Marathon Training Stories – 26 Mile Training Run

Marathon Training Stories

This is the last of my marathon training stories for the current training programme, the marathon is only a few weeks away and I have completed all the long runs in my training schedule, now I start what they call tapering.

For those who don’t know what tapering is, your runs become shorter for the last few weeks on the run up to the race, this is to give your legs a rest before you take part in the race, some training programmes I have seen add extra rest days not this one there is a 60 minute run scheduled for the Friday before the race.

In this post I am going to add the videos I took hourly while running, and write a few notes about the videos, I will be telling you about my feelings at the time.

Getting Ready

When I did my training run on Friday it was very cold, and I expected today to be the same, so I put on an extra layer and to my surprise when I got out of the house it felt really mild.

Before my last long run I got started later than I wanted to due to preparing my hydration pack before setting off, to save time on this run I prepared it the night before.

The Start Video

Video Notes

Did you spot my mistake in the video, I did this training run on Sunday the 9th of September 2018 and not the 11th of September, well what do you expect from an old guy it was early in the morning.

As I mentioned above I was dressed for winter, I had put a base layer on with a T-shirt and my windproof jacket on top of that. The outlook at this time weather wise was not very promising with a thick cloud cover, it looked like there was a good chance of rain.

The First Hour Video

Video Notes

During the first hour it felt a bit warm so I took my hat off, by this time the cloud had broken up and there were clear patches, there had been a slight drizzle it was only that really fine type of rain, I don’t mind this kind of rain until it gets through to my skin (there are times I have been playing golf and we have had this type of rain and not put on my waterproofs and regretted it when I was soaked through to the skin).

When I started the run my legs felt stiff and I thought this is a good start on a 26 mile run (straight away putting doubt into my mind), after the first couple of miles my legs eased off and I felt fine, the distance I had covered at this point were 4.82 miles.

The Second Hour Video

Video Notes

As you can see in the video there was quite a lot of blue sky, I was a bit concerned as I did not feel very well at this point, it was not my legs it was internal and I was starting to feel dizzy, but I decided to keep going and call for help if things got worse.

My miles at this time were 9.54, and I was thinking of taking my jacket off, but even though the sun was out there were still a lot of dark clouds hanging around (when I took my jacket off on the 23 mile run it rained and I thought it might be the same this time).

At this point I felt a bit off it but my spirits were still high.

The Third Hour Video

Video Notes

I managed to get through the third hour and at this point I had covered 14.18 miles, now past the halfway mark I was sure I would be able to complete the run inside six hour’s that is the cut off for the race.

The sun was in my face and I was unable to see the screen so I could not be sure if I was in the picture or not.

I had taken my jacket off and had a good drink of water from my hydration pack, and felt much better, I think I might have been over heating during the second hour.

The Forth Hour Video

Video Notes

I forced a smile, the reason being is I really struggled during the fourth hour, and was not enjoying the run at all, I had thoughts of quitting and kept telling my self that it’s only quitters that fail and I did not want to be a quitter, my legs did feel bad but sitting here writings this I feel it was more mental than physical.

I was going to mention in the video that my run was nearly ended for me when I was narrowly missed by a van when crossing at a junction.

Shortly after making the three hour video I got a message on my watch saying I had an hour’s battery life left. I thought this might have been the last video of the run as I planned to use the Strava app on my phone to record the last few miles.

At that point I had done 18.84 miles.

The Fifth Hour Video

Video Notes

I have now done 23.2 miles and still have a bit to do, I said that I could have quit ages back, that was just a thought in my head, I had no intention of quitting as I said earlier only quitters fail and that’s not me.

I was sore from my hips down to the soles of my feet and I had phoned ahead and asked my wife to run me a cold bath ready for when I got home, this was the last time during this run that I would be running away from home, I will be turning the corner shortly after ending this video and I will be on the home stretch.

Final Words Video

Video Notes

I have done the 26 miles and inside the 6 hour cut off time so having done it once on race day I should not have any problems getting inside the cut off time, I might have said this before but I could not believe how sore I felt, when I think about it after doing all the other long runs and I would have thought it might been easier.

I brought this run forward a week as I have other commitments next weekend, I could have put it back a week but that would have reduced the time I had for tapering.

During the run I was thinking that I was being a bit too ambitious, I planed to run the race at eleven minutes per mile, based on what I have been doing during the training I don’t think I could possible get it down to eleven minutes.

I was glad when I had completed the run, while walking home I met someone I know and she asked me if I was ill, I must have looked really bad to her the way I was walking, I then explained that I had just done a 26 mile run.

I go on to talking about the running shoes I have, but I have compared them to my old running shoes and there is no difference in the thickness of the sole. It was late in the afternoon when I made this video and at this point the soles of my feet hurt worse than the rest of my legs.

My watch lasted till the end of the run, but I have noticed that it stopped recording my route and the elevation, as you can see from the graph the line at the end of the run is level.

Marathon Training Stories

Running Slow

From the fourth hour to the end of the run I felt like I was getting slower and slower, I did not mind this at the time I remember thinking if it gets me to the end then it is fast enough, but looking at the split times I got faster over the last 2 miles than I had been since the 15th mile.

Marathon Training Stories

My Thoughts When I Had Recovered

Now that I have recovered from the run and sat and tried to analyse what went wrong, I have come to the conclusion that it was just a bad run, I was told early on when I started running that there would be good and bad runs.

I don’t think I went into this run in the right frame of mind, I was up against it before I got out of bed, I had gone to bed earlier than normal thinking the more rest I got the better, when it came to getting up I did not want to. I made myself get up, normally I am awake well before I need be but this morning I felt really tired despite going to bed early it’s not a good start when you have a long run ahead of you

Something else about this morning I was focused on how far I was going to be going, on other long runs I did not give much thought to how far I was going to be running, I concentrated on the number of steps I was taking when running and walking.

On this run I could not get into that frame of mind, my thoughts were all over the place, and once I started thinking about how I was feeling things just got worse.

Some of the things I thought about: –

  • Was this too soon after the 23 mile run, I had had a 3 week break between the 20 mile run and the 23 mile.
  • When I had done the 23 mile run I did not start hurting until I had passed the 20 mile mark.
  • I had not read my training schedule correctly, when I checked it `I should have done 60 minute run on Friday but I did a 90 minute run.
  • I can’t blame over eating this time round, I had stuck to the diet and had what I would normally have.

Thirst was another problem I had late in the run, after taking my jacket off I had a good drink of water and felt better in the third hour, the downside to having that good drink was I ran out of water by the end of the 4th hour, if I had checked the weather and seen it was going to be hot I could have filled my hydration pack, it holds 2 litres and I only took 1.

In conclusion from the way I felt today this could be my first and last marathon.

I am adding this a couple of days after the run, the cold bath worked wonders when I got up on Monday morning my legs felt fine, and there was no pain in the soles of my feet.

Have you had any problems during your training or during your races, I would like to hear from you please use the comments box below.

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