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AUCKLAND (no.2) MARATHON TRAINING - 30th October 2016


Full Marathon Report

So for my first Auckland marathon last year for World Vision, I put 468 km of training. This year I put in just 104 km. In my defense though, I ran my last marathon 6 weeks ago in Sydney which was my 4th in a year so needed 2 weeks to recover as I got flu straight afterwards and also pretty knackered. I did a few 10 km runs, an 18 km run which was meant to be a 21.1 km half marathon distance run but got to tired, a 28km run which was meant to be a 30 and a few more 10 km runs. Pretty awful prep.

I finally got to the Devonport start line car park at 12.15am on race day so that I could sleep in the car ready for the 6am start time but parked on a slope so kept rolling to one side all night! Didn't realise till we picked up car the following day it was so slopped to one side. I got there late as I was in the 3rd National New Zealand Beard Competition Saturday night (photo attached of what I went in) for the 3rd year on the trot so couldn't miss that. My results for that were 2 x 8's and 2 x 8.5's from the 4 judges but the top 3 guys were in the 9's and 9.5's - just a bit of fun really. I was also still recovering from a huge 'Slipknot' heavy metal band concert on Wednesday so a busy week !!!!

Got up at 5.20am after a poor nights sleep and then off to start line but needed a wee again so snuck one last one in before joining the queue of runners but by that time they had all squashed together so I started from the back with the walkers!

I took me 1.13 mins to get over the start line to start running at which point I started both my GPS and normal stopwatches. Learnt a lesson from last year when I accidentally stopped my stopwatch and lost my time tracking until the end. This year I was determined to do the whole race having learnt from 4 previous marathons in a year.

I spent the first 2km dodging in and out of slow runners and onto the pavement to get up the front so expelled a huge amount of energy doing this. Mixed together with the first 9km pretty much going up hill, I was in danger of messing myself up from the beginning.

However, I finally got past the 3.45 finishing time pace marker runner at 8km and didn't look back. I always figure if I can run 30km in front of the 3.45 pace runner it gives me a good chance of breaking 4 hours.

I ran over the Auckland bridge at 15km which is a huge undertaking as it is pretty steep and a year on after 5 marathons, it felt a lot harder this year!

I managed to clear my half marathon distance of 21.1km in just 1.45.48 which was a 5 min per km pace at that point and about 3 mins ahead of my target for that distance on my race plan.

From there on it went downhill a lot and I have no idea how I kept it together because for Rotorua and Sydney I ended up having a bit of a mental emotional breakdown because I had stuffed up even though Rotorua was still the time to beat for me and Sydney an ok time. (I leave Cambodia out of any factors as that was a super special run in 33 degree heat and sun so nothing could be drawn from it apart from throwing in a ridiculous amount of heat to see how the body reacted between 'normal' marathons).

I reached 23km I think it was and was absolutely done and re-evaluated my finish time to approx 4.05 because of this. My time was gradually increasing per km and I had allowed an absolute max of 5.45 per km between 21.1 to 30.5km (about 9km) . 25km was my last time within this at 5.42 for the km and thereafter I put in a slow agonizing 5.50, 6.12, 6.09, 6.19 & 6.01 over what was allowed for.

At 25km I developed very bad cramp in my right calf muscle but eventually ran it off.

It was a good job I decided to run fast for the first half of the marathon as I had 2 mins up my sleeve at that point.

The final 12km was meant to be a max of 6.30 per km to get an approx finish time of 3.59 but despite being very sore on my left bum check because I had aggravated my back sprinting down the bridge earlier I put in a good 5.54 min km for the 31st km and after a 6.07 min for 32km I then put in another fast 5.58 min for 33km.

That was it for the faster times and I started to strugle mentally as I wanted to desperately walk but knew walking would reduce my km per min time to around 8 mins so even if I ran slowly at say 7 mins per km I would be better off. I held back though and put in these times from 34km's - 6.13, 6.11, 6.24, 6.16 followed by my slowest km at 38km of 6.30 min followed by 6.13, 6.26, 6.06 and then 1.12 for my sprint at the end (0.2km).

