3 long runs left… before my VLM

As I get closer to the London marathon, I’m thinking about my race strategy. I want to enjoy it, and with the way I’ve not been up to 100% health since the start of the year, I’d rather take a good comfortable enjoyable (?) finish than a race.

When I ran my marathon pb around Glasgow in September 2013 (3:28), I decided I’d run with my heart rate at 165 (around 90% max) the whole way – and see what happened. See more (and a good tip from Cris Walsh, Bella harrier extraordinaire) here: https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2013/09/25/the-best-marathon-of-my-life/

On that day, I clearly remember being at mile 22 running along Mosspark Boulevard, telling myself I’d NEVER do this again. I’d do a marathon, but I’d never push myself the way I did. I ran hard, the whole way and managed to just hang on until the end.

I’d made 10 miles in 1:17, and I’d hit the half way mark in 1:42 – I was on target for a 3:24 hour marathon. I slowed a bit towards the end and was astonished by a 3:28 marathon – 12 minutes off my previous marathon pb. It was all just right, but sore and nasty too.

This Spring, I need to remember that – ‘I’m NEVER doing this again’ – and stick to my guns… my ethos I suppose. Train and race to my heart rate. 150 … to 160 and push it at the end. Not be tempted by ‘time’ or lodging it hard to get a time. I need to remember that time isn’t my motivator. Fun and enjoyment and achievement comes first.

Remember that I’ve not been well and I’ve not been at my peak. I’ve got Skye half in June, and Loch Ness marathon later in the year, and I can use them to build on what fitness I’ve gained.

Once I do London, it’ll be 5-6 weeks to Skye, then 15 weeks to the Loch Ness marathon. (With some rest in between).

This holiday away has been good for me, and I’m hoping I’m definitely over the flu at the start of Feb and the cold at the end of Feb.

Frequent running (and maybe the hot weather) seems to have helped my vo2 Max increase, from about 48 to 52 which is a confidence builder if anything. Hopefully it will return some positives in my health and training too.

When I ran the Belfast marathon in May 2014, the time which guaranteed my London good for age entry, my vo2 Max was 55.

I didn’t push it too much, but let go a little and ran it in 3:32… and loved it. My strategy for that was to not push it too hard and not think about my time – just train right and let be what would be. And I was pleasantly surprised with my result. 🙂

Since August and especially November last year, my Vo2 max has dipped away down to 47 or 48. :-/ and I was feeling it. But I’ve been building up my running in March and am feeling good, especially with my long runs and recovery.

Now ahead of London in 4 weeks, I’m going to do a bit of play. Hopefully some speedwork / intervals to get me used to running fast. And some simulator runs.

This weekend coming it’ll be a nice comfy social 18 mile run Mike. I’m looking forward to that. 🙂

Then the weekend after I’ll do a 20 mile progressive long run. On this run I aim to see just what pace results from different heart rate running. Splitting the run into 5 sections like I will on the marathon day (five and a bit on the day – 5/5/5/5/5/1.2)

20.2 mile progressive
4M – HR 140-150
4M – HR 140-150
4M – HR 150-160
4M – HR 165
4.2M – HR 170+

And the weekend after, the Saturday before the marathon, I’ll do a 26.2km simulator run.

26.2km simulator run
5Km – HR 150

5Km – HR 150

5Km – HR 150-160

5Km – HR 160

5Km – HR 165-170+

1.2Km – HR 170+

(I know they’re a bit long for the taper, but I missed out on some training due to being unwell, so I want to do these before the big day).

On both of my last long runs, I’ll try out my race nutrition for before, during and after the runs. And my race gear too.

– Alpen cereal & yoghurt & blueberries / banana and plenty water.
– Caffeine gels and water throughout.
– Recovery milkshake and food.

On race day, maybe the plan will be:

VLM 26.2M HR race strategy
5M – HR 150
5M – HR 150
5M – HR 150-160
5M – HR 160
5M – HR 165-170+
1.2M – HR 170+

… and we’ll see what the ‘result’ will be. 🙂


These last 4-5 months have felt like a bit of a slog, but I’m / we’re hopefully over the worst of it. The games are more or less over and it’s time to get Super Lorn back. 😀

April is already looking like a better month than the rest of the year so far. 🙂 a day by the pool should hopefully help top up my super powers some more too. 😉

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