With the Cambridge Half Marathon in 6 days time I decided to reduce my long run of the week from the three-quarter marathon of last week to half marathon distance. To make it part of my marathon training, I would run it at something like marathon pace rather than pressing on.
That was the theory. In practice, for the first lap (of two) I was rather faster than marathon pace, but quite comfortable. I picked up another water bottle(with added calories) at the end of the first lap, wasting a bit of time because my wife had locked me out of the front door! Perhaps it was the frustration of that, or knowing that unlike last week I had just one more lap to go, but all my good intentions were thrown aside in that second lap. It started briskly, and just got faster. As I saw the kilometre splits getting faster it spurred me on even more, and the middle 5 kms of that second lap were run in a similar time to my parkrun a couple of days earlier.
So much for plans and discipline – but actually a pretty good outcome. It shows that start slow/get faster can actually produce a decent time. I guess that a slightly faster start might have been faster overall but this was training, and finishing with so much energy shows that the distance training for the full marathon has put me in a comfortable position for running a half – always assuming I stay fit for the next six days.
Of course, the real test comes at the end of April.