Week 2 of taper

On Monday I rested as planned and followed this up with a 10k run on Tuesday. I've changed to a new pair of trainers and could immediately feel the difference in cushioning. Having said that although my knee felt a little better its still quite sore which is a little worrying. On the plus side I've got plenty of rest days planned between now and the marathon a week on Sunday. As for the run itself I just aimed to go round at my marathon target pace of 6.52, but ended up completing a little quicker at 6.42 min miles. I felt really strong throughout, I guess partly because I'm quite well rested and it felt like I was just jogging and I struggled to go any slower. Over the last couple of weeks I've noticed that my pace has improved substantially, the standard fare for a 10k run was about 7.30 pace, and now anything under 7 min mile pace is the norm - that said I feel like I've put in a lot of effort in my training recently and I'm now beginning to reap the rewards.

On Wednesday I had intended to run to work one final time before the race, but decided against it as only 12hrs rest and a rucksack to carry would not be good for the knee. As a result I did a 9.25 mile run in the evening, again targeting marathon race pace of 6.52. I didn’t feel as good as the day before, probably in part because of not having the benefit of a day off. The end result was that I averaged 6.30 min miles, yet again far too fast - so would probably explain why I wasn’t feeling as good as I was moving faster. That said the pace was still fairly comfortable and could have carried on further had I wanted. The knee didn’t bother me in that I could run un-impinged but I still felt it wasn’t right.

Thursday was yet again another 10k and I just jogged round at 7.24 pace. Considering my speed I actually found the run harder than it should have been for some reason. Friday was another rest day and today would have normally been my long run day. As its only a week to Draycote I cut back to doing 12.5 miles at an average of 7.06 min mile pace. I had intended to go slower and to take all intensity out of the run but for some reason went a bit quicker. In the early stages my legs felt dead and it was only with a few miles to go did they get going. Only other thing to add was that I wish the marathon was today - little wind and lovely warming sunshine. Perhaps the first signs of spring are upon us!

Tomorrow I will go out for a 3.5 mile jog which means the total mileage for the week will be 38. Then it will be a rest day on Monday, 6 on Tues, rest Weds, probably another 6 on Thurs then that'll be it until race day.

I have now received the race pack for the Draycote Marathon - not much to report other than as its five laps I can place my own drinks on the refreshments table every five miles. What’s less impressive is that the mile markers are every 5 miles! I'm really going to struggle to get my pace right as a result - this really is bad news in my opinion.

Before I found out about the mileage issue my intention was to run the first half of the course at 6.45 min mile pace, which basically means I can then afford to drop to 7 min miling in the remainder. If I'm still feeling good after half way then I will try to maintain my 6.45 pace up to 18 miles ish, then at that point put in what ever I have left in the tank. Of course the mile markers being every 5 miles is going to make things far harder to judge so I am really going to have to rely a lot more on how I feel. I suspect that even if I do feel good late on, it will be more of a case of putting in any spare effort into maintaining my pace as I start to tire rather than going faster.

If things go to plan I hope to achieve 2.59 or better. On the flipside the mile markers will make pace judgement very difficult and I'm sure I'll be running a great deal of the race by myself with a field of only 80. I also worked out that as its five (and a bit) laps, I will pass the start area six times so monotony might be an issue too. The only caveat to my target time is that on the off chance I'm near the head of the field I'll race for position rather than time.

Dunno how to add movie's to my blog, but attached is a youtube inspirational marathon music vid!


Wish me luck!


  1. Hi Lloyd, good luck for the marathon, is it next Sun? I'm sure you will do really well, you have certainly put the effort in and it shows in your fitness.

    Looking forward to reading about it!

  2. All the best mate. God 5 laps? That would do my head in! And the whole drinks situation is crap too! I'm seriously considering having my camelback on me when I run my marathon. I run with it all the time, so it's part of me now... so why not have it on during the race. Not ideal as you're carrying around 3kgs at the start, but I like to drink regular and little amounts when I'm running... I can't do the whole drink station thing personally. All the best mate, fingers crossed for a sub 3hr speedy gonzalez!

  3. Not good news about the mile-markers. I guess you could rely on GPS as a rough guide. Might be worth writing down what the time should be showing each time you pass the 5 mile mark, assuming you are on pace. If you can memorise the 5 times, then at least you can roughly work out if you are ahead or behind of schedule.

    Good luck though! I'm sure you'll do well. Whatever time you do, it'll be head and shoulders over what most people can manage!


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