Tuesday, March 18, 2014

4 Weeks to London: Last Week's Training

The London Marathon is coming quickly, and it's time to start slowly easing off the training over the next 4 weeks. It has been a challenging and exhausting past couple weeks, but each week will get a bit easier from now until April 13th. This last week was finished off with a 16 mile tempo run on Sunday in which I crept just under 5:00 for the average. The pace was far from consistent due to the high winds. My splits ranged from 4:50 to 5:15 depending on the direction I was heading. My goal was to maintain a constant effort through the entire workout, and I tried not to focus on the frustratingly erratic times. I think the effort was right, and I was pleased with how my body felt after a tough Thursday workout and another high mileage week.

I am still waiting to hear the final details of the pacing in London, but it is time to start specifying my plan for the race. I'll be having a conversation with my coach, Dave Smith,  in the near future, and we'll start hammering out a plan of attack. It is challenging to determine your level of fitness while planning for a marathon because you can't get close to the race in training, and there are so many variables during the race itself. I have a much easier time guessing how fast I'm going to run in the 10km for example. At this point I am working more on comparisons; the build-up has been a similar structure to my previous marathons, and the workouts and easy days have gone better during this training bloc than they have in the past. That is the only thing I can say with certainty.

As each week passes I expect to be feeling more energized and recovered, and I like to focus my extra energy on all the necessary details. I'll be ordering all the shoes and gear from Brooks not only for London, but for the entire 6 weeks that I'll be in Europe. I'll top up my supply of Powerbar gels and energy bars for the trip, and I'll put together my own breakfast for the morning of the race in London. I'm sure London will provide an excellent and nutritional breakfast on race day, but I have learned from my past international race experience to never leave that to chance. I'll be attending a couple of weddings after the race, one in the Czech Republic and one in Ukraine (depending on the developing situation), so I'm going to be packing for some diverse occasions. At least I'll have the formal wear to take on whatever London sends my way after the race.

Thanks again for reading. I'll be posting again next week, but feel free to follow me here on twitter for more updates.

Week 10 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 14 6 40 minutes 20

Tuesday 14 6 + drills and grass strides

Wednesday 14 6 40 minutes 20

Thursday 1 hour moderate run, 6 x 2km (5:54-5:52) off

Friday 12 5 30 minutes 17

Saturday 14 6 + drills and grass strides

Sunday off 16 mile tempo (4:59)




  1. Thanks for sharing again! My best wishes for your race in London!

  2. Hi Ryan,

    I wondered... when you go out for easy runs do you bother timing at all or are you just aiming to get miles in? Do you worry about straying too far from your race day pace?

    Good Luck in London!

    1. Hi Mark,
      I wear a watch for most of my runs, but I also try to do a good job of listening to my body. As I progress in marathon training I am trying to gradually bring the pace down on me easy days, but there are still days during the training block that I just have to run slow. When I feel good I push the pace a bit, but still quite a bit slower than marathon pace. I'm feeling wiped I back off a bit. Most days I'm getting under 6 minutes after warming up, but not every single day. Thanks!

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