'Tired' is such a general term

Paul Snell reports back on a well deserved PB at the Brighton Marathon:

‘My late report from Brighton! This is my third marathon and I have had a good 16 week training block since Christmas, with a bit more than 300 miles covered, which is good for me. I also didn’t run anything over 16 miles, as in my last blocks I ended up over tired from the longest runs. I also did more tempo and mile pace reps. Race day was beautiful and sunny with a cooling breeze. I got a bit held up at the start and missed my wave as the toilet queues were really long! But I kept it really steady for the first 10k and overtook a lot of people without wasting too much energy. I got to mile 18 in about 3 hours still feeling pretty good, so in my head I was hoping to get in at 4:20. However, we had to run far out west to the power station between miles 18 and 22 and there were hardly any mile markers, it was pretty warm and we had a headwind – I was starting to tire and I had to work harder to maintain my pace.

At the turnaround, where we head back into town for the finish, we had more of a cross / tail wind but it seemed to go on forever and I started to hit the wall. I had to take a couple of short walks between about mile 23 and 25 and just jogging slowly was taking a huge effort – watching my pace slip away was a bit demoralising, but I can’t really explain the feelings from my body at this time – “tired” is such a general term. The crowds were very supportive, but I even had to take a short walk in the last mile, as I couldn’t see where the finish was – some mile markers, 800m, 400m mark would have helped. I managed to get myself over the line in 4:33 – a big pb (previously ran 4:47 and 5:12), but I was not in good shape so after getting my medal and t shirt I went into the medical support area and rested for what turned out to be about 90 minutes before I could stagger around. I had no medically significant problems, just dehydrated and low on energy. I had hoped to meet up with some of the other runners, but I was not fit for it – but I did see a lot of VR’s rocking out on the course.

Very pleased with my race, which really had two parts – one very long run and one short very hard run. I am also very pleased with my training block – I did a good mix of work and stayed healthy. I wonder what I could have done to do a bit more on the day? Maybe I could have gone a few seconds per mile faster overall if I had started with a more similar group at the start – although I am always a slow starter in races. Anyway, my big conclusion is that I did super work in training and on the day. I also believe, based on my continuing improvement during training, that I can beat this time by a long way and that I have the potential to go sub 4 with a longer preparation period with a dedicated speed and tempo block. I think I will stick with my modest long runs, with a cap at three hours and include more fast 12 / 13 milers.’

Brighton Marathon Course 2015

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