My Thursday night acceleration run pretty very well, and can be viewed below for Garmin enthusiasts. The watch is pretty handy for judging runs like this, where the idea is to gradually speed up every mile. It does have a tendency to become wildly enthusiastic on the track, however. I usually finish these runs on the track so that we can ensure the last couple of miles are accurately timed (my coach had marked out the one and two mile points with cones). I ran 4.58 and 4.56. According to Garmin I ran 4.42 and 4.39. I wish!
On Sunday I’m running the Finchley 20, which I hope will give me a decent idea of how I’m going to feel at London. According to my coach, the marathon is made up of ‘the first ten miles, the second ten miles and the third ten miles’. According to Alberto Salazar, ‘20 miles is halfway’. Frank Shorter reportedly got to the 20 mile mark in his first marathon and said, through gritted teeth, ‘why couldn’t Pheidippides have died here?!’ Depending on who you ask, then, after Sunday I’ll at least know how I’m going to feel at half way, two-thirds of the way, or at about-to-drop-down-dead time.
I followed the acceleration run last week with a shorter session on Saturday and a three-hour ‘easy’ run on Sunday, when I also practiced grabbing water bottles off a little table (constructed with two hurdles and a plank of wood) and drinking on the run. The three hours did feel better than last time, perhaps because I was better hydrated. I’m not sure you can ever really call the last hour ‘easy’ though. 114 miles for the week. After a track session tonight I’m easing up a bit for Finchley, and looking forward to getting a bit of spring back in my legs…