Not long until all these Spring marathons kick off in April - getting nervous? Don't be, you'll be great* (*note - I cannot guarantee this statement).
Unfortunately my injury woes have continued this week - my foot has healed up but my calf is very tight still. I tested it out on Thursday with a little 5k jog and it actually seemed to be fine, but since then it is quite sore. I'm not sure whether it needs rest or to be worked, so I will probably aim to see my physio this week.
Next weekend I am due to be running marathon number five - the Taunton Marathon down in Somerset. I haven't got a clue what the course is like - I think it's all on the road? Not sure really. But I like surprises! It looks quite doubtful I will be running, but I'm being optimistic and so haven't given up hope. I have the Manchester Marathon the following week and London two weeks later, so they are definitely my priority.
Anyway, enough about me - I hope that after my advice last week you have all stopped running those steady pace runs and have tried running at marathon pace (MP) or faster? You guys! Come on tell the truth now..
Steady running may look good on Strava but all it will do is blunt your speed and make you one paced. To explain what I mean by steady pace so you can work out yours (and avoid it) - it is somewhere in between your easy and hard running pace. Example: for me my marathon pace is 5:50 min/mile and my easy pace is roughly 7:00-7:15, so my steady pace is 6:30.
By now ideally at least 10-15% of your weekly mileage should be at your marathon pace or hopefully faster than that. At this stage you should be concentrating solely on increasing your leg speed - forget about your long runs. If race day is the first time you run at your marathon pace, you are in for a fun race! And by fun I mean not at all fun..
That means regardless of whether you are aiming for sub 2:45, sub 3:00, sub 4:00 or sub 5:00, you really MUST practice running faster than the pace needed for that time. For my example, doing 16 miles at 6:30 pace (or whatever your steady pace) is basically completely pointless - you would be so much better off running 8 miles easy and 8 miles at MP. It really is so simple...Run HARD or run EASY - nothing in between!
On Monday night I had a Skype call with CNN in New York regarding a documentary series they are making around Man v Horse in June. It sounds like a really cool concept - it is only at the planning stage so far but if they go ahead with the programme they will film me training and travelling etc in the build-up to the race, as well as a 1-hour long TV interview, and then they will film the race with a view to the documentary airing on the CNN website and possible US TV.... no pressure!
Despite my inability to actually run, fundraising has been good this week - almost £200 raised so I am now up to £1,887 with six events still to go. It would be so cool to get to £2,000, so if you could spare anything - even if it is only £1 that would be awesome! My Justgiving page is here. Thank you!
Seeing as I got through more than ten hours on the gym bike this week, I polished off another book pretty quick - "The Faithful Couple" by A.D. Miller. It was really tense! Worth a read if you like anything by Patricia Highsmith, especially "Strangers on a Train". Easter has been spent around the Suffolk coast - Woodbridge, Southwold and Felixstowe with lots of tea drinking, dog walking, amusements and mini golf.
Today we went to Virtually Dead - which is a zombie apocalypse experience in Hackney in East London. In short, it was amazing! We were picked up under a bridge in Hackney Wick and taken by an army jeep in darkness to a "secret" location where we were shouted at by officers, shot zombies in 360 degree virtual reality, attacked by zombies in darkness (there was plenty of fake blood). Basically it was everything Easter Sunday is about..
Whatever you've been up to, I hope you've had a good one. See you next week where I will HOPEFULLY have a marathon to tell you about..
I am running ten marathons to raise money for Beat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity. You can follow me on Twitter here, on Instagram here, or on Facebook here. You can also sponsor me via my Justgiving page here. Thank you!