Monday, 26 April 2010


Running round the closed roads of the most famous capitol city in the world, with the most enthusiastic loudest crowd ever, you feel like you are the center of the worlds biggest carnival! It's an incredibly uplifting experience. DOES IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS ?
I travelled down to London on Friday with friends and team mates Joanne, Paul, Simon and my wife Niz, this meant we could pick our numbers up at the Expo straight away once reaching London and have Saturday to relax!

The BBC were giving warnings of super high temps for race
day, I took this with a pinch of salt, it seems the media these days are looking for shook horror stories or try to make everything more dramatic than it really is! My own weather source had predicted rain since last Wed. Saturday dawned bright and sunny with nice fresh air and lots of oxygen, A great day for racing or a sight seeing and shopping trip as Niz took me round Chinatown, Covent garden and Trafalgar square.
Before the shopping trip Simon, Paul and myself went for an easy jog round Regents park for 20 mins.

Sunday dawned cloudy and humid with the threat of rain mid morning, temps were said to by 16 C, not to bad but the humid air might
prove to be a problem! After a walk to the train station we boarded the train to the start, the others were on different starts to me so we wished each other good luck and I made my way to the 'good for age red' start. I met team mate Peter Roome in the enclosure and we talked for a while. Peter collapsed at the finish of last years race with heat stroke so he was happy when the rain started to come down! Just before the start the rain stopped leaving a damp humid atmosphere behind!
I got a good start, just 10 sec to get over the line, 'my race was on'.
I was planning negative splits, something I have never managed in the past! Try
ing to run exact split times for each mile proved very hard and in fact impossible for me, the course is not flat, granted no big hills but there are constant rises and falls for the whole route. Mile one 6.27 mile two 6.21, mile three 6.11, mile 4/ 6.12, mile 5/ 6.15 I needed to slow down a bit, but as i did my legs felt heavy, my rhythm felt wrong! This felt bad! 6/ 6.39, 7/ 6.28, 8/6.23 9/6.28 I hit 10 miles in 1.03.10 just ahead of the plan, now I had to speed up to 6.19 pace.
As I ran faster I felt better, now instead of runners passing me in a constant stream I started passing runner after runner, 10 mile 6.17, 11/ 6.15 12/ 6.15, 13/ 6.21, 14/6.18, 15 and 16 miles 12.39, 17/ 6.24, 18/ 6.15, 19/ 6.26, 20 miles 2.07 about 15 sec slower than target pace, now I was meant to run at 6.15 pace until the end! From the st
art it felt like I was running into a headwind, confirmed by Simon, yet when we turned around it was still there nagging away at my energy, in truth it was just the thick humid air that was difficult to push through, increasing air resistance!
I reached 20 miles without hitting the wall, infact I was in the fast lane taking out runner after runner all the way from 10 miles, now I was focusing in on each runner in front of me and passing them at speed, I remember only one runner passing me in the last 6 miles. Runners dramatically slowed or stopped right in front of me but I charged right through, my legs felt a bit weird the whole race but I was strong for sure, but not strong enough for 6.15 pace! 20 miles 6.18, 21/ 6.37, 22/ 6.39, 23/ 6.27, 24/ 6.17, 25/ 6.46. 26.2/ 7.55, Total 2.47
That was my strongest ever finish. I took out shed loads of runners in the second half [ this felt ' AWESOME'].
If only I'd run 2.46 I'd have been mega happy, I knew to run 2.45 I needed to be feeling fantastic and the weather conditions had to be spot on for me too ! Even so a new all time P.B. after a 17 year running career and at the age of 49 this is pretty 'FANTASTIC' I think you will agree?
I now believe if I stick to Marius's plan I can still improve for some time to come, I know I've badly over trained in the passed and the proof of his training are my two P.B.s so far this year. Thanks Marius :]
On a final note I tried the new breathing method but found it impossible to concentrate on my pace and the breathing at the same time, so gave up on it after a few miles, I'll work on that in training in the future.
3 min 39 sec faster than last year!

1 min 18 sec faster than my old P.B. set 7 years ago when I was only 42!
1/ carb loading on saturday :]
2/ wearing white and green, at 22 miles
3/ Club photo after finishing in style :]
Year Age Actual Time Age Adjusted

1999 38 2:49:53 2:49:25
2000 39 2:56:15 2:54:33
2002 41 2:54:53 2:50:47
2003 42 2:48:52 2:43:43
2004 43 2:52:34 2:46:06
2009 48 2:51:15 2:38:48
2010 49 2.47.34 2.34.11

Mon 26th
Recovery run, felt quite good apart from slightly tight calf muscles = 15 mins
One conclusion from my run today and looking at my race photo's is i think i was running with my pelvis pushed back [as in sitting down], this is a bad habit of mine and noticed myself doing this on some of my tempo runs, the result is loss of power and a general feeling of weakness in my legs, pushing my pelvis forwards increases my momentum and increases the power in my legs.
25 April 2010: Old timers lead the way at London Marathon


Scott Keeps Running said...

I love your carb loading choice. :)

Nice action shot. I trust the shoes performed as you hoped.


Yes Scott, shoes good, no blisters or much in the way of muscle pains etc, saddly the rain added quite a bit of weight to them.

Richard said...


Congratulations on a race well run and the result you deserve for your training and commitment.


Thomas said...

Congratulations on the PR, old man. You give hope to all us other geezers still hoping to better our times.

David Tiefenthaler said...

Rick! Congrats. I'd love to interview you for my running website - about your marathon training over the past 10 years. I've followed your journey towards the 2010 London Marathon. Congrats on PR's in the 1/2 and in the marathon. Impressive!


David you can contact my here

Mark said...

FANTASTIC! That is really nice to see you getting your PR! Made my day.


thanks guys

Ewen said...

I'm not arguing with you Rick! Fantastic race to set an all-time PB at 49. The humidity would have sucked it out of you. At least a couple of minutes quicker on a cool/still day. Nice message from Marius too!

How did the shoes go? Oh yes, I tried that breathing method, but just couldn't do the 4 in. Maybe I'm too slow.


Yes the shoes felt good Ewen,
I felt maybe in the half marathon I was getting more onto my forefoot and the shoes felt faster, in the marathon I was more midfoot and did'nt feel the same bounce or return of energy.
Yeah the breathing is not easy to do, I need more time to work on it!
cheers Rick

by7 said...

i arrive a bit late...
but my warmest congratulations.
it is a huge pay off for all your smart training !!
now you really found the right way to train and next time you can crush the 2h45' barrier !!


Cheers BY7

canute1 said...


Congratulations on a great run.

For some peculiar reason when I try to open your homepage, my web browser deflects me back to you entry before VLM. I had looked up your result on the VLM site last Sunday, so I was especially frustrated that I could not get to this page. I eventually got here via Thomas’ blog. So sorry to be so late, but I echo all the positive comments from others.

I agree that the main reason your are running PB’s at 49 is that you have engaged in thorough search for the training plan, running style and ancillaries (such as shoes) that suit you, and having found what works, you have had the confidence and determination to persevere with it.

One question: what has happened to your maximum heart rate over the years?

I look forward to hearing of your continued exploits, and in particular, look forward to your sub 2:45 marathon.

Best wishes

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