Running – the mid marathon training doubts

I’m 9 weeks into my 18 week plan.

9 weeks away from the Manchester marathon.

9 weeks away from my sub 3 attempt.

Note I don’t say latest or first because this is it, my only actual attempt at it, probably my last opportunity before I hit 50. It was never an option before but last year was a good year for me, and getting that 1.20 half marathon PB changed my mind about doing another marathon. If I didn’t give it a go now I guess I would regret it forever.

I have to be honest, I am doing all really I can do but I still feel baffled by my chances, by the science, and most of all by my ability.

So the restrictions – my age, I’m 48, a dip finish away from 49. I work full time. I have a family that I actually like being with. I have a body that I can read a lot better now and think I probably know its limits with what I can do and sustain before overload and injury.

I have a current best of 3.11 that I did when I had a half marathon best of 1.27. Big improvement needed so what can I do? As I say the half PB is way down. I have taken what worked for me last year and adapted a P&D plan around that, but I have my restrictions.

I can’t do 60 70 80 90 100 mile weeks.

I’m currently averaging 55 a week and will probably touch 60 on my heaviest week. The internet and others tell me that isn’t enough miles to go sub 3, so am I wasting my time? But I’m doing what I neglected last time – the marathon paced runs. Yesterday I did 18 miles with 12 at marathon pace – average around 6.33 – 6.34 a mile, taking the next mile and a bit of my cool down into consideration I had actually done a 1.26 half, my second fastest ever, so I am hitting my training aims.

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So yeah, this is just a wee getting my feelings out blog. I don’t expect answers, I don’t expect solutions, but I am where I am. I am trusting in my plan be it right or wrong. I am hitting my markers. I have run faster at 1500m, 3000m, and a lap of Strathclyde Park along the way. I’m fit as I have ever been at this stage of the year and I’m enjoying it.

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In short I am doing all that I think I can do that time, ability and age will allow but I have no idea if it will be enough. The marathon is a different ball game and it owes me nothing.  All I can do is get myself in the best shape that I can come race day in 9 weeks’ time and see if lady luck shines, if the stars align, and if I can get that last remaining Holy Grail.

Yeah maybe I don’t have the ability. Maybe it is a ridiculous thought to attempt to break 3 hours on 55 miles a week. It’s so far removed from a half marathon that it can’t, and by me never has been, taken for granted.

All I can say is I want it, I am working for it, and if it doesn’t work out it won’t be for lack of trying. To all of you with your Spring marathon aims, I wish you all the best. Let’s keep believing, and if people can listen to your doubts then get them out. Don’t let them beat you, don’t let them fester and remember, if you think you are beaten you are.

Let’s do this.

I welcome the challenge of this sub 3 marathon and if I fail, and to be honest it is more likely I will fail than succeed, then I have enjoyed the process up to now and for once haven’t feared it. Marathon I respect you, but I’m not scared of you anymore.

Let’s tussle.

A wee pleasant thing this week was to be chosen by Balega to be one of their ambassadors for the second year, a Balega Impi, which I am very proud to be. Work with who you believe in and products you use, I love the Balega range of socks and recommend them, they are certainly getting me through my long runs blister free just now.

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The song? The Stereo MCs because sometimes it is just about running.

2 thoughts on “Running – the mid marathon training doubts

  1. Sub 3 is not an unrealistic target for you at all. You’re capable of much faster. The marathon starts at mile 20 so the hardest part is controlling your pace up to that point and believing in yourself.
    50-55 miles a week is plenty as long as your long runs are done with the proper effort.
    Good luck in Manchester. Was my first marathon 2 years ago and I wasn’t fully fit. I didn’t go sub 3 but was close. I ended up about 10 mins better than I thought I would be.

    Liked by 1 person

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