This is the second of my fortnightly Berlin training updates… but didn’t you post one last week? Yep I did. I have decided to post week 3 separately with running the Rock n Roll Liverpool marathon next Sunday, this will give me more time to write up a Race Recap and not have to write a training blog as well.

Following a good start to my Berlin Marathon training plan I moved into week 3 feeling confident about my running, probably feeling stronger than I ever have at any point during my short time running. For the races I ran during 2016 I would just have a few runs per week starting 2 or 3 weeks prior to the race. I did put in a lot more effort this year before running the Paris Marathon but this is my first attempt at running a race with a structured training plan in place and early indications are that it is paying off.

A few of you have asked whether I use Strava and what my athlete id is, below is the link to my profile, feel free to follow me.

Week 3

 Monday – Following the half marathon training run at the end of week 2 BERLIN MARATHON WEEK 1 & 2 SUMMARY my hamstrings felt tight overnight. Monday is planned as a Recovery Run Monday for this reason so I reduced the mileage from 4-miles down to 3-miles and ran at a steady 8:41 pace to loosen the muscles, combining this with another bout of foam rolling seemed to have the desired effect. My plan did have some leg strength work down for today but I decided to listen to my body and skip this one until Thursday.

Tuesday – Back to the HIIT sprints today but I decided to do 5 x 30 second sprints this week instead of 7. The thinking behind this is to bring down my workload and mileage a little this week and more so next week now we are 12 days out from the Rock n Roll Liverpool marathon. I cycled the long way into the train station this morning, clocking up 6.1 cardio miles on the bike, I left the bike in Manchester tonight to be serviced and have the gears looked at after having a few ongoing issues with jumping & slipping when putting the power down. I was treated to this lovely sunset too whilst out running this evening…

Scholar Green Sunset 16-05-17

Wednesday – Tempo run was on the cards for tonight’s running, I went for the same 4-mile route that I ran during week 1. This time pacing at 7.03 min miles and getting home 55 seconds faster than 2 weeks ago, it looks like the speed and cardio work is paying off and the consistent running is getting the legs into shape. Maybe I might just run sub 4 hours in next week’s marathon?? I do hope so. I also brought the bike back from Manchester, again coming home the longer way getting another 6.1-miles in on the bike. Not quite the 40-50 miles I should be riding like I was this time last year but I can build that back up again once I have got Liverpool out of the way.

Thursday ­– So today was a nice 4-mile easy pace run, these are the types of runs I like, just jogging down the road, sun on my back and all is great. Except it was cloudy and I was running along the A34, not good views and lots of lorry’s. Anyway, I felt comfortable running today, no pain in the legs and the hamstrings are back to feeling normal again. The pace on this easy run was 7:46 which shocked me somewhat as my usual easy run pace is over 8 mins but like I said, It felt comfortable and easy, it appears that all of this training might actually be paying off and I might be getting fitter, able to run faster but maintain a lower heart rate at the same time. I also threw in a 30-minute home leg session in the evening, probably not the best idea with tomorrows hill reps edging closer. We will find out tomorrow (or the next paragraph for you guys). I received my Prostate Cancer UK running top today for the Berlin marathon, I was so pumped about that landing on the door mat today, so much motivation to get on with the training, 17 weeks and counting!!!!!

Prostate Cancer UK Berlin Marathon Top

Friday – Hill reps and it wasn’t raining for a change. I returned to the Mow Cop Killer Mile again this week, I run the bottom half of the climb doing 6 reps which gives a nice 820ft of climbing and a very good cardio workout, my heart rate today was peaking at 170bpm. I picked the bottom half of the Killer Mile thinking that it was too steep (the top half peaks at 27% incline), however, today I noticed that the bottom half peaks at 20.3%, nobody its damn hard work. I am starting to feel like I have a cold coming on, not great timing with Liverpool now just 8 days away. The Thursday before the Paris Marathon I came down with a cold meaning I ran the marathon ill. Looks like this could be my marathon tradition.

Saturday – Parkrun, back at Congleton for my 7th Parkrun and happy to report my 5th PB in as many weeks and this time I joined the sub 20 minute club with a 19:46 time, finishing 10th overall and 1st in my age group, although it looks like some of the faster runners didn’t run this week but still, I am really happy with my PB. With running in Liverpool next weekend and on marathon recovery the week after, this was my last shot at a sub 20 5k for a couple of weeks. Nothing else to report, the rest of the day was a complete wash out. I had planned on getting in 20-miles on the bike but it would have been too dangerous to ride some of the downhills with so much standing water.

Sunday – My final long Sunday run before next weeks marathon, I say long but it wasn’t really that long. Just an 8.1-mile run pacing at 7:54. My legs felt ok afterwards so its time to drop the mileage and pace back for the next 5 days and get ready for running 26.2-miles!!! I did test out running whilst wearing my GoPro Chesty harness mount, this felt pretty comfortable, being honest I wasn’t expecting to like wearing it. I thought it would restrict arm movement and that I would feel it there but no, arms moved fine and I couldn’t feel the harness. Footage wise it isn’t what I was hoping, it is swinging from side to side and a lot of noise from the harness was picked up by the microphone so I am not sure I will be editing any of todays test but it was worthwhile nevertheless.

Stats: Total Miles 33.0, elevation gain 2,060ft, time 4h 24m

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