Post Dubai Marathon and what’s next

As is probably patently clear, my Dubai Marathon experience wasn’t the best. It felt very tough, mentally and physically.Despite this, I’m actually really happy with my time (3:39:58). It was faster than expected. What was nice was that my body fell into a very natural rhythm and pace which I thankfully didn’t have to think too much about while I ran.

I’ve just realised I didn’t actually put my time in my race recap (I’ve updated it since). I had all the splits ready to insert through the text but clearly was too busy putting the selfies in! Whoops. But I guess this shows that times weren’t something that was weighing me down. In fact, I felt like I could probably have run without my watch and maintained that speed. I literally didn’t need to think about slowing down or running faster. My feet just found their perfect speed.Looking at my splits I was quite consistent, though you can tell where I went to the loo twice!I went at mile six (the beach bum saga) and then again at mile 13 (thankfully a proper loo this time).
I’m really happy with how I ran and that I could step it up at the end. I think I’ve just gotten myself into a really good place where I can judge my body and it’s capabilities. Like going out at 8 minute miles was not going to end well, but 8.30s felt good and left enough in the tank to step it up a bit at the end.

Interestingly I found this graph in Garmin that showed the rise in temperature (Fahrenheit annoyingly).Basically the marathon started around 13-15C and then increased to a high of 29 degrees towards the end! Blimey. But thankfully it was lower than that for the majority of the race.

So anyway. Number 13 ticked off the list! I had a lot of worries going into this one, mainly due to my calf. It had felt a bit rubbish leading up the race and I’d reduced back my running substantially so that the longest run I ran was a week after the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon (10.6 miles). I did do some lengthy sessions on the elliptical machine (up to 75 minutes) so that helped. But my actual running was really inconsistent and no further than six miles. Not ideal. And probably why after the marathon my legs felt VERY tired and achy, like they did when I ran my first marathon. Walking down steps was comical. Walking in general was tough!

Surprisingly though my calf felt fine during and after. I mean, I haven’t run yet so who knows what it’ll feel like in reality but at the moment I’m quietly hopeful.

What’s next then? 

Well, the next marathon is the Brighton Marathon and I would love to have a solid training run for that and give it a good stab. I love running marathons at whatever speed but I’d quite like one where I don’t have any issues leading up to it so I can give it a bit of welly and aim to be under 3.30 again. But we’ll see!

Between now and then I have the Reading Half Marathon (entries are still open!) which I’d quite like to use as a tuning-up race to see where my speed is. My best time there (I’ve run it twice) is 1:39:35, so getting a course PB would be nice and maybe nearing my PB (1:34:30) would be AWESOME. Again, depends on how my training goes and how it feels post Dubai. Also, I don’t like pressure as it’s a fun sucker so I’m quite relaxed about these goals.

Reading is 18th March so I have a solid seven weeks ahead of me. It’s a relatively flat course with great crowd support so I’m excited about giving it a bash again. I do only have 11 weeks now until my next marathon but I don’t want to rush jumping back into training. Mentally that’s quite tough and I want to get back to running without issue before any structured training gets started. I desperately want to do this one right! I don’t want to get injured.

If all goes well, when I am back into marathon training I’d like to get some solid long run training going and a bit of speed work (but not be silly about it – aim for once a week only). So if I do a speed session on Tuesday I don’t then blast out a parkrun. No rookie errors…

What races are you training for?

Have you ever done Reading?

Do you like having time goals?

15 thoughts on “Post Dubai Marathon and what’s next

  1. Can’t believe it was 29 degrees – ugh! Your time is amazing! We have actually had some cooler days here lately, the marathon typically feel on a pretty hot day for this time of year. I am trying to find another race to do in the next month or so before it gets too hot again – although compared to the UK there are a lot fewer events to take part in here so might just have to motivate myself!

  2. You did amazingly! Somehow I seem I have irritated my left calf, I think it’s just a slight strain from overtraining – I started a half marathon training plan and figured I’d be fine as the weekly mileage was about what I was already doing, but it involves running five days (usually I do four) and one is speed work. I don’t think my legs liked me adding an intense run and having a day less to recover. So a few days off then back to an amended training plan – running four days only!

  3. I’m doing the London mara which will be my first marathon. Really excited by it. Do you have any tips for a rookie like myself? I’ve done a couple of half’s before with a pb of 1.46 and hoping to go sub 4.

    Only found your blog this weekend but I’m already hooked. Its fantastic!

    • Oooh how exciting! Sounds like you’re more than capable of achieving a sub-4 with those times. My two main bits of advice: always better to turn up under trained than over trained. Don’t try and squeeze in ALL THE TRAINING and be a slave to your training plan. Life happens so just get the runs done that you can but don’t stress over it if you miss some. And secondly for the race day itself, don’t get carried away with the crowds at the start and lose focus of your plan. It’s a long way and you have to keep your nerve. You don’t want to crash later.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Oxford parkrun – parkrun Alphabet Challenge progressMy Profile

  4. Oh my word that is so hot- that makes your time (and the speed of your final few miles) even more impressive.
    I know what you mean about running for time sucking the joy away- I am only training for the Cambridge half and this time last year I did think I should be going for another sub 2 half, but now it’s getting closer I just think I want to enjoy the race and not stress about it, so it will depend on my mood in the morning I think!
    I’ve not run Reading- I think I must have looked into it once as I get emails from them, but it seems to fall on the same day as quite a few others so it’s not even worked in my diary I don’t think.
    Maria @ Maria runs recently posted…Tough yoga, a sore ankle and switching brandsMy Profile

  5. Good Luck with your goals. I’m sure you’ll smash them! I’m sure some people would say there’s some sort of link between it being your 13th (unlucky?) marathon and it not being the best experience.
    Rebecca recently posted…2018 RacesMy Profile

  6. I’m training for the Stirling marathon at the end of April.

    For years I’ve had a time goal but this year I’ve decided not to focus on that and instead enjoy the process of training – I actually enjoy it and you’re right that focusing too much on time really sucks the fun out of it!
    Allison recently posted…The Year of Me!!! – January UpdateMy Profile

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