Sunday, 3 January 2010

Day 251 - The Start (or an unintentional eleven)

Type - Steady run

Distance - 11 miles

Time - 1 hour 33 minutes and 7 seconds

It might seem strange to have the beginning on Day 251 of this blog, but this is the start. The start of official training, the first day in the 16 week build up to the London Marathon. From this point I will be following a detailed training programme which proscribes the distances, frequency and times of runs. The intention is to follow a programme that will get me a 3 hour 45 marathon and thus provide a bit of lee-way to ensure I do get a sub-4 hour marathon.

The key for this first month of proper training is to regulate pace and slow things down. As nice as 7.5 minute mile averages were, it is not sustainable over a marathon distance. I will be aiming for 8.75 minute miles in the marathon to bring me in at 3 hours 50 minutes (or so). Today's run was supposed to be for ten miles, so I would aim to get in at about 1 hour 27 - 28 minutes.

I set off fully decked in winter training gear, and sporting my new running headphones. My usual inner-ear buds have an annoying tendency to get sweaty and stop working, leaving me with either mono or no sound for the last few miles. My new headphones loop round the ear and should be sweatproof.

It is still bitterly cold in London, with day time temperatures struggling to top into positive figures. Today had a stiff wind that dropped the real temperature even further. But it was sunny, and running in the sunshine, no matter how weak or low in the sky, is a pleasure after nights of rain chilled running.

I set off on a route that would see me take in a two mile loop of Stoke Newington before heading down Petherton Road to eventually head down my route to work (across in to Barnsbury, down to Rosebury Avenue). This would have been fine but for getting slightly lost in Stoke Newington and adding another mile to my distance. I therefore did an unintentional 11 mile run, but it was an easier pace so hopefully no harm done.

The run was noticeably easier at the slower pace. I didn't get the loss of energy in the second half and it didn't feel at all like a battle. I finished the 11 miles confident that I could have carried on for quite a bit further.

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