The Virgin London Marathon – 20th of April by David Fabrega

Hi everyone! Eventually the big day arrived and I am pleased to tell you that I ran the VLM in 3h 39m 49s, which is in line with my initial goal of any time between 3h30m and 3h45m!! The days in London and the atmosphere during the race was absolutely awesome!! Let me explain a bit more in detail  :-)

Previous days:

On Friday 11th I finished work at 4pm and Anna and I took the train down to London! We were very excited because it was the start of our 10-day break!!! Obviously it was a bit more special for me because I was going to run my first London Marathon. We arrived at 7pm in London and went straight to the hotel which was located on the South Bank between Blackfriars Bridge & Southwark Bridge. On Saturday we went early in the morning to collect the running number at the VLM EXPO in the ExCel Exhibition Centre. The EXPO was very big and there were lots of stands with all the main running brands exhibiting their clothes and other running equipment. After this, I went back to the hotel and I spent the rest of the day chilling out in the hotel reading a book and relaxing as much as I could. Also I checked everything (clothes, race number, gels and drinks …) that I would use during the marathon.

Race day:

The day had arrived!! All the training of the last few months made sense now! It was time to put my trainers on and go for a run! I had woken up very early in the morning (about 6am, unable to sleep anymore…) and I had had a proper breakfast at the hotel. There were some other people who were going to run the marathon as well, so I wasn’t the only one having a power breakfast that morning. At 8pm I left the hotel for the marathon starting point at Greenwich Park. I arrived there about 9am and I left my bag in the race truck and started to warm up and do some stretches before the race started. My plan for the race was very simple, just try to keep the pace rate which I had been training during the last few months and enjoy the day and the running as much as possible!! I knew that I tended to make the mistake of running too fast at the beginning and then having to pay the price for it later and I didn’t want to run out steam at the end of the race, so I concentrated on keeping the pace rate at the beginning and not trying to go faster than planned.

Starting Point at Greenwich Park

 Starting point at Greenwich Park

Crossing Tower Bridge – close to half way point

Crossing Tower Bridge - close to half way point

Last mile and lovely views towards Westminster

Last mile and lovely views towards Westminster

 

I ran at the planned pace rate of 8min per mile for about the first 16 miles and after that point I slowed down and ran the last 10 miles at 9min per mile (on average). I have to say that I felt fine until the 23rd mile but after that my legs started to feel a bit sore and I started to feel a bit of pain in my left knee, bur fortunately I was far enough along that I could finish the marathon without problem.

After crossing the finish line:

After crossing the finish line

Splits:

Split

Time

min/Km

min/mile

5k

00:24:51

04:59

08:01

10k

00:49:22

04:55

07:54

15k

01:14:09

04:58

07:59

20k

01:39:24

05:04

08:09

Half

01:44:53

05:00

08:02

25k

02:04:35

05:03

08:07

30k

02:30:21

05:10

08:18

35k

02:57:27

05:26

08:44

40k

03:26:49

05:53

09:28

Finish Time

03:39:49

05:56

09:32

 

I really appreciated the support and encouragement of my girlfriend Anna and her family (Josep, Assumpta and Roser) which certainly helped me reach my goal in the VLM. Also I would like to thank the Thirsk Sowerby Harriers for giving me this opportunity to run the VLM and for their support in the training sessions!!

Back to the training plan, I have accomplished all the planned training but it is not finished yet. Now is the time to start the recovery phase which consists of a two-week period where I will take plenty of rest and I will try short comfortable runs to ease myself back into running. After this phase, I will be ready for the next challenge!!!

This is my last blog post about the London Marathon preparation, I hope that you enjoyed reading it and maybe I have encouraged someone to run it next year so start training and go for it!!!!

Thanks for reading and see you soon at the training sessions!

David