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TriHardAlan - Tales of an Age Grouper
TriHardAlan - Tales of an Age Grouper

Maratona Di Roma 19

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanMar 18th 2013
As detailed in my previous blog I had missed a lot of training for this marathon, practically the whole of February. My longest run had been 15 miles back in January. Since recovering from the injury and competing in the Althorp Duathlon on the 2nd March I had done one long run, 10 miles last weekend. I was way past the point of wondering about how to taper!

With this all in mind the original sub 3 hour target was abounded a while back but I had clung to plan B, sub 3.15, which would give me a Good For Age place at the London Marathon next year. But could I do it on such limited training?

Arriving Friday early evening I unpacked, had dinner with a friend from the office who was coincidently on my flight and got an early (ish) night. Saturday morning registered and then did the tourist thing by visiting the coliseum. An early dinner, a final read of the race instructions and kit check and another early night for the 6 am alarm call.

With breakfast at 7 I had an hour to get dressed, start hydrating and get my sports drink and gels ready. My hydration/nutrition strategy was simple; 750ml 2:1 carb drink the night before, another on way to race and another during the race with water from the aid stations. For nutrition, energy bar before the start, gel on the start line and one every 20 minutes.

As I stood on the start line, in the shadow of the coliseum, I had the answer to my previous question whether to chase the sub 3.15, and it was no. My instinct told me to simply run, ignore the Garmin and stay in my comfort zone. This would help rebuild my stamina and aid a quicker recovery to resume training for this years Ironman, Roth in July.

From my start point, in the last Gate D, behind the 5 hour pacer, I felt relaxed and comfortable with my decision. As the gun went and I crossed the start line 3 mins later I began the process of hunting the clear ground and over taking the masses. Why was in Gate D? They base it on your marathon time from the last 2 years and I didn't have one.

After a slightly slow first 5k and a slightly quicker second I started to tick of the 5k blocks in 24 mins each. Reaching half way in 1.42 I again felt that the decision to ditch the sub 3.15 had been vindicated. Having ran within myself this far the second half of the race remained comfortable and as I entered the last 10k where the crowds were thicker and my friend from the office gave me a cheer I had no problems maintaining the pace. As I passed the "ultimo km" sign on the road winding round the coliseum I increased the pace just a little to ensure a good finishing photo :-)

My time and splits;

5k 25.12
10k 49.11
15k 1.13.02
Halfway 1.42.19
25k 2.01.17
30k 2.25.31
35k 2.49.58
40k 3.14.40
Finish 3.25.09

Things to note about the Rome Marathon; it's a great course and in the right Gate you can get a fast time, most the drinks are in cups which is a pain as you have to stop to drink, the crowd are not very passionate (the Germans are much more vocal), it has the best start and finish backdrop I can imagine!

My next marathon is the run leg of Roth, with the aim of 3.15 so i need to find 10 minutes in four months, not to mention there will be a proceeding 112 mile cycle! My next race is the Cambridge Duathlon, another qualifier for the world champs, time to get back to that speed work :-)
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