Race report - Great start but the 'wheels came off' at 17

Well I did it - despite all the worries about my residual flu symptoms - cough and tight chest, it simply was not a major problem.

I wouldn't say my pre-race preparation was ideal but I definitely got in a decent taper period - almost a fortnight of minimal training, maybe 4-5 hours in total.

So not surprising I started so well - even with an early toilet stop I was averaging 8 min miles (sub 5 min per km) for the first half of the race. At around 15 miles I started to feel some tightness in my calf muscles and by 17 miles my pace had dropped to around 8:40 min miles.

Before I started I mentioned to a number of friends that I was kind of looking forward to the race as I didn't feel any pressure for a PB, I just wanted to enjoy it. Well I was on for a definite PB at the half-way mark but as soon as the pace started dropping I was looking for excuses to give up, the downside of convincing myself there was no pressure to complete the race. For probably 3-4 miles my mind was focused on the pain in my calf muscles and calling it a day and walking back to the car.

However, the marathon is one of those races where it as much mental as physical and I was battling with myself whether to keep on going or give up. I am pleased I chose the former and dug in for the last 10km, despite my pace dropping to a miserable 9:50 min per mile - more of a shuffle than run.

At the end of the day it got me across the line. I had run the entire route and my time was only 2 mins outside my PB - a time of 3:47.

Overall I came 1593 out 9067.

Not sure the real reason why the 'wheels came off' so drastically for last 10km. It could have been the Newton shoes that encourage running on the front to mid foot rather than the heel (relatively new addition - only done 50miles in them and no long runs). It could have been my pacing was all off and I started to quickly. It also could have been my nutrition (I do struggle with too many sweet gels) or lack of longer runs prior to the event. Who knows - may be a combination of a number of factors.

Anyway, I am not going to beat myself up. A few days ago I was so ill I simply wanted to get to the start line!

So onwards and upwards - will probably swim on Wednesday - always helps with removing lactic acid from legs. Thereafter will focus more on the bike prior to London 2 Paris, RideLondon100 and Vachery 70.3 triathlon. As for the running well probably include at least 1-3 sessions a week but more of focus on interval, hills, strength and tempo work.


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