I am starting this blog about 9 weeks into a 20-week program for my first marathon. I am using the Nike+ running app to generate the marathon program. I really like this app because its easy to follow and the plan is adaptive based on previous runs. The program features 3-4 runs a weeks with a progressive increase in weekly mileage.
The marathon I am training for is the Red Hill Marathon which takes place from Fish Hoek, Cape Town on a circular route around the southern tip of the peninsula. This is what my running program looks like this:
Tuesday: Speed (14 x 400m intervals at 4:30 pace)
Wednesday: Benchmark run (app uses this run to set pace for other runs)
Saturday: Long Run 19.5km
I have however decided to substitute my long run for a half marathon since this week falls neatly at the halfway mark in my marathon training. The half marathon that I have selected is the Blueboost Winelands Half Marathon (Stellenbosch). So its race week for me.
Thus far my training has been going well on runs less than 15km. Both my previous two long runs (16km & 18 km) have not gone according to plan. I felt sluggish, and did not finish strongly. In both previous long runs after 15 km’s my body was talking to me (no it was screaming at me), it was saying STOP RUNNING! JUST WALK IT’S SO NICE.
This is not what I want on race day. I have done 2 half marathons before but never breaking 2 hours. This is my goal for Saturday’s race, i need to break the 2 hour threshold. It won’t be easy, I have heard that the Winelands course is not particularly flat and is prone to extreme heat if unlucky. This notwithstanding I am really excited to be racing (myself) and gauging how the previous month’s train has gone since I completed the Gun Run (where I ran a 2hr09min07sec).
Goodluck to all runners racing this weekend!