Argh! My legs are broken!

Well, not really, but it makes a better title than “ooh, that smarts a bit”.

So, one week after running 75 miles at Endure 24 I thought I’d better start some marathon training for the Bournemouth & Poole Marathon in October.  With all the ultra training I’ve been doing for most of the year, I don’t really have any stamina for speed any more.  I can still run at a reasonable pace for a couple of miles but it all goes to pot after that.

I’m not really sure how – as an ultra runner – you train for a marathon.  I’ve sort of made up my own plan which is to add more speed endurance work (25-30 minute tempo reps, hill reps and some moderate intervals), shorten some of the longer runs (bring some 12 milers down to, maybe, 8 miles) and speed them up.  But I also don’t want to lose the distance, so I want to make sure I get a couple of 20-30 mile runs in each month as a slow pace, just to enjoy myself.

So, today, I mixed that lot up and decided to go for 18-20 miles fairly fast.  Right.  That’s clever.

I managed the first 9 miles at about 8:30 pace (which is fast for me at the moment!), then it all went a bit wrong.  My right ITB has been playing up since before E24, and I’m foam rollering but it’s not really getting it sorted very quickly.  I started today’s run with a compression strap (brilliant for ITB – I’ve been using one since 2007) on my right leg.  At 13 miles, I had to take it off my right leg and put in on my left to just be able to keep moving, which wasn’t a great sign.

3 of my toes hurt on the run – 2 of them still have toenails too.  My right ankle (the one I knackered last October) was playing up a fair bit.  My glutes got tighter over the course of the run, and quads started hurting quite a bit around 7 miles.  I think compensation started transferring the pain to my hamstrings, as they were pissed off with me a few miles later.

All in all, everything from my hips down that could complain, was complaining.  I half walked, half fell, half hobbled (yes, I’m good at maths) the last 3 miles, and managed the 17.6 miles in almost exactly 3 hours (10:15 pace average).

Can’t complain though…

Well, I can, but I won’t because there’s a lot of good too.  I just managed over 17 miles, which is nice.  And, with 3 miles of walking, I still ended up with an average pace only fractionally slower than my current marathon PB (4:24).  And I walked the last 3 miles – all up hill with a dodgy ITB – as sub 15 minute miles, which is quite a pace.  And I got to run for 20 minutes on the beach between Sandbanks and Branksome, which was lovely.

And I’ve also learnt that it appears that if you run 75 miles one weekend, you might not be all back together 9 days later!

So, onwards and upwards!! – I’ve got 3 months to train myself up to make sure I get that marathon in under 4 hours.  And that might well start with not breaking myself any more 😀



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