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Week 13 Training For The London Marathon

Previous Weeks

Just a couple of things to start with. Before reading about my week 13 training for the London Marathon, you should start at the beginning. To read the opening story about my training for the London Marathon please start here or click on the links for the previous week’s training updates. Secondly, I’d love to hear what you are training for, how it is going and any questions you may have. Please comment below.

Week 13 Training for the London Marathon

Week 13 training for the London Marathon was back to the bigger miles and included a tough tempo session. I needed the low load week in week 12 and my body felt good to start this week. I managed all my sessions and enjoyed more company than I normally have on these runs. It has been great to get a few runs with friends who I haven’t run with for a long time. 

I ended up having a 69 mile week despite only programming 60 miles. I had two rest days on the calendar, but ended up running a few bonus miles on Friday’s rest day instead. Overall, although I’m getting the miles racked up, my body continues to feel it. My back isn’t improving, despite yoga for lower back pain every morning. I’m going to try the McKenzie method as recommended by a good friend with similar issues.

The issue is that after about 10-12 miles, I’m experiencing lower back pain. This pain is shooting spasms into my glutes, hamstrings and down as far as the knees and calves. I can continue to run through it and as soon as I stop, the pain almost instantly disappears. It is frustrating, but I only have just under 3 weeks left to put up with it.

Otherwise, things are going really well. My diet is becoming more disciplined and although my weight isn’t quite where I’d like it, I’m not far away. London is shaping up to be a good race. The x-factor will be weather conditions. Fingers are crossed for a warm, dry day with no wind to speak of.


Monday was a rest day, allowing my body to rebuild from the previous 12 weeks. I also got a sports massage, which always goes a long way towards recovery.


Once again, my Tuesday running partner joined me. This was a 5 mile tempo run. We ran an easy mile before picking up the pace. The goal was 5 miles at 6:30 and the splits looked like this:


Overall, it averaged out to 6:24/mile, so I’m happy with the result of the session. I’d like to thank Ciaran for the company as we pushed each other in order to get those miles done.


Wednesday was 12 miles easy, which they were. It was a windy and changeable day and I was soaked by the time I got back to the car. In addition to the 12 mile early run, I walked for nearly 9 miles. It was a very active day indeed.


Thursday of my week 13 training for the London Marathon was a double session. 6 miles in the morning and 6 miles in the evening. The morning run went a little longer than it was supposed to as I ran a route I hadn’t done before. The evening run was run with another athlete I’m coaching and her husband. We got a good soaking, which was par for the course this week. All told, it was a 13 1/2 mile day.


Friday was another rest day, but I ran 7 miles with my wife, who is training for the Manchester marathon. Again, it was a soaking wet run, but good miles nonetheless.


Saturday called for parkrun + 3 miles. I didn’t get to parkrun as I had some personal matters to deal with. The 9 miles were covered during an afternoon run. These ended up being relatively easy miles in the wet, windy Saturday weather.

Sunday Runday

Week 13 training for the London Marathon finished off with the long slow run. This was a group run of 22 miles. These miles were a little quicker than the normal long slow distance run, but they were comfortable for a lot of it. My back started throwing pains around 12 or 13 miles in. I really need this McKenzie method to work for me. Otherwise, London will be an uncomfortable experience.

Week 13 Training for the London Marathon Metrics:

The numbers from week 13 are a slight improvement on week 12. My heart rate has dropped a wee bit, as has my weight. Protein intake is up slightly and has topped 30% total calories for the first time during this training block, at 31.28%. Sleep was mostly good, with the exception of 1 really bad night. This accounts for the drop in overall sleep for the week. 

The aim this week is to drop 2 pounds this week. To do this, I’ll need to focus on eating lean, healthy meals and avoiding the easy temptations. I’ve done it before, so I know I can do it. Three weeks to do and a few pounds to lose. Let’s see how week 14 shapes up. 

Upcoming Week 13 Training for the London Marathon:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 8 x 1k reps @ 3:40/k
Wednesday: 20 miles easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 6 miles steady
Saturday: Parkrun + 3
Sunday: 24 miles LSD

Week 13 Metrics:

Friday Weigh-in: 155.2 lbs (- 6 lbs)
Average Resting HR: 45 bpm (-1 bpm)
Average Nightly Sleep: 6:46 (- 19 mins)
Average Daily Protein: 144 g (+ 3 g/day)
Average Daily Water: 3857 ml ( – )
Total Weekly Miles: 69.17 miles

Click here to see last week’s metrics

training for the tcs london marathon

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