Author: Andy Jaksevicius
Something to be proud of… a stepping stone for London Marathon an account of his 2.24.28
This was my first properly prepared marathon, run another two in competition before with best time 2hrs 33min (Richmond park 2015, hilly course) and probably another 2 or three just on my own.
I have been running about 100 miles per week since mid-Nov, and then at the beginning of the year increased further and had 9 weeks averaging 130 miles per week. Done most XC races that I was eligible to run, and I believed it was a good preparation. In addition, done a couple of half-marathons; Surrey Half, which I won with 69.50. This gave me a confidence that I could do a good time in Manchester, especially as it was less than 24h after Inter-counties. Then a week later I ran Reading half, after a very fast start, finished in 70 min flat which and knocked my confidence a bit. Although conditions were not the best and also it was not a flat course. So with encouragement from a couple of my strava followers, who had good marathon times (similar to the one I was I aiming for), I set a strava target of 2h23min, which probably was a bit overambitious, but rather go for a faster time and fail to reach it than be conservative and settle for lower target. a bit of taper over the last two weeks.
Next few weeks I did a bit of taper over the last two weeks and headed to Manchester the day before. On the race day, conditions were very good, not windy, not too hot (about 7-9C), and I felt good. Did a little warm up, took a couple of gels and there I was ready to go. I was in a lead group with another 5 runners, we kept our pace about 3.20sh min/km, which felt pretty comfortable (16.44 for 5k). After the first feed zone (10k; 33.3run at at the front for probably about 5k’s with a few runners just behind me. Went through the half at 71.30, which was bang on target for 2.23, if I kept the same pace all the way. After the 3rd feed zone (15miles or so), winner (Patrick Martin, who did his first marathon, but his is a very good runner and had 65min PB for half marathon) upped the pace, and took other two guys with him. I decided not to follow as it felt a bit too fast at the time, and it was still over 1 hour to run, so just took another gel and kept that 3.25 min/km pace. But other too guys didn’t stay for long with a winner, and pretty soon I caught third and them with about 7 miles to go caught 2nd and was running 2nd place for a while, went through 30k at 1.41.234, which was still more or less on target. But 4th place guy got back and overtook me with about 5 miles to go, legs started getting tired, and didn’t have enough to follow him. Last 5 miles (8k) were a bit slow, pace dropped to 3.30sh min/km. Nevertheless it was good enough for 3rd place, with time of 2.24.28. It was a bit below my optimistic target time, but reached my minimal sub 2.25 target, which is still a very respectable time, so I am happy with that for now. Also it was nice to get on the podium.
I believe it is definitely possible to go faster in the future and a great baseline. Probably now need a few longer marathon sessions running at marathon pace or slightly faster.
Next stop London marathon. As I am writing this ( a week after the marathon), I feeling good, just done 19-mile run in 2 hours, so going to start at the similar pace and see how it goes.