Let’s start with the good news, the cold I was suffering from when I wrote my last post didn’t hang around for long, so I was back running again within a few days, and got in one final 20 miler before starting my two week taper. I’m writing this on the Thursday before the race, so it’s very close now! I’ve got one short 20 minute run planned for tomorrow evening, when I get back from Brighton and collecting my number. Last time I collected it on the Saturday afternoon and having queued for ages in traffic to get into town and then queued for ages to collect my number I decided to collect it earlier as I had the day off work. We’re staying in Lewes on Saturday and Sunday night so it means there’s no rushing around on Saturday and we can hopefully have a relaxed drive down there.
The other good news is that after the warm weather of 2015 and 2017 the weather forecast is looking pretty good for Sunday. A quick glance at the BBC weather app shows sunny spells, cool temperatures and a a bit of a breeze. As far as I’m concerned that’s absolutely fine.
I’ve been asked by a few people what my target is for the race, but to be honest I’ve deliberately not set myself anything too specific, other than wanting to run all the way around rather than running out of steam around 21-22 miles as has happened more often than I would like. After it all went a bit wrong at Bournemouth I decided to focus on my nutrition and hydration for this marathon cycle, to see if I could finally work something out.
My longer runs have been fuelled by water and minimal food, and that hasn’t been a problem, I’ve not finished any of the runs thinking I couldn’t run any further or feeling too low on energy. I’m definitely going to change my approach to hydration in the race to drink when I feel thirsty as I think I may have possibly drunk a little too much previously, and ended up sweating out salts which may have then contributed to my stomach issues. Linked to that I’m going to try to add a little more salt into my diet in the days leading up to the race.
It’s all a bit experimental, hence the reason I don’t want to set myself a specific time target. Having said that my training has been based around running the race at 9 minute mile pace, so I should in reality be capable of running somewhere around 4:15, assuming my experiment doesn’t go badly wrong! My plan is to set out at around 9:30 minute pace and see how it goes from there. That should feel quite comfortable and then it’s just a case of seeing how I feel when we get to the second half and the infamous power station loop.
I actually feel quite confident about the race, I’m really looking forward to this one after the disappointment of Brighton, and I’m also intrigued as to how my plan for hydration and nutrition works out.
I’ll be back next week with a race recap, and there’ll be updates on my Twitter and Instagram feeds if you can’t wait. Good luck to anyone else who is running Brighton or Paris this weekend.