Thursday, 8 November 2012

With only 3 days left till the Ticino half marathon, what are my expectations?

Evening folks.  Well the time has passed at warp speed as usual, and the Ticino half marathon is now only 3 days away.  The training has been going very well, and the only real deviation from the plan that Jeff set me was when I missed a few consecutive days of training (well 6 or so) due to a cold (aka man flu).  In general though, I have followed 90% of his plan.

Some of the target times Jeff sets for me seem a little ambitious, but I always try my best to hit them.  For instance the other week I was meant to do 8 Yasso 800s, in a target time of 2 minutes 51 to 2 minutes 53 per 800m.  Now I can easily do one or two 800m intervals in that kind of time, but I don't think I could do 8 of them.  Or maybe I could, but on that particular day I was suffering from shin splints before I had even started, so there was no chance.  In the end I did the first and last intervals in the target time, but the ones in between were closer to 3 minutes.  I was pacing myself.

In order to be in with a chance of a sub 3 hour marathon, Bart Yasso says that you should be able to do 10 x 800m intervals in 3 minutes each, with 3 minutes rest between intervals.  So taking only this into consideration, it looks like I am on course to be sub 3.  I would only have to be able to do 2 additional intervals at the same kind of pace that I was doing the other day, and I reckon I could do that even now.  Jeff gave me 2 minutes rest in between each interval, but Bart Yasso allows an extra full minute of recovery.  The workout I was doing was therefore tougher than a standard Yasso 800s workout.

Looking good so far, but the Yasso 800s progress doesn't seem to match with the marathon predictions based upon time trials I have been doing over shorter distances, such as 10k and 16k.  They seem to give me a predicted marathon time of 3 hours 15 to 3 hours 20.  This means, that to be honest I am not really sure what I am capable of.  Somewhere between 3 hours and 3 hours 20 it would seem, which is a very wide range indeed.

The half marathon in Ticino this Sunday will be a good chance to get a more accurate idea of what I am capable of in the Pisa marathon.  I will run it as a full on race.  My previous half marathon PB is around 1 hour 35, so I would hope to be able to go under 1 hour 30 with all this quality training under my belt.  I have never trained this much, or this consistently in my life before, except in the 3 months leading up to the Marathon des Sables.