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Monday, November 10, 2008

Dublin Marathon 2008

Two weeks ago I did the Dublin Marathon with just only 2 1/2 weeks of running training after my injury. Although my training from the Ironman Nice a few minths earlier in the year helped and in the month beforehand I was doing non impact training such as swimming and some light gym work.

As I was not able to run further than a few miles at a time so I tried the Jeff Galloway walk breaks method which was recommend to me by another recovering injured runner. The ratio I was using was 3 minutes running and then 1 minute walking. For the running pace I was doing what pace I felt comfortable doing which was over 10 minute/mile pace. In the preceeding two weeks I used this method up to 9 miles (14 km).

My brother also took part and had my older GPS watch for his pacing and he had done about 3/4 race distance in training but he had not beaten my marathon time yet. We both started together a few minutes after the race start due to the walk round to the start. Then after my first walk break he pulled away from me.

I did not have any GPS device due to mine stopped working only a few days before the race. #@%!!

I had one watch which I was just using the time and roughly calculating my pace and estimated finish time. This gave me something mental to do which was a bit of distraction which was good during the walking breaks. Then I had another (referee) watch which vibrated every 3 minutes and then 1 minute, this was good as some places you would not have been able hear any beeps or get confused with other runners watches beeps.

This took a lot of guts to start walking in the marathon just 1/3 mile (0.5 Km) in to race. This was helped by there being a a bit of a bottle neck near the start. It was also a bit hard going past the hotel we were staying at 2 miles.

Due to it being cold with a max of 8C but with the wind chill was aout 4C in places. I had full length compression leggings, buff scarf (from cycling), wooly hat (Ipswich Town FC), running gloves, long sleeve running top and my pirate tri suit (bright yellow with black skull and crossbones on it). I felt comfortable and just occasionly had to to take my hat and/or scarf off as the weather changed a few times during the run. Also using my new trainers which I had only run in a few times, luckily they were ok.
My tri race number belt was also useful has I put 4 gels on their incase I needed them in between the race aid stations and in my tri suit pocket I had an energy bar.

I kept the 3/1 ratio all the way round (apart from a couple of comfort breaks) although some near the end were harder to get started each time. I caught my brother up at 16 miles as he was starting to struggle a bit, although this was about 4 miles further that he had ran to than in his previous marathon. After then I started to pull away from him even with the walk breaks.

The training plan says after 18/20 miles to run to the end but I was unable to do this due to the lack of training. So I continued following the plan and completed it in just over 5 hours which was better than expected. My brother completed it in under 5:30 hours which was about 15 minutes quicker than his previous marathon.

Looking at my official race time as they had timing mats for the chips at 10km, half way, 30km and the end my pace actually slightly increased as I went round. I tried to stay on the flatter part of the road and my ankle felt ok, my left knee felt a bit sore (due to lack of training) and my thigh muscles felt sore but not as bad as they would normally be however I was slower than normal.

The walk breaks were useful as I tried to get my nutrition/drnks in that time slot. I also use this time to make any kit adjustments due to the weather or my shoes. Therefore these scheduled breaks reduce the impact on my planned running time. I also did recover quicker from the marathon.

I will be using this method again either using different ratios or at a faster run pace.

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