On an absolute perfect late winters day here in the Kansai region of Japan, I ran a marathon in 3.08.16 to edge closer to the goal of running sub 3. A 4-minute PB and 6 minutes faster than what had been an absolute devastating Kakogawa Marathon just 7 weeks earlier.
A quick read over my last blog entry was sobering. For one thing it was brutally honest which on reflection did me the world of good. So, where was I?
- Weekly mileage well below par. Just 3 of 12 weeks above 80km.
- My workouts were packed with purpose but I missed the point of the long run.
- Meek attempts at running long. Just 5 at 30km in 12 weeks.
- Moderate core work with zero stretching.
I can’t remember how I stumbled on this page ‘Eliud Kipchoge – Full training log leading up marathon world record attempt’ in the week after Kakogawa, but somehow, I did. What struck me at the time were his long runs. He marked them in his log as 40km cross country tempo runs which he sauntered through in 2 hours 15 minutes. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, how about his weekly mileage (km) at 117, 175, 176, 185, 181 and 183 in the 6 weeks prior to Berlin.
We mere mortals however have jobs and family for crying out loud but I reckon there’s no excuse for at least committing to the long run and a minimum 80 plus kilometers for the week. 7 weeks later I’d managed:
- 5 weeks of the 7 at or above 80km.
- 4 long runs at 40km and 2 (tempo) long runs at 30km.
- More carbo restrictive dieting.
- For the first time in my life I experimented with ‘donkey kicks’.
- Guess what? Groin and knee pain all but gone. Damn my sedentary working lifestyle!
- Nightly core work again.
Coach Scott Brown recently talked about breaking up the drudgery of the long run by sprinting the last 200m of each of the final 10 kilometers. Over the last 4 weeks I found this to be a real game changer. I reckon it flushes the lactic build up or perhaps helps with blood flow when muscles are tight and fatigued. Either way I used this strategy on Sunday and it worked a bloody treat. Thanks Scott. Legend.