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.