Sub 3?

It’s now 8 weeks until my target marathon. I really don’t think I’m going to do it.

That Garmin blip that put me at 1.26 for the half marathon has really screwed me over. I was kind of relaxing and going with Camille’s plan, confident it was all working.

Now I’m back on Advanced Marathoning, on the 70 mile a week plan, desperately trying to make up lost ground.

I had another shop and bought some of the brand new Saucony Endorphin Pro 3s. The YouTube review if them said they were marginally better than the Nike Vaporfly Next% 2, that I currently have. I was cautious about the Saucony because although I love the “speedroll” tech (a rocker shape in the sole to fling you forward, so make your foot turnover really quick) it was battering my knees in my old Speed 2s. Also they are quite narrow and squashy. Since I’ve got plantar I’ve been running in the 2s quite a bit and I seem to have got used to them, so I took the plunge.

I took them for a test ride today. The plan said 17 miles (at mara pace +10- 20%) I decided to do two miles warm up (+10%) then go for it for a half marathon. I tried to be fancy with my the settings on my watch to record the warm up, the half separately, and the warm down. It failed completely. So I had no idea how I was doing overall on the half attempt because it was including the average of the first two miles. Meh. I just had to go for it.

The good news is the shoes are way wider than the Speeds, really soft, and fast. The bad news is I took a gamble on half a size up, to give me a bit of extra toe room, and my right foot got the numb/pain I get when cycling in cleats, from pressure under the pads of my foot. I’m hoping that the padding will give a bit.

Anyway, I struggled around 5 laps of my new course. A mile or so of each lap was into the wind, which, although it wasn’t a stiff wind, when you are already at your limit, doesn’t help.

Anyway, I had no idea how I’d done until I got home, uploaded the data and worked it out. 1.29:06 for a half. That’s good, (that’s great for a half, for me) but I need to be 1.25 they say, to be in sub 3 contention. And it was about all I had to do the 13.1 miles, I couldn’t have held that pace for another 13.1.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it. I’ve got a 20 mile long run next week, 16 miles with 12 at mara pace the week after and 21 miles the week after that. Then Warrington Half, Chester marathon, and 3 weeks later my target marathon.

I think I’ll up the pace of my long runs. Maybe 2 miles at 7.30, 14 miles at 6.50, 4 at 7.30. Do the 16 as planned. 2 at 7.30, 16 at 6.50, 2 at 7.30, etc. Try and build up my stamina at pace. It’s going to smash my legs and not give the planned recovery, but I don’t know what else to do.

As I’m typing I’ve had another idea. Been down for a brew and ranted it at Wendy for 10 minutes. The more I think about it the more I like it. Instead of ruining the principle of the plan, the work to rest/ recover ratio by doing huge sections at 6.50, just up my speeds overall. When I started this plan at the beginning of January I didn’t have all the different paces. I wanted something like 8.30 for general runs, 7.32- 8.12 for long runs. The first week smashed me running 9 miles at 8.30 and my first long run I couldn’t hold it inside 8.12 for 12 miles (8.15 and totally done in). By pushing for target paces, rather than paces I could achieve, I got faster. Within 8 weeks I’d gone from 8.15 for 12 miles to 12 miles (5 of hills) at 7.01 in a 15 mile PB, with a half marathon PB along the way.

So now I have to decide on my target times and suffer accordingly. But this is suddenly do-able again. Assuming my body holds up. Just moved all my targets. I’m pumped again now. This is do-able.