VLM2016 – Training Summary Week 4 (including Heartbreaker Marathon)

Mon – AM 10 miles (6:55m/m) PM 6 miles (6:31m/m)
Tue – AM 12 miles (6:22m/m) PM 6 miles (6:15m/m)
Wed – AM 6 miles (6:47m/m) PM 13.84 miles (5:54m/m) incl session 10 x 5min
Thu – AM 12.5 miles (6:33m/m) PM 6 miles (6:03m/m)
Fri – AM 12.5 miles (6:55m/m) PM 6 miles (6:41m/m)
Sat – AM 6.56 miles including Moors Valley parkrun (18:34) PM 2.74 miles (7:44m/m)
Sun – AM Heartbreaker Marathon (2:36:49 2nd) PM 4 miles (7:31m/m)

Total Mileage – 130.21 miles (6:28m/m)

Week 4 done and still going in the right direction.
Pleased that I’ve managed to get back up to my standard full marathon training mileage now with a 130 mile week and a decent average pace. The legs are still “adapting” with the marathon training fatigue but in general they are coping reasonably well and I’m still running niggle and pain free which is a real positive compared to most of 2015!
I’ve also again seen some more improvements with my general aerobic fitness this week which is a real positive and I’m noticeably more comfortable running at low 6m/m pace.
Wednesdays session went okay without being spectacular. The 10 x 5min interval session with only 60s recovery was meant to be done starting at marathon pace and gradually making each one faster. I started with a 5:27m/m and managed to make each one faster but the top end speed was still seriously lacking so I only got as fast as 5:14 ! On a positive note the 5:20m/m efforts were feeling very comfortable so hopefully when the legs start to adapt to the training fatigue I will start to feel a little more “bouncy” at the faster speeds.

The whole of the weekend was spent at the rather fantastic Marathon Talk training camp weekend at “Sandy Balls” park. This is my 3rd year at the event and Martin and Tom manage to surpass themselves every year. With around 100 campers this year it was the biggest yet and a great time was had by all, highly recommended for anyone who likes a bit of running and a bit of a laugh :-)

I didn’t want to overdo things too much on Saturday as I had the marathon planned for Sunday so took things easy at the Moors Valley parkrun in the morning by taking Lara the spaniel along for the ride and then I just jogged the afternoon interval session planned by the MT camp.

Me taking things seriously on the Saturday afternoon interval session (Thanks Gary Derwent for the photos)

The plan for Sunday’s Heartbreaker marathon was a good solid effort at around 10-15bpm lower than full marathon race effort allowing the heart rate to go a little higher where necessary on the hills. I knew Matt Bennett from Southampton AC was going to be running so was expecting to run some of the race with him (even though he’s a bit fitter than me at the moment!)
Things went to plan averaging around 6m/m pace even with the hills and wind (which got quite serious around miles 22-24!!) and after running with Matt for about 20 miles he then pushed on to finish a minute up the road for the win. (He seemed to be coping with the hills much better than me, I blame the mileage 😉 )
As always the Heartbreaker marathon was a fantastic race with great organisation and friendly marshals, highly recommended to anyone who fancies a challenge around the New Forest.


My time and effort levels were very similar to when I ran this same race in 2014 just 7 weeks before my 2:16 VLM run so this gives me some hope that I still have time over the next 8 weeks to get back into decent shape.

Full race results and website details for the race available HERE

The plan for this next week is to hit a similar high mileage week with the Wimborne 20 (new local race!) at the end before then having a cut back week.

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3 Responses to VLM2016 – Training Summary Week 4 (including Heartbreaker Marathon)

  1. Davide says:

    Hi Steve,

    I have been following you for quite some time, congratulations on your wonderful career and achievements. I would have actually three questions for you:

    1) how do you calculate the “most efficient run”?
    2) what is your max HR, and what the respective avg HR in a marathon?
    3) I have noticed from your Garmin FR630 there is a dominance of your right leg, how woul you interpret/fix that?

    Many thanks and good luck

    • Steve says:

      Hi :-)
      1) most efficient run each week is just the run which has the lowest “average heart beats per mile”. I use a website called fetch everyone.com which automatically works out the value for each run but it is basically just (Average pace for whole run in min/mile multiplied by average heart rate for whole run)
      2) max HR has dropped quite a bit over the years. It has gone from about 187 when I started running and now it’s more like 178. Marathon HR used to be mid 160s and now it is high 150s.
      3) The imbalance is not due to a “dominance” on my right side but more of a weakness. My right foot is spending more time on the floor because of my lack of arm movement on my right side. The lack of arm “thrust” causes the imbalance. I’ve tried to fix it many times over the years but just accept it now! It is significantly worse when I’m tired so the Garmin is quite useful for tracking when it’s really bad :-)
      Thanks for following!!

  2. Hey Steve, for your interest and entertainment if you’re bored for 10 minutes. This is middle of the pack running at its finest! 😉 Heartbreaker Marathon 2016 https://youtu.be/IMDivFI80A8

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