Didn’t go quite as planned but if I take a step back and just look at the overall time, 3.22 something, I am still pleased. If I remember where I have come from over the last 3 years that is still a damn good effort.
If I analyse the race a little closer though I definitely take away something to work on.
With a half marathon pb of 1.29 I had set out a pacing plan to run a 3.10 marathon, that involved trying to hit halfway in about 1.34 allowing for a little fatigue in the second half. I got nice and close to the front at the start so didn’t have too many slower runners to get past, although I did still manage to turn my ankle on the edge of the road after about 400m, not an ideal start!
The first 15k or so was just a non-event, I started relatively easy, my pace plan was to knock of the k’s around the 4.25-4.30 mark, no faster, and that was going just fine, I felt great, heart rate was under control and close to where I wanted it, all was good. Bit of a weird feeling really, I felt like I was travelling to the actual race rather than running in it, I knew it was going to get harder I was just waiting for it to kick in.
Sadly, without me really noticing anything in particular, my km splits started dropping around the 22km mark. Having hit the half marathon point pretty much on schedule, my heart rate was still the same but I could not start to feel stiffness in my legs and my heart rate fell as the pace dropped off. This trend basically continued for the rest of the race, no dramatic ‘hitting the wall’ type incidents, just a gradual dropping in pace first to 4.40minkm’s then 4.50s then 5’s. At the 32km point I knew that I could still run 5 min km’s and make it around the 3.15 mark but sadly the decline continued until the best I could manage were 5.30-5.40min/km.
The decline in pace was matched by decline in heart rate which to me shows that it was not such an issue with cardio fitness but more a muscular problem. For the last 15km my legs felt like they were on the verge of cramping and I had a few occasions where I had sharp pains in either calves of quads that were not much fun.
So all in all a good learning experience, a marathon pb by quite some way and a nice benchmark to beat next time out!
This week has been all about recovery, I’m starting to feel fresh again so next week the last block of build to the Ironman really starts...
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