My finish time on my GPS watch = 3:53:58 - my average pace per km was 5.33 mins

I always take my time from my GPS watch which is acurate to about 1 metre because when you run the course, you can run wider or cut corners so at least getting tracked by GPS that is your real run.

These are the official placings using my official finishing NET time of 3:55:23 =

510th out of 1626 runners (68.63%)

427th out of 1130 MALE runners (62.21%)

46th out of 144 MALE runners aged between 45 to 49 years old (68.06%) - (I'm in a new category this time)

All in all it was a very fitting end to my 5 marathons in 1 year experiment and as expected, the results mean nothing because none of what I did should have been possible, including posting my best time after 5 marathons and especially 3 in 12 weeks with an un-recovered body. Either the scientists are wrong or I am not normal (which Tamsyn would probably say is correct). Maybe I have good mental power to overcome the runs or an exceptionally good ability to recover quicker than most people - who knows.


Training eventually progressed after a few weeks off due to having to catch up with quite a few months neglete to the house and garden. This time, training was deliberately in a very limited capacity for the finale to my 5 marathons in 1 year so as to preserve the body.

My first run was a bit optimistic after 2 weeks of no running and the planned 21.1km run got aborted as the body gave up the ghost. Got back into it slowely and started to pick up the pace but hit a brick wall on my 30km run as well. I tried coffee shots for this but although they worked, I hit the wall at 28km and aborted my 30km target and did a 2km walk back to the car slowly. The rest of the afternoon and sunday I was very sick indeed with vomiting and diarea so got even more dehydrated. This was either because of the shots, running whilst bidy severely depleated from 4 previous marathons in a year or at least 2 in the last 8 weeks or because I was getting over flu as well. I also ran in the heat so got sunburnt! Who knows.

Very low km's training  of just 104km forAuckland but the body is fit and strong as well as a strong mind and will power so hope that gets me over the lne !!! Put in sopme of my fasted times for 5km and 10km but not sure about the times for long distance at this point.

Also having to get over the disapointment of just finding out I failed to get into the London Marathon 2017 :-(

(Auckland Full Marathon running schedule)

My Running Week starts SATURDAY & ends FRIDAY
24th to 30th Sept
NO RUNNING - Busy with house maintenence !!!
1st to 7th Oct
18 km
Aimed for 21.1km but knackered & not recovered - aborted at 18km
10 km
Reasonable pace run including big hill @ 6km
4 km
Fast 4km run home before running 6km with the wife
6 km
Running with the Wife to help her train for the Auckland 12km Run
8th to 14th Oct
28 km
Tried coffee shots but seriously ill after run for the weekend!!!
8 km
Running with the Wife to help her train for the Auckland 12km Run
15th to 21st Oct  - First Tapper week
10 km
Very slow - not deliberate - 45th BIRTHDAY TODAY !!!!!
10 km
Unintentionally my 4th joint fastest ever 10km ????
5 km
Very fast run to catch the wife at her 5km marker with head start
3 km
Running with the Wife to help her train for the Auckland 12km Run
22nd to 28th Oct  - Final Tapper week
5 km
Meant to be slow but wasn't to slow but 4 & 5 km very hard ??
7 km
Aiming for approx 5 min pace & catch wife on her run
3 km
Running with the Wife to help her train for the Auckland 12km Run
42.2 km
Aiming for 4 hours but managed to pull off an almost flawless run and smashed my best time with my final run of the experiment. Saved the best till last :-) Not without injury though. See below....
(WEEK 7)
TRAINING / RECOVERY - 7 days minimum
By Wednesday my legs had recovered but I'm left with severe pain in my left lower leg where I had metal plates put in for a football injury 18 years ago. Still in the process of figuring out if it has broken the rivets in the bone. What this space. No running any time soon!!!