Three weeks to go: Screw the target pace!

Screw the target pace. Ultimately this isn’t about how fast I can run, but how far. So on Sunday I shut down the Runkeeper woman and her passive aggressive pace prompts and headed out on a three and a half hour run, my last long run before the Brighton Marathon, and the first of many 26.2 milers in preparation for the Marathon des Sables 2018. It was the best run I’ve had in months.

Runkeeper woman would have been going mental. I averaged a mile every 11 minutes and 20 seconds; that’s two minutes slower than the pace I’ve been telling her I should be doing. It felt fantastic. Through hail storms and forests, along country lanes and trails I strode at my glacial pace with a smile on my face. I didn’t want it to end.


I’m disappointed I don’t have any more long runs in the final three weeks before Brighton. As this week’s training schedule (pictured) shows, the programme is now all about the quality of my runs (so brisk, high tempo outings) rather than quantity of miles. But that’s okay. Gradually reducing my miles over the coming few weeks should mean I arrive at the start line with the best chance of enjoying the race.

One thing’s for sure though, Runkeeper woman won’t be coming with me.

  One thought on “Three weeks to go: Screw the target pace!

  1. March 31, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Mds! Do you have a program you are working to?


    • March 31, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Hi there! Thanks for reading! Don’t really have an official programme: The aim this year is to get as many marathons under my belt as possible before starting ultras/back to back marathons/heat chamber sessions early next year. My biggest concern as a T1 diabetic is keeping my blood sugar under control.

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 31, 2016 at 12:52 pm

        Champion effort. Look forward to reading how it goes. Keen to do it myself one day but much training between now and then

        Liked by 1 person

  2. March 31, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks mate!


  3. Rich Cook
    March 31, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Keep it up. Keep pushing. You’re an inspiration to me.malso diabetic (T2) and struggling with it. And struggling to get a running program started. Can’t wait for your race. Can’t wait for your results, which will be stellar no matter what!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 31, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks Rich! And thanks for reading! I’d advise starting running little and often and gradually building up the duration of your runs – doesn’t matter if you walk-run to start with; just get out there! The benefits for your diabetes management and general well being will be huge.


      • Rich Cook
        March 31, 2016 at 2:49 pm

        Yup. That’s what I’m doing. Walking 10,000+ steps per day (my insurance co gave me a Misfit). Got a dog in Feb to walk with. He was a rescue at a shelter for 8+ months so we’re working together on fitness. But I’ve lost ~10-15 lb since Jan 1. Blood sugar still high but am adding body weight exercise & increasing intensity of workouts. My dog got out a few weeks ago…I ran hard for 2+ mi looking for him. Next morning my blood sugar was down nearly 100 points below my average. My knee gave out after that so slow getting hard runs/workouts in but back to knee health again and adding in the harder stuff. It really works. And your posts help motivate. Slow progress is still forward progress!

        Liked by 1 person

      • March 31, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        Nice one! Would love a dog to run with!


  4. March 31, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Last summer I was very committed to running a fast pace on my long runs. And you know what? It failed me on race day.

    There’s a reason why they call ’em long SLOW runs. Going slow allows you to build cardio endurance and ensures that you arrive at speed/tempo training ready to commit to building speed to complement that endurance.

    By going too fast in my long runs, my heart rate was too fast to build endurance. As well, I was not recovered enough to push my heart rate high enough in speed training to develop speed.

    It was a lose/lose situation.

    Enjoy the slow in the long slow runs 😃

    Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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