Saturday, 30 April 2011

Ante Belfast

Off to Belfast tomorrow morning. First stop will be to the city hall to collect the race number and check out the expo. I still have not settled on a definite race plan. Originally I had harboured thoughts of going for sub 02:55 but I think that I am just not quite at that level yet. Consequently, my current thinking is to aim for 06:40 splits to mile fourteen, which will take me to the end of a long gentle gradient from mile seven. Thereafter I will let the next two miles, which give away all the elevation gain in less than two miles, speed up to the low 06:30s and then assess how I feel about pushing on in the final ten miles and whether sub 02:55 is possible.
In short, if I go sub 02:55 I expect to run a healthy positive split; if not, I hope to run an even paced race and come away with a PB at worst. Some might consider this overly cautious but the marathon does not reward zealotry very often and you cannot compensate for an unrealistically ambitious race plan by going out and running another marathon in two weeks.

Training summary: In the fourteen weeks before my three week taper I averaged fifty-six mile weeks. Every week had a marathon paced run, beginning with runs of ten miles with six at projected marathon pace and peaking at fourteen mile runs with ten at marathon pace. The first seven weeks also had interval sessions of 5x1k at 10k to 5k pace and tempo runs of 2x3 miles at half marathon pace with a two mile warm up and cool down and one mile recovery between sets. The remainder of the week was a long slow run and three recover runs and one day of complete rest.

The weather for Monday looks pretty good so far, the blemish on this outlook being a stiff easterly breeze of 13-16 mph. Thankfully the majority of the course is a north-south loop and the longest we will be consistently travelling east is the first three to four miles, so I am hopeful the wind will not adversely affect strategy or pace.


Grellan said...

All the best in Belfast Westley, the work is done and your strategy looks solid. As you say the marathon does not reward a fast start.

Thomas said...

All the best! Good Luck!!