The First Official Week of Marathon Training
It has started … well I don’t think it ever officially ‘ended’ as I have been maintaining roughly 30 mile weeks with the cross-country season now just behind me and the route to Marathon madness well and truly here! I have had a typically crazy week … to start with there are crystal maze sized fans everywhere drying out the downstairs floors following burst radiator (discovered house had become a swimming pool on return from the Lake District reccy!) I also have a crazy full clinic and gym with lots of marathon runners just getting to the peak of their training for London… a lot of tight calves! Two decent training sessions at Kenilworth Runners helped to take my mind off the madness.. the first (Tuesday) was an intervals session of 4x 400m, 5x 300m and 6x 200m with 90 seconds recoveries. It was over before we had hardly begun!
I ran with a couple of similarly paced ladies… one of which does canicross with her beloved pointer pooch! He has pulled her along in a 5km race in a time of 19 minutes (apparently she is slower without puppy-power.) Where do I get me one of those? More of a cat person myself – but I have often thought it would be nice to have a canine companion on long runs. Another great addition to the ladies team (the lady..not her doggy, although he would be welcome)…and helped me with the session as I entertained myself with visions of her being tugged uncontrollably along by a leash… I shouldn’t really. I was very pleased with the session…I did the 400s in approx. 1:36, the 300s in 1:10 and the 200s in about 44 secs. On Thursday we did an off-road hills session – armed with head-torches we did 4-5 repeats of a few varying hill types but we had the presentation evening afterwards and ‘Third Thirsty Thursday’ so were keen to move fast! I felt a bit of a twinge in my groin which I felt may have been down to an awkward twist whilst massaging the previous day.. so I was advised by the coach to take the last set more easily …frustrating (and would normally rebel) – but I want to be sensible on this training plan – so I enjoyed chatting to another member about the perils of mountain marathons whilst doing the last set, which made it far more enjoyable!
I did a good tempo 8 mile run at the end of the week and this gave me a bit of a breather on the Saturday to focus on my taping workshop in Oxford. It was great driving to the Oxford University Sports Complex and past where Bannister did his famous record-breaking sub 4-minute mile! I spent the day learning tape.. taping feet, ankles, knees, shoulders and thumbs!! Rather amusingly, the chaps in the group had not shaved in preparation… and that zinc oxide is sticky stuff! I was left with some interesting red stripes on my legs… I did decide to remove all but one foot which I wanted to remember as it was a Plantar Fasciitis taping (considering a couple of clients) although this did make my accelerator foot a bit numb – so an interesting drive home! Taping will be a very useful procedure for clients entering events with areas of recovering injury or tension although probably a more useful addition for those sports therapists who work at events and need to get players ‘back in the game’. In addition to preventing minor injuries, sports tape can also work as a threshold for minimizing additional damage to existing injuries, especially around vulnerable parts of the body such as hands, feet, wrists, shins and ankles. We were given our own pack of tapes which was very neat and I will definitely be taking to events I attend.
The next day was a long run. I planned to do another 15 miler and had in mind another route I had done previously which looped out through Lower Fulbrook, out to Hatton Rock, past Ingon Manor and back to Warwick through Snitterfield… where I usually see a lot of Sunday morning cyclists. The beauty of this route is many potential toilet stops…and having enjoyed a lovely curry at Saffron in Warwick the previous evening, I had to be on the safe side. The weather was nice and cool – in fact I did wonder if I should have worn gloves as in the shade it was particularly nippy. At one point my left arm went an alarming orangey/red colour… but a bit of Rocky-style air punching seemed to sort this! My mind turned to the club-mates doing their races… Helen in New York…several at Ashby 20 and this was very good weather for a race. I checked my time after and I had managed 5 minute kilometers (or roughly 8 minute miles) which given this was not a flat route I was pretty pleased with and I was 10 seconds a kilometer quicker than the previous time back in 2010.