Wk15 Manchester Marathon Training

So this week has been a nice relaxing one for me as part of the taper. It seems unlike some I’m one of the few that enjoys taper time! It has given me the opportunity to spend more time with Mrs Orangerunner and our boys. With the mileage being less and at an easier pace it has given us the opportunity to run, bike, gym and swim together. Unfortunately I picked up a couple of niggles which while probably over cautious I sought therapy for, thankfully nothing serious just a bit of realigning of my pelvis.

Monday was a rest day but I took my boys swimming, although in the water I didn’t swim myself but just walked around, clown’d about,did some dynamic stretching and then spent a bit of time in the sauna. 

The weather on Tuesday was just terrible with strong winds and rain so I decided to run early instead of joining the club. To say I hated this training session is an understatement. The wind was just horrific and combined with rain created very tough conditions, at times it felt like I was being hit with a thousand little needles.

I planned to do 6 x 5 min efforts, 3 into the wind and 3 back. The first 3 were 6:21, 6:57 and 7:05 and the 3 back were 5:50, 5:54 and 5:54. Neither of these intervals were done at different effort levels and just demonstrates how tough the wind was. The one thing I did take from this is that I need to pray 🙏 for good conditions on the 10th April, as strong wind will just destroy my race. During the efforts I started to get a bit of discomfort in my right hip and the tightness in my left hamstring has remained, which while didn’t impact performance gave me a bit of concern.

My training plan gave me the option of either rest or cross train on Wednesday so I went for the cross train option. I’m not one for gyms instead preferring the great outdoors or swimming and this experience, while not overly negative, cemented my view. I joined my wife at the gym and although very nice, doing 40 minutes on the crosstrainer watching TV is just not for me and left me bored stiff. The one thing that did crack me up is that, though I didn’t feel I over exerted myself, when I got off the machine and tried to walk my legs were like jelly and walking down the stairs was very amusing!!  Again I felt the discomfort in my hip so decided to make an overly cautious appointment with the chiropractor.

Thursday – I was meant to do a threshold run but with my hip I skipped this and visted the Chiropractor instead 😦.  It turned out I had twisted my pelvis slightly, I think this was possibly caused by the rough terrain of New Forest 20 miler completed a couple of weeks ago combined with training as a whole. She went to work on my pelvis and spine and thankfully it now feels much better. She also looked and massaged my left hamstring, this remains a little tight so will continue to stretch and foam roll and hopefully it’ll be fine.

Friday was rest day and I did this fantastically in front of the fire, watching Star Wars and eating Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food!!!

Saturday  was just brilliant, I watched something about Jo Pavey awhile ago and it showed her training with her son who was on his bike. I thought what a great idea, so with it being a nice day on Saturday and my wife wanting to run as well I suggested we all head out together.

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We jogged through the park at the back of our place, then through Woodland Walk to the clifftop along and back home. It was really nice exercising as a family and the boy’s really enjoyed it.

The clifftop was a bit of traffic control situation, with all the side road crossings, but my boys were very sensible and cars were nice and understanding.

Overall we did 4.8 miles and once marathon training is out of the way this is something I want to do more of, especially in the Summer.

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Sunday – After the success of Saturday I made the suggestion we do the same thing and run together with the boys on their bikes. I put forward of doing it at 8am and then watching the Bournemouth Bay Run after, this was rejected by all as in their opinion it was much too early and if we ran later it’d be too busy. Instead it was suggested we do it at Moors Valley Country Park. Mrs Orangerunner could take the boys off and run easy, leaving me to do as per training plan. We would then rendezvous after for a  picnic and ice cream, oh and not forgetting the boys request of time in the play areas!!

So I wrestled the bike rack out of the shed, worked out how it went on the car again and off we went.

My plan was to do 10 mins Easy – 50 mins @MP – 10 mins Easy and then cool down. I unloaded the bikes and walked them over to their start position, had a quick toilet break, downed a gel and checked my planned route once more.

I walked through the crowds, started my watch and I was off into the forest!

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The course was mainly gravel track but there were a couple of bits on grass, including muddy patches (my poor marathon trainers), and sandy gravel.

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It was great fun exploring areas away from the play trail which I’ve walked countless times and really enjoyed it. I saw other families on their bikes and again once marathon training is out the way will definitely take the boys out here for LSR’s as they’d love the off road aspects. The ten minutes flew past and I stepped it up to MP, I kept glancing at my pace which was reading 6:30/mi but looking at stats after I was going a bit quicker, ranging between 6:22 and 6:35 /mi. This is a bit concerning as I don’t want to set off too quick and burn up near the end. Overall I did the MP at an average of 6:28/mi which isn’t too bad but as I was aiming for 6:35/mi, I must reign it in on race day.

Once I ran around through the forest I headed around the lake up to Potterne Park doing a loop, spotting the boys on the other side of the lake, eagerly waiting their ice cream no doubt! I waved frantically but wasn’t spotted.

I then ran past them scoffing there ice cream but I still had 4 mins to go so gave a little wave and shout and jogged round the car park.

We then headed to the picnic spot by the minature railway and absolutely scoffed our picnic of tuna sandwiches, grapes and fruit and nut mix!!! The boys then headed to the play area and burnt off any leftover energy ☺

So next week is the final week before Manchester!!! It’s scary how quick it’s come around, I have three light sessions planned before the big day and lots of pasta and rice ro eat, wish me luck! 😀

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