Will the hard work pay off?

In a week’s time I will hopefully be sitting on this sofa with a sense of achievement having completed the Oxford Half Marathon.  Something that, come rain, shine, work or holiday, I’ve spent a large portion of the last 12 weeks training for.  From what I can tell from my training sessions over the last 3 months the signs are positive towards me achieving my target of under 2 hours.

I have been using the adidas miCoach app on my iPhone to plan and record my training and must say that I have found it motivating and helpful.  The variety of sessions kept it interesting and there was a sense of progression in both duration and intensity as the weeks went on.  I feel stronger and the stats seem to reflect that my pace has improved, although the real test is yet to come.

I’m hoping that, as the Oxford Half Marathon course spends a lot of time hugging the River Thames that I won’t be faced with anything I haven’t included in my training.  Witney, where I live, is not a big town but I try to vary my routes to include the urban ups-and-downs and long runs have ventured out into the surrounding West Oxfordshire hills.  I even managed 3 runs whilst on holiday in the Majorca hills which I’m hoping will be more than enough preparation.  A variety of things have resulted in some of my sessions being missed but I have ensured that 3 sessions a week has been my minimum level of exertion.  Most weeks I have managed 4 sessions which has given me confidence in my legs.

With just 3 sessions remaining in my programme all that remains is to keep the legs ticking over so they are fresh for Sunday.  My recent confidence started thoughts that my two-hour target may be too conservative however I have decided to keep my pace conservative, at least for the first half of the race.  9 minute miles would see me finish the 13.1 miles in just under 1h58, nicely inside the 2 hours.  Once I pass the halfway point I’ll reassess and slowly increase my pace if I’m feeling comfortable.  I’d like to have something left for a flat-out sprint finish – it always feels great to be able to fly over the line!

In seven days the result will speak for all the training.

With my current challenge nearing its end, I have taken the first step towards a new challenge.  I have just completed the UKA’s Leadership in Running Fitness course with the aim of stepping onto the first rung of the coaching ladder, but more on that later.

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