With just over a week to go I'm really looking forward to London marathon but also quite nervous about the race. My first marathon in London and I have to admit, I'm pretty pleased with myself that I got the place because of my running, not because I got a ballot place. I know people say it doesn't matter how you get a place as long as you run London at least once, but I think there is something extra special about getting in to London because I made a qualifying time to guarantee an entry and the best thing is that my Loch ness marathon time from last year qualifies me for the next two years as well.
Not sure what to expect from London, I've heard so many different stories but one thing that is common with them all is that no matter what, I won't forget my first London marathon.
On top of it being my first London, 2013 is also going to be remembered for the year I get married to Mandy, another massive occasion in my life and both very special to me.
What are my pre-race thoughts for London?
I don't think I have done enough long runs, not as many as I had hoped anyway. Last weekend was my last long run before London and the plan was get 22 or 23 miles done - it actually turned in to 24 miles at a slower than planned pace. The reasons for not doing as many as I had hoped is simple - motivation is low when its dark, cold, wet and windy and I've been a bit lazy. I would have really liked to have had a running partner for the long ones and I think even if it had been horrid weather I would have still gone out. Maybe need to look at this for the Autumn marathon, speak with some local running clubs and see if there are any groups heading out on a regular basis around my pace.
Loch ness was 2:58.49, I would like to get sub 2:50 at London which would mean an average pace of 6:29 per mile. Obviously it depends on conditions on the day as well but if I get sub 2:58 I will be happy, it would keep my trend of a PB at every marathon I've ever ran.
I am very tempted to give a negative split a shot at London as well, I think running slower to start with will give me more energy to run in the later stages - where I tend to struggle because I've actually gone off too fast to try and bank some time in the tank.
Looking at a negative split with gradual change of pace I would be looking at:
6:44, 6:43, 6:43, 6:42, 6:42, 6:41, 6:40, 6:40, 6:39, 6:39, 6:38, 6:37, 6:37, 6:37, 6:36, 6:36, 6:35, 6:34, 6:34, 6:33, 6:33, 6:32, 6:31, 6:31, 6:30, 6:30, 6:29, 6:29
The only issue I can see with this is remembering what pace I should be running at what mile!
The other option would be to run 6:37 until 13.1 and then from there run:
6:36, 6:35, 6:34, 6:33, 6:32, 6:32, 6:31, 6:31, 6:30, 6:30, 6:30, 6:29, 6:29, 6:29
Less to remember and a possible option.
After reading some other articles my other aim might well be to run the first 13.1 in 1:25 and then just hold on and see what happens, the support of the crowds will help and I feel mentally prepared for the race.
Yesterday I was on the track and was running comfortable at 6:31 avg pace and this weekend I have Edinburgh Rock'n'Roll Half marathon and my plan there is to go out and run marathon pace for most of it and then pick up the pace in the final couple of miles. If I know I can run the first half without feeling too tired then I should be on course for a good time at London.
So much to think about!
I had a look at the magazine that is sent out to all the runners and admit that I was a bit dissappionted that the 'Good for age' runners don't start behind the Elite runners. We start at a different location which is a shame, it would have been nice to see some of the elite guys and girls getting ready and then setting of at their amazing pace. I think we merge with the the main route at about the 2 mile marker which means the front runners are already 3 minutes ahead of my pace - if all goes to plan for me.
Anyway, I will post more thoughts after the weekend.
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend and next, whether it's Edinburgh Half, Brighton Marathon (@palmerleggings), or London Marathon next week - have a great race!