Nearing the end of the third out of four cycles for the Threshold phase. This has been my most difficult bout of training in a very long time. To be honest I am struggling a fair bit to get through it. Almost every day I am participating in some big battles with my mind. It keeps presenting me with many good reasons to cut short, or ease up on most runs. The training feels almost like a relentless onslaught at the moment.

Confidence in my ability to PB at the marathon is also running low. There have been plenty of runs I have struggled heavily to reach the paces or get the right feel. There have even been a few down right failures of sessions. This is what happens when you set the bar high and push to go above anything previously. At this stage it is hard to know if it is going to break me down too much, or will significantly raise my fitness once I get in a bit of recovery.

Why is it so hard?

The style of training load involves hitting moderate running paces, but holding them for extended periods. The legs don't get feel the intense pain and DOMS that comes from faster single sessions. Without much real recovery in between, just one or two shorter, but hopefully steady runs thrown in, the next key run starts with some accumulated fatigue. The result is a more central fatigue, and deep, heavy feeling in the legs.

Ironically the main attribute I aim to improve is also the one that will limit the key training. The ability to run fast at just below threshold. The endurance component is where I am failing most of the time. The speeds are coming up, and usually the first part feels overly comfortable. The latter portion of most runs is becoming a big struggle. At times, it feels almost counter productive for a marathon.

Where to?

I will stick out the remainder of the Threshold training. It was meant to be big a load, even if it is more challenging than I anticipated. In the recovery week, I will do my test runs and reassess how it is all going. Then it is four cycles of Specific training prior to the taper. That should be plenty of time to modify what I need to. The style of loading will be different. Less of a constant, almost daily attack on the body. Instead it will involve some very hard individual runs with adequate recovery in between. Will it work? Right now I'm not sure.


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