It's almost time for my first real race of the year. Tomorrow I will be driving the short journey to Halstead, get my race number, and after a somewhat good sleep hope to smash my PB. The unanswered question really is what is the target. I'm reasonably confident I can deliver a sub 3:15-3:20 but have trained with the specific aim to break 3:10.
There are a few hills on the course that could certainly test my pacing our there and as always I have still have not learnt to run sensibly at the start as race fever grips you. I will be wearing my Garmin and although I don't intend to be a slave to it during the race and try to run based on feel but I certainly will be keeping an eye on my average pace as the race progresses but not glue myself to mile tracking due to the fact markers are never where your gadget tells you. I will go out with a plan to run at 3:10 pace and then adjust based o how I feel.
I have had the tapering madness all week with both niggles, aches and worries but nothing that will stop me tomorrow. The last 16 weeks has been the most consistent training block I have ever put in. My average weekly mileage works out at 47 miles, although that is not a lot for many that is the most consistent I have been since I started trying to run in the last 5 years. I have learnt a great deal about using a periodization approach to training and understanding exactly what the purpose of each run is, run pretty much at least 6 and learnt to adapt the plan based on how I feel rather than blindly follow the schedule.
I have already started thing about the next race and I have thought either a shorter ultra in the next 3-4 months or another early autumn marathon would be good with perhaps some shorter faster stuff thrown in. With the training approach I have embraced I know what works for me and it has made me more disciplined and more satisfied in my running than ever before, now it's a case of executing on the work done.
"It's just a matter of understanding what's necessary and discipline yourself to do it." - Arthur Lydiard