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April 2013 Review

M&DTTA 25

M&DTTA 25

For some reason I totally lost my training mojo. I failed to get back in the pool (save the odd few hundred metres swim down after a run), I failed to get back on the bike, and I missed a whole bunch of run training in the final build up to the Manchester Marathon.

My first event was an Open 25 mile TT. Riding this was a mistake on so many levels. The original plan was for it to be an interesting diversion from the Marathon the following week. Nice idea, if I’d been on a bike since January. My legs certainly felt the lack of bike action for a good few days afterwards. The second problem was a stupid school boy error. I got up late, and had a light breakfast, and then never got round to eating lunch. This meant that I bonked at around mile 14. Something which was compounded by me not taking any food with me on the bike, just water. Through in going out too hard for the first 5 miles, and I completely stuffed up the day. The 6 mile ride from the finish back to my car at the HQ was very very grim. At least I didn’t finish last, 96th out of 97 finishers! We’ll not even go there with the time.

And onto the big one, the Greater Manchester Marathon. After the shambles that was the previous year’s event, the race organisers had gone all out this year to reduce the chances of any problems. They changed the route to get rid of the early off road section, and the steps up from the underpass at the end. And they got in the Army and Air Force (Cadets) to manage the baggage. The only real failing of their organisation was that it started within spitting distance of The Swamp.

Greater Manchester Marathon 2013

Greater Manchester Marathon 2013

I went into the race unsure of what my target should be. I’d had relatively decent training in Feb and Mar, but Jan and Apr had been rubbish. In the end I decided that #gohardorgohome was the order of the day, and I set off at 3:35 pace. This was certainly an achievable time, based on my recent 10K and Half performances, but I think that the lack of mid length runs, the poor taper in Apr and the 25m TT the week before put it out of reach. I could have gone out at 3:40 pace, and would probably have come away with a small PB, but the thought of 4 months training for just a few seconds gain didn’t sit right with me.

I could feel the 25 in my legs even after just the first 5K, and that’s the point at which I should have backed off a little. Being stubborn, I didn’t, and went through half-way in 1:47, which was right on target for 3:35. The wheels came off at 17/18 miles and I detonated! The last 8 miles were very painful, but I was please to bring it home sub 4hrs, in 3:50. This was only my third marathon, and was another useful learning experience. I’m also doing Edinburgh at the end of May. The original plan was to smack Manchester and get a new PB, and then take it easy and “enjoy” the day at Edinburgh, given that it has been scorching hot the last few years. Now, however, I’m reviewing the plan, and will probably go out for a new PB (weather dependant).

Without a doubt, the highlight of the Marathon was these guys at the half-way point in Altrincham. Appropriately located just of the crest of a small hill :-)

Training Stats:
Swim 0m 0hrs
Bike 36.4mi 2:22:18hrs
Run 49.7mi 7:13:51hrs

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