VLM Long run progress

8 weeks until the London Marathon and today I saw the weather seeking to turn a corner (into Spring) and my running pick up a little too.

After a week where work and life got in the way of running at the start of last week, I made up for it with 7 miles on Thursday night, an hour running on Saturday and an 18 mile long tempo run today.

Today’s long run was my 4th in my marathon training this year. I started my long runs with a good 12 miler at the end of January (week 3) before I was struck with flu and took 2-3 weeks off running and had to start again mid February.

Here’s the long runs (and stats) I’ve done:

Wk3 – 24 Jan. 12 miles easy
Avg HR 151, Max HR 168,
Garmin training effect 4.9.
Resulting in an avg pace of 9:22.

Wk7 – 16 Feb. 9 miles easy
Avg HR 151, Max HR 160,
Garmin training effect 4.3.
Resulting in an avg pace of 9:25.

Wk7 – 20 Feb. 14 miles fast finish
Avg HR 148, Max HR 172,
Garmin training effect 4.5.
Resulting in an avg pace of 9:18.

Wk8 – 28 Feb. 18 miles 3M tempos
Avg HR 155, Max HR 173,
Garmin training effect 5.0.
Resulting in an avg pace of 9:05.

Today’s run was a little bit harder than I’d usually go, but it was a really good training run.

I ran with my HR easy up to or around 150 until about an hour in, then just as I was running out of Shawlands, I decided I’d put the foot down and run with my heart rate at 165 or above. A little more effort, for 3 miles up to mile 9.


I was running up a steady incline, but still my pace increased on those 3 miles from an approx avg 9:20 min miles, to 8:46, 8:20 and 7:58. I was glad when I got to mile 9 so I could recover a bit and tried hard to ease off and get my HR back to 150 for 3 miles.

I had my water pack on and took wiggle caffeine citrus energy gels at miles 3, 8 and 11. I was using my HR and cadence to make up my long run a tempo run, liking it when my cadence was up at 180+ 😀

Here’s what today’s training consisted of:

60 min warm up.
3M tempo with HR 165+
3M recovery
3M tempo with HR 165+
3M cool down / endurance finish.

Recovery miles 10, 11 and 12 ticked by, again averaging 9:20s roughly, with my heart rate and cadence being the things I was focusing on. Pace became (as it always is for me) and outcome of my effort (HR), fitness and the conditions (hills / weather).

Going through Pollok Park I kicked the gears up again, for miles 13, 14 and 15, HR back up to 165+. Hard work, strong running, increased cadence and speed. Pace ended up being 8:14, 8:29 and 8:14.

After nearly getting pushed off the road by cars in Pollok Park, I was glad to get to Bella Park and eventually finish my 15th mile, with just 3 miles left as a cool down. I ticked off my slowest mile after the second tempo 3 miles, and going up the big hill at Nithsdale. Who put that there?!

I was still trying to get my heart rate to about 150 and I was realising how good this type of training run is for marathon running. Mentally and physically, pushing on when you’re gubbed.

I finished with some good songs, I’m coming home by Rita Ora seemed to be my song of the day… ‘Ground beneath my feet, I feel it, I’m coming home…’

I’m very glad to be back running!

Here’s the rest of my long runs I plan – and I’ll see how they go as to what I’ll do with them (easy / tempo / fast finish etc):

Wk10 – 13.1M
Wk11 – 20M
Wk12 – 22M
Wk13 – 12M
Wk14 – 20M
Wk15 – 18M
Wk16 – 15M
Wk17 – VLM 26.2M

My aim is to run regularly, 3-4 times a week, and see if my fitness and vo2 Max increases between now and the day of the London marathon at the end of April. Fingers crossed. 🙂

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