#Training – 5 weeks into the Marathon plan.

5 weeks in and 5 weeks to go, that’s it, I’m half-way into my marathon plan and fingers crossed, this time all will go according to plans. Third attempt at the Marathon, never two without a third one but this time I hope my knee will hold together and the shin won’t split as these were the reasons I failed when preparing the two previous one.

So yeah, 5 weeks in but the truth is that I took a week off to start with. I had just finished my triathlon season at Nyon and thought I should give a little time to rest so from 11th to 20th of August, it was all about doing nothing and for the exception of a hike in Italy when visiting my Italian connection. I proved a good starting point, relaxation and rest was all I needed and I felt really good when coming back.

Ever since that point, I’ve primarly been focusing on running while trying to keep it active on the cycling and swimming side but I have to admit that I’ve so far failed. Basically, end of August to Mid-October is probably the busiest part of my working schedule so I’m almost away every week for motorsport. Trying to keep all the scheduled training going is therefore pretty hard but I try, believe me.

So yeah, back to the four week of effective training, pretty much, the following is what I’ve done.

Week 1 – 14-20/Aug – Rest and relax. Get the energy level up and the mental happy.

Week 2 – 21-27/Aug – Back on training, with 20km of running split in two, 10k to start with and a second track session of 10k as well to get the numbers up. Then, rest of the week was about a single 1-hour swim session and 320km ride on two days as part of a cycling trip with a friend. Basically, the week was about getting back at it.

Week 3 – 28/Aug-3/Sept –  Numbers up and aiming at distance, pace and cadence. Busy with work and away from mid-week, I tried to transform the week in a distance and technique one. This meaning I would try to get around 50km over the week while trying to work on my pacing and cadence over the runs. Altogether three runs were focused on cadence (14/13/10km) over the three first days of the week, trying to get to an average of 175/180 steps per minute while keeping a single 18km run at marathon pace (4:15/km) was achieved over the end of the week. Altogether, a happy week in terms of training but schedule was pretty good, keeping 3 rest days across the week in order not to keep the fatigue away.

Week 4 – 4-10/Sept – Fatigue training and numbers again while starting the mental work with a race. Still away at the beginning of the week, I continued running with two sessions, one of 10k at MP and a second the day after of 13k still at MP. From then on and as I had entered a race on the Sunday with the Semi de la Côte between Allaman and Nyon in Switzerland – HM distance – I thought, I would start my mental work, getting a long ride to start the four day weekend in order to get the legs tired and this in order to try and push over the race. Still, wednesday was a full day resting, Thursday was about a 160k/+1800m ride with Imo, then I had a full day off on the Friday and a little 15k warm-up on the Saturday on the treadmill to push the intensity a little prior to #RaceDaySunday ! Then came the judge, the half and my first try at trying to keep it under 4:00/km over 21.1k. Conditions were perfect, cool and sunny with a little back wind and off I was. In the end, a new PB and overall a quality training as it proved a good test for the mental, truth is that it’s not easy to keep an average as such and second, it just was a long intensity run at the perfect time. Feeling was good and fatigue was average even if I felt finished after the race.

Week 5 – 11-17/Sept – Recovery, cross-training and long distance. Following on the race and as said, I felt finished on the Sunday afternoon, still, ice cream and tea after an easy spin helped the legs feel better. On the Monday, I went for an easy 8k and great was that pace was about endurance and in good company with ‘Manda so it helped get the muscles a little bit relaxed so I could properly stretch them after. As said, I like to train through my overall feeling, fatigue was there and muscles were tight so I only went for that run aiming at easing the situation and it worked. Tuesday proved a good day too as I went for my first ever TT ride on my new bike. Probably not the best way to recover but spinning and pushing proved quality, legs were feeling good so overall a happy day, the bike felt mega and the speed was really good. From then on, I would be away again for the end of the week, heading to Belgium and another weekend of motorsport, still, first 30k run was planned. On the Saturday morning at 7:00, I took the road for what would be a long, cold and foggy run through the Belgian countryside. Pace was very good and all in all, I felt very happy over the distance as i tried to keep consistency over the average pace. It wasn’t really flat as well so I tried to balance it all and last, I tried a new gel during the run while I did my first ever salty breakfast to try and see the difference in stomach feeling. Very happy as all worked. Only downside was that when I reached the 28k I thought I would finish it with an added little loop of 3-4k but it turned out to be an added 7k… Well, it happens and overall, time was of 2hrs 31min so not bad.

Of course, all this is to be continued, training is still going, weekends and time away as well so trying hard to manage it and fingers crossed I’ll be staying on course for the Marathon. As you’ve understood, swimming is on hold at the moment but I’ll be back at it soon, for sure.

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