Turning up the Heat!

As you may know if you've read my other blog posts, I am following a professional training plan for my assault on April's London Marathon. This is a bit of a departure for me, because I've played it pretty much by ear for my three previous marathons (and for any other races I've taken part in, come to that!). My philosophy has been that if I can find my way to the start, I can probably make it to the Finish Line. Up to now that's work, albeit not always with stellar results! But this time around, with hopefully £2,620.00-worth of sponsorship money weighing me down, I decided to follow the Hanson Brothers' plan as outlined in their book, "Hansons First Marathon -- Step up to 26.2 The Hansons Way". Although the book outlines the Hanson brothers' strategies it is actually written by their Head of Coaching, Luke Humphrey.

Their theory is that you don't have to do a load of really long runs in order to successfully complete a marathon. So, rather than doing regular runs of 20 miles and more, the plan relies on a system of cumulative fatigue.  The longest 'long run' you put in is only 16 miles, but because of the work you've put in during the week, this will feel more like the last 16 miles of a marathon rather than the first 16. (Never thought I'd ever use the words "only", "sixteen", and "miles" in the same sentence!) 

This suits me because, as a slower runner, it takes me quite a long time to complete a 20-mile training run!  It's an 18-week plan and I've just started Week 8. The first couple of weeks are quite gentle, but then the plan shifts up a gear. Here are my January statistics:

I'm happy with that, and so far I'm managing to stick with the program. This Sunday I did my longest 'long run' to date, 20 miles around my local streets, up and down Bridlington's North and South Promenades, and up the cliff top path to Sewerby Hall. I kept to the plan and completed it in 21/2 hours, at a pretty even pace of 12.5-minute miles. This would give me a marathon time of about 51/2 hours if I could keep it up, and as my current PB is 5:55 I'd be happy with that. However, my goal is to try and do it under 5 hours, so I still have a long way to go!

On the plus side, I just saw the weather forecast and this week promises sunny skies and temperatures in double digits Celsius... hovering around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. And that's approaching heatwave proportions for February on the Yorkshire coast!

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