Getting faster

With less than three months to go until the Gold Coast marathon, a progress update is long overdue.

I'm running four times a week (consistently - I rarely miss a planned run, even though I almost always schedule my runs for the end of the day), I'm up to 24km on my long run, I've done intervals, hill sessions, boring loop repeats with tempting ways out (e.g. 4 x 6km loop at no point more than 2km from home).

I'm suffering from very few niggles - occasionally my left achilles or my right knee let me know of their presence, but I've not had to suffer through. Most excitingly, after Sunday's run, I noticed my hamstrings. I never normally notice my hamstrings, I just don't make them work enough (even though I should) so I'm glad I was working them for a change.

Today I did 6 x 500m with 1 min SR. Because of the foreshore wind, which typically gives me a tailwind running west (away from home) and a headwind running home, I alternated them running out and back. My 1st interval was after the warm up, so probably least rested of all of them, the 3rd effort was fast as expected, but interestingly the 6th was the fastest of all - by this time I was sheltered by the Shorncliffe cliffs, but I could really feel my body start to loosen up and just run.

My technique tends to improve at speed - my heels come up, I drive through and behind (at least I do these days, I don't try and gain speed by launching my leg in front!) and my strike is very midfoot, and will probably naturally move towards front foot as the pace increases. I'm no longer so bothered by forcing my form to improve - I think focusing on speed naturally helps.

So my fastest effort today was at 4:16/km for 500m. Ideally I'd be able to sustain that for 2-3km to be able to beat my 5km best. I'm definitely feeling that the speed sessions are helping, and that I'm improving week on week.

Let's hope I can sustain the work through until July without any injury, and keep getting faster and faster.

I know I can beat my London time, and probably by ten minutes or more, but that will depend on staying healthy, and good conditions on the day, and continued improvement between now and then!