In retrospect one probably affected the other. Last year I ran the Paddock Wood half at marathon pace for a 1:24 rather than ‘racing’ and the race was 3 weeks before London. This year I did race the half for the 1:20 and because, I assume, it was Easter weekend 3 weeks before London there was only a 2 week gap between the two races.
Lesson learned there – a hard half 2 weeks before a marathon is possibly not the best idea! – for me anyway. I ended up 57 seconds slower than the 2012 London Marathon but both the races panned out differently. Last year I gradually slowed from about the 35k mark, losing a handful of seconds per km until I had to stop at the 600m to go banner for cramp before jogging to the finish.
This year I know I am running better than last year with better results, both in races and the little test runs I do regularly, and thought a sub 2:50 time was a realistic target. I was running really well until around the 16 mile mark. I had been comfortably running 4:00/k and enjoying the race when suddenly my hamstrings tightened up and my left achilles started to hurt and I was running 4:12-15/k instead. From then to the end it was a struggle and focused on running a pace that would get me to the end. 2:52 is a decent time but not what I wanted and not what I believe I was capable of. Next year…
I was going to do the David Lloyd Sprint Triathlon a week after London but sore legs and some sage advice from my Dad I decided not to run and marshalled instead.
I swam just over 32k during the month, a decent mix of endurance and harder intervals and also included my first open water swim of the year – in the sea of all places. A balmy 7ºC it was a needless to say it didn’t last too long!
Cycling has been good throughout April with 739km ridden. I made a conscious effort to keep the mileage up as last April I really focused on the running and only managed 94k and I’m sure that my cycling suffered in the month after because of the lack of time in the saddle.
As well as some long rides I’ve done my first time trials and joined the Hampshire Road Club and am intending to do a few CTT events over the next few months. My first 2 club 10′s have been a 26:05 at 258 Watts – a sub par effort 2 days after the Paddock Wood half and followed up with a better 25:08 at 275 Watts which included a stop at a traffic light which had a police car sitting by it. Bugger!
Most of the running was either easy or racing during April so nothing really to add to the races above.
A week in Lanzarote to look forward to in May with hopefully plenty more time on the bike along with some more TT’s hopefully. I want to maintain my run fitness rather than look to increase the mileage now and do a bit more swimming in preparation for The Swashbuckler at the beginning of June.