The training pays off

Three weeks after running 3 marathons in 3 days, I returned to Goodwood, to run a ‘normal’ marathon. As beautiful as running around the Isle of Wight was, getting back to flat tarmac to try and run a PB felt like a return to my comfort zone. As any runner knows though, trying to run a PB, at any distance is not comfortable!

So training for the 3 marathons was way beyond any mileage I’d previously done. The 3 marathons went well and felt OK, and now having run those miles on top, I now felt I had a decent shot at my PB time.

My PB averaged 8:35 per mile. After a few test runs and a chat with coach Jonny, I set myself a target of kicking off the run at 8:20s. I was confident I could maintain that to at least 16, and if I could hold things together after that, I would be in PB territory.

Conditions were good, but not quite as perfect as my PB run. That was a chilly, overcast and still day. Today was a bit warmer, breezy and they sun was shining.

Off we went with another socially distanced start, and I set off trying to average my target 8:20 pace. I manage that OK, and passed the halfway mark in around 1:49:30, that was 3 minutes ahead of my PB. I still felt ok, but at mile 18, needed to take a quick break at my drinks bag to take on board some lucozade and pick up some more gels.

After that, a few miles at 8:30s. Then miles 23 to 26 were all in the 8:50s region as I was feeling the effects of the early pace and the sunshine.

That brought me home for a PB of 3:44:21. Really delighted that all the training paid off. Can’t help wondering if there weren’t a couple of extra minutes left out there though, with the breezy and sunny conditions. Let’s see if I can find them in the Autumn.

It was great to be back at a race with friends and other runners. The support, the banter and the competition felt so good after all these months off.

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