Friday, 11 April 2014

London Marathon Preview

It's that time again.

My race number is 32975 and you can track my live progress here.HERE.

There are more details about how to track runners HERE.  

An understatement.

On Sunday I'll line up with about 35,000 other subjects to try and run 26.2 miles in under 3 hours.  Ive been trying to run sub three since the turn of the century.

The tale of my marathon tape is:

2013 - 3:02:49

2012 - 3:05:40
2011 - 3:06:01
2005 - 3:11:59
2004 - 3:11:54
2002 - 3:03:25
2001 - 3:20:12
2000 - 3:23:23

All London Marathons

I happened to be in London today so, like a horse looking at the finishing straight I wondered to Embankment and walked the last three miles of the route. I was surprised at the lack of evidence that a major city marathon is about to happen. Aside from a few barriers being put into place and a few signs to warn traffic there was little to suggest a carnival will take place along the same streets in two days time. 

Barriers at the ready.
It's difficult to predict how fit I am this year. I feel good and I've lost a little weight but I haven't raced as much. There aren't as many previous times upon which to compare. In addition to a duty to running I have an occasional responsibility to a social life. This year I sacrificed the Stamford 30k, the Stafford 20 and the Friskney Half Marathon in favour of other fun but less taxing pursuits (weddings, stag doos and the like) although I did race a memorably miserable Folksworth 15. I had better success during back to back long days running the Belvoir Challenge and the Cambridge Boundary Run, they should have reawakened my endurance capacity just in time.

For speed I remember at least three track sessions of high intensity repeats and perhaps three dredful hill rep sessions with GRC including a particularly bad "Gerry's HIT session" which I've filed to the painful reserves of my mind. Aside from that, it's been bread and butter lunchtime six mile runs, evening runs and a few long trips out across the Vale of Belvoir. 

This year I've altered my diet by replacing filled barm cakes for lunch in favour of salads. I picked up a tip from Runner's World boot camp - try to just eat lots of different types of foods types with each meal to increase nutrition. I've probably not drunk as much booze and I seem to go to bed earlier these days both of those seem to be a consequence of age rather than a bespoke training strategy.
The finish but you can't see it yet.
And so on paper things look pretty good but caution a reflection on my recent Ashby 20 time which was a full 5 mimutes slower than last year. That is a majorly worrying statistic, you can't escape the rules of running and this year's time at Ashby suggests I'll run 3.07 at London at best. Last year's Ashby time suggested I would run bang on 3 hours at London but I Ran 3.02.49 which gives me further cause for concern this year. This years Ashby race was however run the weekend after back to back marathons on consecutive days (Belvoir and Cambridge as above) but there should be no excuses, I had a good race at Ashby, felt strong and came up short.

Here are my pre-race thoughts on potential post run results:

+3.10 there will be a smidgin of dissapointment but, as ever, ill be glad to simply get round another London Marathon. 

sub 3.05 ill be happy - that should get me a "good for age" place so I can do it all again another year.

sub 3.02.49 even better that would be a PB but oh so close to sub 3!

sub 3.00 the elation cannot be described....

Good luck to everyone taking part. 

Leave it all out there.....


  1. Hi Paul,
    My girlfriend and I we loved to read your special report of your chile mountain run experience, which was so unaxpected to you :-)
    We also preparing for our south America trip in September, which will only need one month, we just waiting for registration for that marathon race in chile! A few years ago we took part at a k42 marathon in Argentina. We are living in Germany (bonn) and travelling often because of sport activities and exploring the world. If you like you can visit my blog, which contains some articles in English language:

    Oh, we also want to do a longer trip arround the world, but not so easy to do this Big Step (quit the job, apartment, atc.) Wat was your motivation, how did you do it?

    Hope to read from you!
    René and Gisa

  2. Hi René and Gisa

    Thanks for your kid comments. The Santiago run was a great experience I really had a great time. The races that I entered whilst travelling took me to some great wild places off the beaten track. If you decide to run the race do let me know, I can help with directions as its not easy to find. It was about 70km south of Santiago, we hired a car to get there in the end.

    I've registered with your blog, that's quite an impressive pb record. The travelling thing for us was about five years in the planning but we pulled it off, we had a great time and I would thoroughly recommend you try to do it if you can. We saved hard for five years and then sold our furniture etc. Its all worked out but now sadly we are back in the UK.

    Good luck, Paul & Tracy