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

Rome wasn't built in a day

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanDec 17th 2012
My last race was the Richmond Parkrun on Saturday 15th December, not normally something to get excited about. But this was a Mob Match between my club Thames Turbo and our closest rivals, Ful On Tri. Added to that Chrissie Wellington was in attendance! When she tweeted a week before she had never done a Parkrun one of our members replied to say come along and she agreed. She said in the build up that she would only be trotting round and true to her word did just that in about 24 minutes, which was nice for those running at that pace but did rather dash my hopes of piping her on the finish line in an epic sprint finish :-) As for the race itself, it was a painful reminder of why I don┬'t do Richmond when I am picking one of the several Parkruns that I live close to, it┬'s a nasty spiteful little course when running it at 5k speed. Finished in 19.09, 36th place from 451 runners and 1st in Age Group from 45 runners, which was a pleasant surprise bearing in mind the increased quality of the field due to the Mob Match. But best of all 102 Turbo┬'s made it a sea of red n blue wibbly wobbly and a great day out was topped off by the news today that we had won the match! I will definitely fit in another couple of Parkruns before the end of year, probably either Bedfont or Kingston, venues where I have previously won, in an attempt to finish the year of with a win. Glory hunting? Most certainly!

The other big thing this week was a decision for next season, whether to do a spring marathon. The Pro┬'s; not done one since 2010 so curious to see what I can do, want to get my Good for Age qualification back for the London Marathon. Con┬'s; Risk of injury. Last two times I have trained for a spring marathon it affected my Tri season. Last year I skipped it, only ran on alternate days, usually only 3 times a week making sure it was all quality runs and was injury free for majority of season and had a good year.

Decision; I have entered the Rome Marathon, March 17th.

The decision was swayed by a few factors. Mainly that I increased my stretching and strength work this year which really helped and only got injured at end of season due to not resting sufficiently after my Ironman. I will have to be disciplined but believe I can aim for a sub 3 in Rome and then recover in plenty of time for it not to affect the training for next year┬'s Ironman, Challenge Roth. It┬'s a slight gamble but if I heed the lessons of this year I will be fine.

In terms of performance I will be taking a slightly different approach to the training for Rome than in previous years. Normally I alternate the Long run. One week would be a ┬"time on your feet┬" run, ascending up to 20 miles, with no attention to pace, which would normally mean about 7.45 min miling. The other weeks would be race pace, 6.50 minute miling, starting at about 10 miles, ascending up to 16. For Rome I will continue with the race pace runs and the ┬"time on your feet┬" runs will be replaced with a paced run at about 7.20 minute miling. The thinking behind this is it won┬'t be so taxing as the 6.50 pace but will give me some long runs at below my target Ironman run pace which will be 7.25 (which gives you a sub 3.15 marathon). I will do some of these of the bike too in preparation for Roth.

With all this long course stuff effect my GB Age Group qualification hopes? Can you do the two simultaneously? Think that's a question for another day.
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