Weeks have passed with nobody daring to follow Pearce’s great literary works recounting The Ballad of Reading Fail, alas Simkiss can only go so long without blowing smoke up his own arse, and insisted something was written about
him the club’s recent endeavours.
McCarkiss were able to field a full team of good strength at the Ashby 20 meaning only illness or injury would stop them from taking the team prize – stay tuned as we have a full race report to follow in the coming days (prioritised over the upcoming Berlin Marathon report).
The club’s London marathon entrants have reached their peaks… Simkiss managing his final 3 week block averaging over 100mi – a career first for the project founder, who together with Jordan completed a 26.2mi easy pace long run last weekend, squeaking/thundering under 3hours (thanks to CJ’s Lamb Pathia the night before).
Pearce has struggled since the reading debacle and seems to have resigned himself to plodding round London on the sub 3hr bus in what would be a major blow for the Club’s Team prospects in the UK Marathon Champs. Suspected
over training under recovering seems the most likely course after Pearce strung together some fantastic mileage blocks, only to be ruined by the inconveniences of day to day life. As Jordan also teetered on the edge of over training, he backed off in preparation for Sunday-just-gone’s final long run of the campaign with Simkiss…
Having chosen a suitable McDonald’s establishment as a training base, both MCKEP’ians arrived early, (for the first time in the marathon campaign)… this was clearly a sign of good things to come. Lubrication requirements were fulfilled, gels were pocketed and laces were tied – there was even time for a double espresso each… or rather double expresso as the McD’s server would have our athletes believe… most likely a form of espresso extracted from Ronald’s finest roast in a blend optimised for enhanced athletic performance.
The athletes set off ahead of schedule, before stopping so that Simkiss could sort his watch/navigational device out and confirm they were going the wrong way, and again for the customary 1mi wee stop. Eventually they were going the right way, an easy road based loop before heading towards Draycote, (one of) the spiritual home(s) of the McCarkiss Endurance Project, to begin 2x6mi at Marathon Pace.
The difference between writing a training plan and executing it is very different. Writing a session plan with a 22mi long run including two stints of around 6mi averaging 5:40/mi (marathon pace) is translated into actual running terms of minimum 22miles; 21.9mi would be considered a failure, and may result in inferior fitness gains – running loops around the car park is a suitable solution if required to reach the necessary distance. In a similar manner, targeting an average of 5:40/mi requires each mile to be completed in under 5:40. Splits of 5:39/mi would be preferred, quicker is acceptable and may indicate extra awesomeness, however 5:41/mi indicates a resounding failure with virtually zero chance of hitting target on race day.
And with that in mind the first effort begin, with a gentle crosswind along the flat, Simkiss recounted stories from the McCarkiss archives of when he and McCarthy would canter the perimeter roads, wind in their hair, moaning about the upcoming hills, their achy legs, and that the wind was ‘too blowy’.
2mi in and Jordan suggests they take turns leading a mile each to break up the stint psychologically… Simkiss agrees, but secretly hates being at the back. The pace picked up to nearer 5:30/mi and Jordan began enquiries as to potential Strava segments that may be won. The decision, in no way influenced by the start/finish point of the ‘Draycote Water Lap’ segment, was made to adjust the session to 6.5mi + 5.5mi at marathon pace, rather than 2x6mi, and Jordan wound the pace up to just over 5:00/mi, forgetting momentarily he’d been on the ropes all week and had to take the last few days off for fear of becoming over-trained or injured. Average 5:31/mi versus target of 5:40/mi… bang on.
The second stint at Marathon Pace followed a similar pattern, taking turns on the front, but without the frantic final mile in the blind hope that it may coincide with a Strava segment. Simkiss lagging marginally behind on the mountain section but finishing together to average 5:33/mi, spot on once again.
In other news, it has indeed been confirmed that the Brighton Half Marathon was run on a short course; 146m short in fact. Jordan can take solace in the fact that he would almost certainly have completed the additional 146m in the 48seconds he had left in the bank to bag a sub 70 half marathon. Kudos Jordan… if McCarthy can pass himself off as a 70:30 Half Marathoner, you sure as hell qualify as a sub 70 athlete.
This weekend also saw the first race of the Warwickshire Road / Multi-Terrain Race League with the annual running of the Regency 9.9k*. Paddy Roddy taking the win in an impressive 32:31, followed by Daniel Clarke of Godiva in 32:50, in what was the most competitive field in the race for a good number of years. Simkiss is reportedly pleased he stuck to his training plan, and didn’t opt to go pot hunting at the Leamington race.
*we cannot confirm that the course is exactly 9.9km, it could quite possibly be 9.8km**
** It’s been this way for years… so its okay.