Early signs of Spring...

Mark Fairbrother
Monday, 4 March , 2013
Hi guys and welcome to my weekly blog. For the last 2 months or so I have had to endure pretty much the worst of the British weather, as I suspect most of you have reading this. Like me, you probably complain, feel sorry for yourself and even try to find any old excuse for not getting out into the cold winter and get the session done, but, YOU DO find the will power to do it, I love that moment when you arrive back home and close the door behind you - my body is radiating heat and sweat, my muscles urging to be stretched, I feel on such a high and a huge sense of achievement that another piece of my marathon jigsaw has just been laid down. I then go through my recovery rituals before analysing my session in Garmin Connect. Another run ticked off, job done. It would ‘appear’ that the weather is finally giving way to sub 2 degrees and pushing the mercury up to the dizzy heights of 12 degrees, call me old fashioned but that is perfect running weather. The seasonal shift to Spring signifies two great factors for me, firstly our bloody central heating goes off (well, off until the missus notices) and secondly its Marathon season, wherever you look it seems every major City is putting one on. My choice of venue this year is sunny Brighton but with 6 weeks to go I’ve got loads of training to get through.  

Training Update


Monday – Usual 45 minute recovery run, I took the pace down a notch to ‘super easy’ having raced hard in the latter half of the Ford 10 on the Sunday, and my legs did thank me for it. Tuesday – Nick Anderson had very kindly invited me to his track session at the New River stadium in North London; I was joined by fellow Project 26.2 runners, Hollie, Aaron and Steve along with Nick’s regular protégés (very, very finely tuned ‘Runningwithus’ athletes) for an evening of false smiles – the session was tough, challenging but above all superb. We started off with a 10 min warm up, nice easy laps of the track, this was followed by 6 mins at threshold (so 6:12m/m for me) then went straight into 5 x 800 metres with 90 seconds jog recovery in between, I was really pleased with my performance hitting 90 second laps (5:48m/m) pretty much for the full 5 reps. The session was rounded off with a final 6 mins once again at threshold which again was happy to get done at 6:28m/m pace. I left the track absolutely buzzing and pondered what these sorts of sessions would do to my target race times..... Thursday - Another tough session – 75 minutes including 3 x 10 min at threshold, each interval split with 2 min recovery Saturday – 45 minute recovery run, nice relaxed pace, felt good. I had a great sports massage on Saturday afternoon; this was my 3rd one of 4. My local athletics club offer a Marathon package for £95 you get a 1 hour massage, 2 x 30 mins and a 40min, so all in all superb value, the guys down there are great, all enthusiastic runners themselves so in between the muscle pummelling it’s actually a great social. I’m finding these massages to be of real benefit, as my legs feel instantly fresh and am recovering a lot quicker from the tougher sessions. Well worth investing into if you’re on the marathon road. Sunday – The session was a nice 2 hour LSR with the last hour split up with 2 x 20min at marathon pace with 10 min recoveries either side. I felt really comfortable throughout, admittedly legs were feeling the cumulative effect of the week’s training, but the positive from this is that I got the session done on the desired pace even with tired legs – a la last 10k in the marathon!! One gripe re equine etiquette – Whilst running down a country lane approaching 2 mounted riders riding side by side do they have some sort of right of way? – I’m essentially left with 2 choices  – 1) run around them to the left, thus risking life and limbs to oncoming traffic or 2) Move to the right of the beast – oh yeah, can’t do this one as I’m already flush up against the hedgerow, and I’m not ripping my Saucony jacket. Besides, my future is not in Lasagne. Surely the appropriate behaviour here (as with Cyclists) would be for the riders to move into single file, thereby allowing all parties to enjoy their chosen pursuit? Have a great week; keep fit, strong and injury free, Neigh.... Mark
Follow on twitter @mpfaccountancy.



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