It’s six weeks until the London Marathon, and I am reaching the peak section of my training plan. This week, my planned long run again took me into previously uncharted territory, with a scheduled 30km run for the Monday!
I planned out a new route, an out-and-back stretch of the Lea Valley canal, where all I had to do was run North until my watch hit 15km, then turn round and come home. Simple, right?
As usual for my Monday run, I set off at 9am straight after the school run. Monday mornings are generally incredibly quiet along the running routes, and within the first couple of kilometres I left Walthamstow behind to stride out along the peaceful river, with not a soul in sight. I listened to my audiobook and the distance ticked by, passing canal boats, nesting birds and the first clumps of spring daffodils along the riverbank. At just over 15km I came to a riverside jetty and took the opportunity to pause for a few minutes and refuel. I changed over my audiobook to a Marathon Talk podcast, and saw that the episode was 1hr 40min long, just perfect to entertain me on the way home.
The good thing about out-and-back routes, is that there is no taking shortcuts! All I had to do at this point was follow the canal all the way back home and I would reach my 30km target. My watch told me I was making pretty good time, at an average of 7:05min/km, which for me is a decent pace for a super long run (my previous 28km run averaged at 7:25min/km for example). The pace felt totally sustainable so I just kept plodding onwards, to reach the 30km point in 3hr 33min, which is exactly 5hr marathon pace!
At the beginning of the year, I would have been very happy with a 5hr30 marathon time, but now I am starting to dream of sub 5hrs! I wonder if it would be possible?