Newport Marathon – May 5th 2019

THis is a bit of a draft write up at the mo, taken from Facebook and TrainingPeaks

Wow, I went and hit my target for ABP Newport Wales Marathon and just scraped under 3 hours 🎉🎉 and ending up 3rd in the 50+ Male category. I had to dig deep to do it having hit half way at 1:30:10 so I managed a negative split. The 3 hour pacer came passed me with 5K to go and I had to push so hard to keep him close. He was great, cheering me on with “come on Chippenham, you can do it!”. A lot of runners know how much sub 3 means so the support from all around was fantastic.

Thanks again to Michelle Maxwell and Maxwell Coaching for the coaching over the last 6 months. There’s no way I could have dug as deep without the strength and fitness I’ve gained. In the last miles the thought of those sodding mountain climbers and squats through the winter was going through my head, there was no way I was going to let my target get missed after all that!

Check out my activity on Strava: https://strava.app.link/LrNeOmLArW

Some more detail on how it went:

This was the pace plan given to be by my coach Michelle:

Think about the race in 10k blocks:

– first 10k easy peasy, enjoyment, settle into the race, stay relaxed.

– 2nd 10k more effort – just up to 6/10. keep the pace controlled.

– 3rd 10k – past halfway now. Focus in this 1/4. Really keep on the pace, keep positive. Keep smiling and waving. 8/10 effort

– 4th 10k plus – crunch time. the pain level will go up in this section, building to 10/10 by 23 miles and beyond. Keep focussed, keep pushing, keep working. Keep imagining the finish straight, keep going!!

I tried to follow the pace plan and set my watch to auto 10K laps so I’d have a ping on progress every 10K. For the first 10K I ran behind the 3hr pacer pack. There were too many so I held back behind. I did chat to the pacer before hand and he said he was going for a flat pace but aiming for 30-60 secs spare to compensate for not taking best line. I hit 10K in 4:14 average so decided to try and make the second 10K a 4:15 section. The pacer appeared to slow a little just after 10K so I moved through and within a K or two I was in a group that seemed pretty steady. Over that 10k the group members changed a little until 17-18k where it became a group of 8 which had a couple up front setting pace looking strong. I sat at the back of this group conscious of my own pace. The second 10K went through in 4:15 pace and I wanted to move up to 4:13 pace for the next 10K. I hit half way at 1:30:10 at which point I really didn’t think sub 3 was on but didn’t give it much thought at that point. Despite pushing a little harder I started to drop off the group but I was OK with my pace so I didn’t try to stay with them (looking at results I beat all but 2 in the end). Third 10K went through in 4:12 pace which was quicker than planned (and was into what little wind there was). The 4th 10K was the hard one…. pace slowed a little early on in that section as it was getting harder to maintain the pace. At 38K the 3hr pacer came passed with a few around him. He made a good effort to cheer me on but I could not stay with him for long, probably a K or so. This meant the last 4K were just an effort to limit my losses on him. 4th 10K went in 4:17 pace. At which point I knew it was going to be close. The support was incredible as I was still near the 3Hr pacer so people knew what it meant. The last few 100ms had my HR at a level I’ve not hit for a few years and still the legs didn’t give in 🙂 I had visualised the finish through the training, from the photos I didn’t look like I did in my imagination….