Lochaber Marathon

Martin is training for Ironman UK with the hopes of qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. In his build up he is incorporating different phases of training and he has just completed his run focus which culminated in a marathon. This is Martin’s account of how it went.

(Lochaber Marathon – 10th April 2011)

This would be the first major test of how winter training had gone. After a good 10 day training camp in Majorca I was feeling confident that I would hit my target of 3hrs or just under for the Marathon.

Lochaber marathon is based in Fort William and is an out and back course along the shores of Loch Ewe. The day dawned beautiful and sunny with the temperature at 15deg by 9am; it was due to be a hot one (race temperature ended up 22deg+) not what you would expect from the second wettest place in the UK.

Right from the off I resisted the temptation to head out fast with the crowd (as per previous marathons) and stuck with my target pace (HR of Zone 4). This was hard having savoured a TORQ Banofee Gel (with Guarana) 15 minutes before the start. The first half went very well, keeping in target zone and had to resist the urge to go faster. I turned round at the halfway mark in 1hr 31min dead so smack on target with the plan to negative split the race.

I picked the HR up to Zone 5 for the remainder of the race and even Z6 for the last mile, but unfortunately my pace did the opposite and slowed quite dramatically to the end with me crossing the line in 3:09:46, 4 seconds off a PB. 31st overall from 379, 8th in age group.

In hindsight, if I had gone easier in the first half then I would have run closer to 3:05 but the target was sub 3hrs and after all, this is all part of a heavy training load phase, so I’m confident that a fresh pair of legs and poper taper would’ve made a significant difference.

Overall pleased with the performance as I didn’t pick up any injuries during this important running phase. I wore the new 2XU compression shorts and socks during the race and then full 2XU elite tights post race which all worked well. I suffered minimal muscle soreness the following day and now just over a week after the race I am fully recovered and back to full training again.

Next major target events are the Etape Caledonia on the 15th May and Bala Middle Distance Race 12th June.

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