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one week: cotton wool time

Morning of the Last 16

So sees the end of the final week of serious training and one week until Dublin. I have no experiments, no curiosities, no quirky runs to report on this week. The only thing that was away from the norm is my planned “low taper”. At the start of the training block I said that I wouldn’t drop the long run mileage coming up to the Dublin Marathon even if I was scaling back on the weekly miles. That’s exactly what I did with the 18-mile test last week and an easy 16-mile run this week. That’s much bigger than my usual 10-mile effort the week before a marathon.

The 10-miler did surface in the form of my usual Sunday recovery run this morning. Bouncing off the ground on light feet as my training buddy James described it – it did really feel that way. Without trying, a 10-mile recovery effort turned into a respectable 80-minute outcome and feelings of freshness. It’s a good place to be one week out.

As is normal for my long runs/experiments, the Garmin data for the 16-mile run is available here. There is nothing exciting to see however just lots of plodding and a very happy average heart rate of 127bpm.

one week left, no excitement from the last 16-mile run, perfectly aerobic all the way, even with hills involved
one week left, no excitement from the last 16-mile run, perfectly aerobic all the way, even with hills involved

looking forward

Just one week now – in fact, this time next week I’ll be in dissection mode thinking about how the race went. Of course, it’s not really a race, just another weekend run with the guys but on fresh legs. Almost a full year of laying a new foundation has gone into this mode of being. Heavy mileage and experimental running in the early half of the year gave rise to the confidence to test myself each weekend rather than just tick the box. It’s a really strange yet comforting place to be.

Race strategy decided upon: We’ve run the breakdown twice in the last few weeks. We’ve run it twice at the end of high mileage weeks, on legs that were not fresh. There are no guarantees in the marathon, it is a beast, but we are in the very best position we could be to give it absolutely every chance of success.

A week from now, we’ll start comparing notes and writing down our thoughts – distilling a plan of all that truly worked well. There are three of us (James, Jason, me) that have undertaken The Oregano Project of largely unprescribed training. Midweek runs rarely duplicated between us, working our own routines but syncing up precisely with all weekend runs. We have a lot to talk about after next Sunday, regardless of the times netted. Bring it on!

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