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Week 9 Training For The London Marathon

Week 9 Training for the London Marathon

Just a couple of things to start with. Before reading about my week 9 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 9 training for the London Marathon was back to bigger miles and some faster paces. My body certainly took advantage of the lighter load in week 8. I hit all my sessions on target and for the most part, things went well. One of the things to take away from this week is ‘hard runs hard, easy runs easy’. I took this to heart for my sessions this week and came away with a little surprise.

There wasn’t a long run this week, rather a number of medium/long runs. These added up to a nice 64 mile week. My back started barking in week 8, and that continued this week. This, in-turn, had me change tack on my strength & conditioning work. I changed my morning routine, at least temporarily. My 20 minute core workout was put on hold and I started a 30 minute yoga for lower back routine. I’m hoping this will help work my back into some sort of shape.

So, to summarise this week…mostly all good. A really good race on Saturday, kept within my target, for the most part. You can read about my issue with mental maths on Saturday’s run.


Week 9 training for the London Marathon started with a rest day. Like most of my rest days, I took Chief up to Crocknagrally for his 5 mile walk. He’s starting to get a little bolder, running way ahead of me, but nothing too bad. As I covered 5 miles, his Pit-Pat told me he covered 7.7 miles. It’s nothing to him, but he does sleep when he gets home.


On Tuesday, the plan called for a 10 mile easy run. I happily obliged with a solid 10 miles all within Castle Coole. This was my first day swapping over from my bodyweight circuit to 30 minutes of yoga. It actually felt great. That is why I made the decision to make the change, at least temporarily. For the next few weeks, I’ll keep at the yoga and try to fit the circuits in somewhere during the day.


Wednesday was a 13 mile run, once again easy. I ran the first on my own around Enniskillen, then met with some running club-mates for the last 4. The first 9 were fine in the daylight. However, when darkness fell, I found the last 4 strangely difficult. Going back to my issues from Wednesday of week 7, I will be happy when the days stretch out longer. It felt like I was running in treacle. My head just wasn’t in it whatsoever. Although I got my 13 done, I wasn’t overly optimistic about Thursday’s session.


Thursday of my week 9 training for the London Marathon was a 6 mile progression down to 6:35/mile pace.  I know this doesn’t sound particularly difficult, but Wednesday ended on a real downer. A progression run takes some discipline, but at least a 6 miler is fairly easily managed. It played out rather well and I got down to the goal pace a little early. My splits on the progression looked like this:

Mile 1 – 7:38
Mile 2 – 7:08
Mile 3 – 6:58
Mile 4 – 6:41
Mile 5 – 6:26
Mile 6 – 6:18

I was really pleased with the hard effort and with the result. 


On Friday it was a 9 mile at an easy pace. Once again, I ran around Enniskillen, in pretty good conditions. I was very pleased with this run because the pace, at 7:40 felt very easy. It felt really relaxed and comfortable for the entire 9 miles. 


I took part in a 10 mile road race on Saturday. The Bundoran 10 miler is the first big local event of the year. Located in County Donegal, it draws a field of talented runners. It’s an opportunity to catch up with so many in the running community. So this is where my mental maths failed me. In order to run a 2:54 marathon, I need to keep a pace at 6:40/mile. My goal was to run 10 miles at 6:40 on the day. My head told me, 10 miles at 6:40 pace was 64 minutes. NOPE! 

My body felt really good for most of the race. Bundoran is a decent course, but there are long stretches of gradual incline. It also ends with a few steeper hills. The pace was relatively steady for about 6 miles, tailed off for 3 and finished strong. I actually finished with an overall pace of 6:28/mile, which I felt good about. This brought me across the line in 1:04:46. So I hit my time target, but ran 12 seconds a mile faster in order to hit it. Oops. Still, I was very happy with the result.

As a coach, I was doubly pleased with the day. I had many Enniskillen Running Club athletes taking part and there were nearly as many Personal Bests. I’m very pleased for all of them who ran so well. This included a young lady running her first 10 miler (I’m extremely proud of you Jenny). 

There are two more shout-outs. I had a couple athletes, who I am coaching one-on-one, running as well. They both ran extremely well and showed that they are on target for both London and Manchester marathons. Hard work and trust goes a long way. A big well done to Margaret (1:10:14) and Karen (1:12:32). 

Sunday Runday

Week 9 training for the London Marathon finished with a 15 mile long slow distance run. I ran with Roisin and another London runner early Sunday morning. It was the perfect recovery after putting my legs through the workout on Saturday. 

Week 9 Training for the London Marathon Metrics:

Week 9 numbers are a tale of two halves. My weight is going in the right direction, although, I have a little bit to go yet. I was down 2lbs over the previous week, but my protein intake was up. I’m eating much more mindfully and strategically. The focus must remain for 7 more weeks. 

My average nightly sleep was down, but that is due to one bad night. These still happen on occasion. One thing I stopped doing is fighting the insomnia bug. If I’m struggling to sleep because of an overactive head, I get up. I read. I listen to a podcast or an audiobook. I don’t fight it or get frustrated. This has made a very positive change in my overall well-being.

For some reason, my average resting heart rate is up. I can’t explain this one. My weight is down, my fitness is improving, my resting heart rate will usually fall. This week will be interesting to see what happens.

Some new additions:

I’ve added a new GoPro to my arsenal of tools to bring this blog to you. I’m hoping to bring more video entries to help bring it to life. I’ve also purchased some podcasting equipment as I’ve always got something to say 😀

I’m not sure exactly how these will be deployed, but hopefully I can make use of them. 

Upcoming Week 10 Training for the London Marathon:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 6 mile tempo @ 6:40
Wednesday: 6 miles easy
Thursday: 14 miles steady
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Parkrun + 8 miles
Sunday: 22 miles long slow distance run

Week 9 Metrics:

Friday Weigh-in: 157.4 lbs (- 2 lb’s)
Average Resting HR: 48 bpm (+ 2 bpm)
Average Nightly Sleep: 6:38 (- 17 min)
Average Daily Protein: 137g (+ 22g/day)
Average Daily Water: 3571 ml – 322 ml)
Total Weekly Miles: 64.61 miles

Click here to see last week’s metrics4

training for the tcs london marathon
I love it sign about confidence
A little sign I can get behind
week 9 training for london marathon bundoran
Before Bundoran
week 9 post race refreshment
Post race refuelling with Guinness 0.0
gopro hero 8
New GoPro with video content coming soon
Chiefs PitPat
Chief's PitPat (like a Garmin)

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