through.
I took two rest days, on Tuesday and Thursday, and will now look to stretch and rest before my first 10 mile race in a week’s time.
* The race pace I am still hoping for is 6:00 per mile.
** This is equivalent to a pace of 6:30-8:30 per mile.