Race-wise, I got another PB at the Salisbury 10 a few weeks ago, and M came within 25 seconds of getting a sub 1 hour time, so that is back on the cards as a goal for him. He has decided that I'm going to be his coach from now on so my job is to work out a training schedule to deliver the following times: a sub 18 minute parkrun (current PB 18:04), a sub 1 hour ten mile (current PB 1:00:25) and a 2:53 marathon. I think he can do it.
Two of the Hares also ran the Salisbury 10. It was Rob Hares first ever ten mile run- given that he started running exactly a year ago he has done brilliantly and I am super proud of him. Ten miles is a long old way and he even had enough energy at the end for a sprint finish and was smiling when he crossed the line. Next stop for most of the Hares is the Southampton marathon weekend. Two are doing their first half marathons and the rest are entered into the 10k. Keep your fingers crossed for them.
On Monday M and I went over to the Island and ran the Three Hills Challenge with friend John. It was hot. It was hilly. I walked bits :o). The course goes through some wonderful countryside looking out to sea, across to the Needles and back towards the mainland. We drove to the ferry at Lymington, had a very smooth crossing sitting out on the deck in the sun, then cycled the three miles to the race start along the old railway, ran eight miles over the hills and cycled the three miles back to the ferry. It was a good morning out.
Pop and I are back marathon training. I have one booked for the start of June which we are in full prep mode for. I did an 18 mile training run a fortnight ago that went so well I could have gone on and run the full marathon distance that day and been fine. A week later we did a 20 mile run and it was hard work all the way. It was a hot day and a hilly route, but even so it was much tougher than it should have been and I could still feel it in my system a week later.
I've been reading about optimal training plans for marathons and there is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that the physiological damage sustained during any run over 2.5-3 hours (16 miles +) is not worth the recovery time. I had been sceptical about this but I'm starting to think there may well be something in it. If you've never run a marathon before there is definitely a benefit in doing a 20-22 mile run ahead of the race- you learn a lot about your endurance capacity on these long runs, how to overcome the physical as well as mental tiredness, and how to fuel, hydrate and recover afterwards, and you also prove to yourself you can do it which helps massively psychologically, but once you've done a marathon and know you can do the distance, the value in the long run is reduced. Instead of further 20 mile training runs in this cycle I'm increasing my cumulative weekly mileage and running some of my training runs at a tempo pace- this increases endurance and speed capacity. So my training this time round is a bit different and I'm interested to see what, if any, effect it has.
Yesterday, Teddy came with Pop and I on a lovely 8 mile off road run through woods thick with bluebells. We saw a hare and a yellowhammer, heard skylarks and whitethroats. He is amazing I think- he'll be ten in June and he still very happily runs 8 miles over the Chalk. The V.E.T who told us it was bad for him to run a couple of years ago clearly didn't know what she was talking about. He's as fit as a flea and very happy and content. Pop, of course, finds a hilly, off road 8 miles easy peasy and is leaping about like a frog still when she gets home :o)
Hope all are well. It's blowing an absolute hoolie here and two panes of glass have just blown out of the greenhouse and smashed on the patio.