Wk8 Purbeck Marathon Training 

Nearly getting up to date with these blog posts (actually sat here at the beginning of Wk11). So Wk8…what happened in Wk8 again…oh yes the big one!!! This was the week of 23 mile training run not made easier by a beast of a Harriers session!

Tuesday was the hottest of the days so far and the pink session said 30 mins of BIC Hills with a tempo there and back….OUCH!. …I gazed across to the green session which was 1Km efforts…oh that would be nicer in this heat but…  Purbeck Marathon is not flat so my training shouldn’t be, so I opted for the beasting session.

As always we slowly plodded down to the overcliff where we regrouped and went through the session for those new or unfamiliar. It’s important to pace this session right as you don’t want to hit the first part too hard and be dead on the hills. We set off and I stayed behind Mark and Coach letting them set the pace, which was more threshold than tempo. The route was along the cliff top before heading down towards Boscombe Pier and through and up the Chine. The Chine is a tough hill with the incline steep, take it too hard at the start and you’re gasping at the end!  I took the lead through here and maintained it along the East Cliff. Normally I’d be quicker through here but I was concious of the affects of the heat. Once I got to Russell Coates slope I slowed an used the downhill to Bournemouth Pier as a quick recovery. 

I was first to BIC hill so I started the 30 min countdown (it’s timed from the first runner). I’ve spoken about this hill in the past and cannot stress how tough it is, it’s steep, mellows and then gets steeper! Normally we only do 20 mins but coach had decided to up it, it was quite busy with tourists and beach goers and like always people were watching in bewilderment as we went up and down and then back up and back down! I fitted in 10 repetitions and I was smashed by the finish, I maintained or increased the distance between me and the majority of the pack but Captain Steve started to hunt me down at the end.

We had a little rest and top up of water bottles before starting the third leg of this session which is a tempo back to the initial grouping point. My legs were heavy and they didn’t loosen at all, by the end it felt like the last 6 miles of a marathon. Mark caught near the end and past me quickly, I wasn’t having any of that so I dug deep and set after him. I caught him again quite quickly, passed and kept going to the end (not that I’m competitive). This is why I always prefer doing my workout sessions in groups, if it wasn’t for Mark I would of slackened off and not got the full benefit from this session;  on the flip side chasing me down pushed Mark harder too. 

A few of us jumped into sea after to cool down, it did more than though it froze us! It was just what I needed though after  baking in that weather but I couldn’t stay in long for the fear of pneumonia.

I did a 4 mile recovery run Wednesday morning and it took the first couple of miles for my legs just to wake up, the route was boring and just of a case of needs must. 
Thursday to Saturday I couldn’t fit in a run with work and getting ready to go on holiday, gutted not to fit in Parkrun as I hope to get my 50 milestone t-shirt this year and need to get in as many as possible before the boys football season starts. 
So the big one, I decided to do the same route as before in my previous marathon training plan on Sunday and headed out to Barton on Sea. 

My friend Craig would join me for part off the journey before tailing off, he’s new to the area so keen to learn new routes and paths. I set off early and met Craig at Christchurch, we ran through Standpit Marshes to Mudeford Quay and then along the beautiful Avon Beach. This is a kinda locals beach so is never busy and a great spot to come down to in the summer or winter. Once we reached the end of the path we cut through Steamer Point which is a small wooded area and out through Highcliffe Castle. Thereafter we ran towards Barton on Sea, once we got to Walkford Craig tailed off. 
I cut down Marine Drive to the clifftop for the beautiful view over the Isle of Wight before leaving the road and running alongside the golf course and along the cliffs edge.  This part is beautiful and most enjoyable if it wasn’t for all the warning signs of subsidence and cliff falls! I really enjoy being off road which makes me even more excited not just for Purbeck Marathon but the entire trail series. 

I cut through at the end of the golf course but the coastal path takes you all the way to Hursts Castle so will drive out and include this in a further run. 

The route back while enjoyable was just the quickest route back and not much to write about. 

Pleasingly even though I’ve not been as committed to this Marathon training as Manchester, I felt great throughout. Overall I did this at 7:29 /mi pace and felt comfortable, even going up the hill to home. While I’m not going for a particular time at the marathon from what I’ve been told it’s absolutely gruelling so this gives me confidence of avoiding that dreaded wall. 


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