Time waits for no manMark Fairbrother
Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 Wow! – My countdown clock to the Brighton Marathon is reading 75 days to go..... That’s not a lot of time, for what feels like so much more training to do, especially if I’m going to dip under my target time of 3:30. Despite being privy to this information, I remain calm, (ok, slightly bricking it...) patient and full of belief that my progress to date is on track. It’s all about those little progressions, each week. Core conditioning on the other hand is killing me, granted, I am getting better, the wife even commented that my plank is getting longer –which of course, I took as a compliment. The one legged squat is a fantastic exercise for us runners, but hideous to watch in the mirror – I look like a pasty flamingo that’s been shot in the back! Still I’m managing to knock out 8-10 on each leg before the ‘knee collapse’ point.
Week 5 got kicked off with a lovely 45 min recovery run on Monday evening. I like to run on the roads as a matter of course, despite the occasional protestations and finger gestures from motorists – my rationale is simple – I pay my taxes and preparing my body for a race that will (largely) consist of 26.2 miles of road, so “if you don’t mind” that’s where I’ll train. It’s only when I get some hairy arsed trucker screaming obscenities my way, will I move to the pavement. No question. Tuesday was a threshold session; these are great as you really feel the benefit afterwards. After a 10 min warm up I went straight into 5 blocks of 5 minutes at threshold pace, which at the moment is around 6:30-6:45min/ml pace for me, each block separated with 1 min recovery at jog pace. The key here is to let the heart rate drop enough to recover from the threshold but not so much that the next block is more difficult. Takes a bit of time to get the technique, but I’m now finding that I can hold this pace for each of the blocks. Prior to the project my times would have dropped off with each interval. Thursday was due to be a double header – 30 min recovery run before work followed by continuous hill session in the evening, frustratingly I had to carry over the hills to the Friday due to work, so despite getting the session in, I do still feel cheated as Nick put them in the plan for the same day, but this is the reality of working it all around my other commitments!
On Saturday I took part in my first ever Park Run in Whitstable and my first race of 2013. For anyone who has not had the chance to do one or is thinking of getting along to a Park Run, I would seriously recommend it. The organisation is second to none, the spirit amongst the runners was great and as a ‘first timer’ - I, Bernie (of Woman’s running P26.2 team fame!) and a couple of others were welcomed and given a brief as to how the event works. The course was great, a little waterlogged in parts, thanks to the melted snow but despite this excuse, I managed to complete in 21:13, and finish 1st in my age category and 7th overall!, not a bad morning’s work and something I can see myself getting hooked on. Sunday - Another day another race – The Canterbury 10. Again this was my first time at this local race, a 10 mile run over an undulating course, including a steep hill! I looked out of the curtains at 7am and it was p....ouring down with rain, the forecast was pretty much the same for the rest of the day, glad to report that, not for the first time, the forecasters were way off the money and the day was glorious, reaching the dizzy heights of 10 degrees, so with the sun on my back, along with the fabulous Saucony gear, and my cheer squad of Wife and 3 kids we set off for the race. As this race was in lieu of my usual Sunday long run, my coach Nick suggested I approach this at HM pace, so with all the pre race formalities done, I set off aiming for 1:12-1:15 finish. I came in at 1:13:10 which I was pleased with, as the whole race felt comfortable, even with the squirt of pace down the last 400m to the finish line. So 2 races down, and both added to my favourite list. Before I sign off for the week, I would just like to mention that I am raising funds this year for Scope – a disability charity whose focus is people with cerebal palsy. If you are able to make a donation, then please do, all donations go directly to helping disabled children and their families enjoy a better quality of life. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Mark_Fairbrother Cheers Mark
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