This was the last week for me to get any quality in before the Waterloo Marathon on April 27 as I was reserving the last week for tapering. Normally, I’d do a two week taper but with the last 3-4 weeks being pretty light while I battled a shin injury, I figured I was rested enough that a week would suffice. It was too late to realize any benefit from workouts in time for the race, so I picked two workouts that would test my current fitness in order to help me decide on my goal pace. (The 10K I raced last week gave me a pretty good idea but I haven’t been training specifically for a 10K.)
Here’s how the week came together:
Monday: (XT) Physiotherapy to loosen up ankle/foot. (AM) 8 miles easy @6:41 w/ 8 strides.
Tuesday: (AM) 10 miles w/ failed 3x2T (5:45/mile).
Wednesday: (AM) 8 miles easy @6:44 w/ 6 strides. (XT) Massage to loosen up legs for race. (PM) 3 miles recovery.
Thursday: (XT) One more physiotherapy session to loosen up and re-tape shin. (AM) 8 miles moderate @6:24.
Friday: 13 miles easy @6:44.
Saturday: 16 miles w/ 8M (6:00/mile), 1T (5:45/mile), 3M. (Had to cut planned 20 miler short due to shin)
Total: 66.6 miles
For the most part, this was a pretty good week since I was actually able to run without pain until Saturday. I think the kinesiology tape has been helping a lot so that I can keep running as my tibialis anterior tendon heals.
The Tuesday workout was a write-off due to the 30+ km/h wind which I always seemed to be running against and the ice/snow that covered some of the road. At one point during the second threshold interval, the road curved out along the beach and there was no cover from the wind. I was working about as hard as I could but it felt like I was barely moving. Instead of hitting the 5:45/mile threshold pace, I was struggling to keep it under 6:30/mile. About halfway into the third 2 mile interval, I turned off the trail and straight into the wind and I just called it there and started my cool down.
I was pinning a lot on the Saturday workout and treated it like a race simulation so I was wearing the shorts/shoes I wanted to race in, I had gels and a water bottle to test out my hydration strategy, and it had a lot of marathon-paced intervals which I would use to help me decide on my goal pace. The planned workout was 20 miles w/ 4 easy, 8M (marathon pace), 1T (threshold), 4M, 1T, 2M but I wasn’t able to finish the whole thing. The workout started off great and the 4 mile warm-up was quicker than I anticipated (6:19/mile). I then settled into a reasonably comfortable 6:00/mile pace for the 8 mile M segment. I was only able to pick up the pace slightly for the first threshold mile (5:53/mile) and then the next marathon pace segment is where issues started. My second gel didn’t go down easily and I had a couple burps that were close calls. Around 15 miles, my shin that I’ve been battling with started to feel sore and I made the decision to stop at 16 miles to minimize damage to the shin and figured this would still be a reasonable workout that I would be able to choose my race pace from.
I was really hoping the 20 miler I had planned for Saturday would go better, but I guess that’s just the way things go sometimes. It’s all about recovery from here to the 27th starting with an ice bath immediately after Saturday’s workout. I’ll be icing my shin as often as my ice packs allow and I plan to take Sunday off completely to rest. Nothing but short, easy runs next week.
Based on my recent 10K time of 34:09 and the 16 mile workout, I think I should still be able to hit my sub-2:40 goal and I plan on going out at 6:03/mile. I was kind of hoping for an even 6:00/mile but I didn’t exactly feel awesome for 16 miler. This pace should take me through the finish around 2:38:38.