Marathon Training week 14 : A cutback week and some celebrity spotting
I stopping running to walk/squeeze through the crowds in the Camden Market food stalls. With a lot of slipping through gaps, many an ”excuse me”, a complete stop while someone took a photo of an espresso being poured (who knew it could be that interesting?), I finally got to the seating area and towards the continuation of the Regents Canal towpath. With only about 10 yards more of slowly shuffling tourists to get through, the crowds mysteriously parted and I found my way strangely free before me. And then I saw why. It wasn’t for me…
A woman standing taller than others, well dressed, fashionable, sunglasses, hair up in a bun under a trilby, surveyed the way before her as people made space, some nervously talking to each other in hushed tones while others grabbed for their smartphones. Famke Janssen (of X Men, GoldenEye, Nip/Tuck fame to name a few), welcome to the madness of Camden Market on a Sunday. Despite the efforts of the trilby hat and sunglasses, people notice a 6ft tall actress and former fashion model just by the way you carry yourself, even if they don’t know exactly who you are.
I didn’t stop to ask her for a photo or an autograph. I’d like to say it was because I was a) 16km into my run and b) looked like I’d poured a bucket of freshly collected sweat over myself, but to be honest I was too star struck to even think about it. However, I’d like to think that even I hadn’t been left speechless by being within a yard of such a striking celebrity, my wits would have prevented me from talking to them anyway, because of a) and b) above. I hope. No one deserves to be accosted by a heavy breathing, sweat covered man wearing Skins shorts and uber un-cool 2XU calf guards…
Anyway, that’s enough on Famke, I jogged past her and back onto the Regents Canal towpath and pushed on with the rest of my workout. Being a cutback week, my distance on my long run was reduced from last weeks long run, as a bit of a rest week before pushing on to my 20 miler next week. The idea of cutback weeks is they occur after peak points in training to allow some rest and recuperation before pushing onto harder or longer runs in the following weeks. As it was a bit of a rest week I also took the opportunity to ease up on the difficulty of my long run session. My previous long runs have been TLT sessions, so this time I decided on a 3/1 session, which is less demanding that a TLT session. I learned about 3/1 training from Hal Higdon’s website, and the basic idea is that you run ¾ of the distance of your run at ‘long, slow run’ pace, then the final quarter of your run you increase your pace to close to race pace (with a proper warm-up and cool-down of course).
If you also follow my Facebook page, during the week I posted about runners having a ‘go-to’ workout for gauging their preparation for a race. Today’s 3/1 workout is my ‘go-to’ workout for a marathon. The workout distance is just over half-marathon distance, so long enough to be fatigued before you kick up to, or close to, marathon pace at the 16km mark. Using my heart rate monitor, I increase my pace up to the top of my aerobic zone, i.e. bouncing along just below my threshold rate. This will give me an indication of what my race pace is likely to be. Today told me that I’m running at about 5:25/km race pace, which would equate to about 3:49 for a marathon. This is spot on where I want to be, as my Race Buddy and I have our target at 4 hours (well, a 3:59). Had my pace today been over 5:40/km I would have been a bit concerned about this goal as it would have been leaving no spare minutes for the slower km’s at the start while the crowds thin out, walk breaks at aid stations or the odd toilet stop.
Roll on this weekend’s 20 miler. Gulp…
Happy running everyone!
Get Going, Get Running!