I don’t have a great deal of luck with standalone marathons….
- 2008 - Bungay Black Dog Marathon - my first marathon - injured and didn’t race
- 2009 - London - all good
- 2010 - Luton - race cancelled two days before due to snow and ice
- 2011 - Brighton - got round, but had a terrible second half after being ill just under two weeks before
- 2012 - London - great
- 2013 - London - great run/fun
- 2014 - London - withdrew a few weeks before through injury
- 2015 - London - didn’t make the start due to injury
- 2016 - no marathon planned
- 2017 - Brighton - didn’t make the start as I twisted my ankle in February
- 2018 - Brighton - didn’t make the start as I pulled my calf muscle the day before the race!
- 2019 - no marathon planned (other than the one during Ironman Lanzarote!)
- 2020 - Virtual London Marathon really enjoyed this no pressure run from home
Somehow I have managed to get round the London Marathon three times now (2009, 2012, 2013) and have always really enjoyed it. I had a “Good For Age” entry for 2014 which I deferred through injury to 2015 and in 2015 I was injured again so couldn’t run. Since then I’ve entered the London Marathon ballot each year with no luck whatsoever. I’m also a member of the Bognor Regis Tone Zone Runners running club and enter their ballot for a marathon place each year (if I’ve passed their qualification criteria).
Well, in December 2022 my name got picked out of the hat for a running club place at London in April 2023 - all I had to do was pay the £50 entry fee and train for it!
So, we’re six weeks out and so far (touch wood) my training has been going pretty well I’d say. As per usual I’m not following any training plan other than a really rough one which just gives me an idea of the long run mileage to reach each week prior to race day. For example the week before the marathon I’ll run 12 miles for my long run, the week before that 18, before that 22, then 20… This is as much as my plan says. And on top of that I’m not necessarily running long every week as I feel my ageing body (I’m 50 years old now) doesn’t seem to like putting in long runs every seven days.
Whatever runs I do around that I have no idea - I just go out and run when I feel like it. Outside of running I’m spending a fair bit of time on the virtual cycling platform Zwift and probably ride about 4.5-5 hours each week. Oh, and if it’s windy I’ll go windsurfing as well. There really is no fixed plan or structure. I like it that way.
So far I’ve done three 20 mile runs which is quite a lot for me, and I’m hoping to do three more. That may or may not happen - we’ll just have to wait and see.
Now then, what’s my plan for London? I’d love to get another “Good For Age” time which means an automatic entry for the next years event. The time I’d need for that is sub 3 hours 15 minutes. Even if you get 3:14:59 that doesn’t guarantee an entry as they have a limit of “Good For Age” entries.
If I could run 7 minute 25 seconds per mile for 26.2 miles this would get me to the finish in 3:14:27. Maybe this is a plan to aim for and if I feel good in the latter miles I could increase the pace slightly. Right now as I write this (13 March) this sounds like a reasonable plan and one I feel is just about achievable based on my current training.
This post is here just to put down some initial thoughts about the race and get me thinking about the training I’ve done so far and what I have to do to get me fit, fast(ish) and ready for the race on Sunday 23rd April. My next post here on the blog will hopefully be after the race.