I planned for 3:35 and printed off one of the Runners World wristbands to help me. I spent most of the first half about 20 – 40 seconds up on this but began to lose time after 14 miles. This means that I did the first 14 in 1:55 or 8:21 minutes per mile and the second 12.2 in 1:57 or 9:35 mm. Looking at the course profile doesn’t show that the second half is particularly tough for hills so I guess I slowed because I started faster than I was fit for, really. The hills and the heavy, heavy rain were clearly attritional factors, but the basic lesson must be that I was under prepared for what I was aiming to do on this course on this day. That is an analysis supported by the fatigue which I’m feeling now and the infection which even echinacea isn’t fighting off for me. Issues, then:
1. I was following a modified RW ultimate programme, but missed some mileage through colds and stuff in January – February and through a strange lack of motivation for 10 days in April. End result was long runs of 18,20,20,22 instead of 18,20,20,20,22,18 so whilst what I did was more than ever before, it was clearly not enough.
2. Speed work was also better than ever before but also sub-programme. Tough when you run solo as I tend to.
3. Diet was generally good ‘though the wine bottle and the chocolate bar always look more attractive through the winter.
Learns for the future:
1. Do the programme (duh..)
2. Join the club – I’ve tried to get involved with the local club but find it really difficult to make club nights fit with work and everything else. Try harder.
3. Expect Spring events to be harder than autumn ones – training though the Summer is so much more pleasurable it’s bound to have an effect on the outcome.
In more general terms, I’ll favour flatter courses for the future and avoid events where the motorists are out there with the runners. They were generally OK on the IoW, but I’d rather not have that extra concern. They do their best to murder me in training, I’m not keen to give them another chance.