slow, slow, quick, quick, slow

Last week I was just one week into my marathon training, and already lacking motivation.

This week my running has been better, even though the weather hasn’t been.  My runs have felt good.

The Monday long run felt comfortable and I’m getting the hang of running a little bit slower.  The idea is to run at or slower than your marathon pace.  Having never run a marathon I have no idea what that pace is.  I’m guessing it’s somewhere around 6min/km which is a pretty gentle jog these days.  It wasn’t always like that.

Tuesday is another slower run.  30 mins to promote recovery.

Things speed up on Wednesday with some short sprint intervals. 1.o5min recovery jog punctuated by 8 x 25 second full pace sprints.  My legs were burning towards the end but it felt great.

A day off on Thursday and another recovery run on Friday brought me to the focus of the week… parkrun.

This week the pacers were out at the Strathclyde parkrun.  It seemed like a great chance to break my PB but the weather has been pretty poor so when I woke up on Saturday I wasn’t even sure it would be worth going.  The sky was dark and the trees were blowing.

At 9am the sun came out… game on.

I was following Anthony, the 24 minute pacer.  A couple of weeks ago I slipped off the pace towards the last kilometer, but this week I was determined to hang in.

We set off and I felt the pace immediately… Anthony was going out a little quicker than last time.  I took me ages to settle in and get comfortable with the pace.  At 2.5k Anthony looked round to see I was still there and I was struggling.  A quick word of encouragement and I did something I wish I had done earlier… I took out the headphones.

Sometimes it’s great to have the computer tell you how fast you are going and a song keeping you bouncing along but today it was a distraction.  As soon as I took the earphones out I felt more comfortable.  I could hear my breathing and my feet pounding the tarmac. It has it’s own rhythm.


I moved up next to Anthony at 3.5k to try to avoid dropping back like I had last time.  At 4 k Anthony announced that I’d done it.  I was less convinced.  I was breathing hard and my legs were starting to burn.  But it was only 1k to go.  Hang on for just a few more minutes.

Just then Sarah Joyce came bursting through, determined to get a good time.  I almost tried to follow but a wise word of caution from the pacer held me back until closer to home.

At 200m from home the small group being paced by Anthony went for it.

I thought the line would never come.  I was gasping for breath, legs on fire…

I was shattered but delighted to know that I was under 24 minutes.  I had finished ahead of Anthony who timed his run at 24 minutes dead.  All that was left now was the wait for the results text.

23:50.  A new PB!!!  56.85% on the age grading scale.

When I first ran a parkrun I’d been running for 6 months and completed a half marathon.  Getting under 24 minutes seemed like a far off dream.  8 months ago running 5km in less than 30 minutes seemed like a bigger dream!

According to the runner’s world race pace calculator my predicted marathon time is now 3:47:28.  Yeah, I laughed too… but you never know… 5.24min/km for 42km… I mean there is 174 days of training to go…

Totals: 30.64km in 2:56:34 with an average pace of 5.57min/km for training and 4.46min/km for the parkrun using a total of 2353 calories.

1 thought on “slow, slow, quick, quick, slow”

  1. Don’t feel too bad, Stewart. I lack the motivation to run a marathon…every day. If I was motivated to do that, I’d lack motivation to do something else. I don’t know why, but running is the bane of my existence. Hope you are able to find your motivation again!

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