This weeks training has been great and a little ruff (pun! See later in post)
As I had my longest run planned at the end of this week I kept the miles low during the week to just a couple of 4 mile lunchtime runs on the Tuesday and Thursday.
Tuesday was a solo effort and I wanted to push myself for a couple of reasons. One being to vary the pace in my training and secondly to experiment towards my maximum heart rate zones on my new heart rate monitor ( review of this will be posted during the week)
As I had the big milestone 20 mile training run planned on Sunday and because this is such a short training programme I took a couple of days off to rest up for the long run.
The last 2 weeks long runs of 16 and 17.5 miles had me close to hitting the wall, so I was dreading the 20 miles I had set myself this week.
On the positive side I had running bro, Brian with me, (he's not really my brother, but annoying like one!.....only joking Bri :-)
This made a massive difference, someone to talk to and lift the spirits when things get tough.
We ran part way along the Downs link path, 36 miles of pathway that link the North and South Downs. Brian was familiar with the route as he had rode the full length a few times in the past.
The plan was to run an out and back 10 miles. The weather was grim but business had to be done to get these miles in the bank.
I ran with 500ml of water with an energy type tablet thingy in it....and 6 Jaffa cakes. I needed more fluid than this but there was a town halfway (Southwater) where I could refuel. Trouble was when we got there, nothing was open, apart from the Gastro pub. I went in stinking and dripping wet after a bottle of water. They only had glass bottles with no lids, but the very kind girl behind the bar, opened her personal Lucozade drink, poured it away, and filled it with water for me free of charge. A true act of kindness...or desperate to get a stinky bloke away from the customers!
I think the adrenaline must have been pumping because I got through the next few miles a lot easier than I normally would have.
Up to mile 16 we had kept a nice steady pace of around 9:30 min/miles (not bad considering the lack of training) but the last 4 miles the pace dropped but we made it to the end feeling reasonably comfortable.
I usually run long runs in the morning so whether it was because I ran this in the afternoon and had plenty of time to hydrate and fuel during the morning the run went a lot better than I expected.
One more 12.5 mile longish run to fit in before the marathon and then a week to chillax before the big day.