Manchester Marathon 2023

I did it! 3:39! Whoops – spoiler there. Anyway, what a perfect race that was. Whereas in Brighton last year I blew up around 30K and had to take walking breaks (still managed to get a respectable 3:53), this time I managed to maintain a consistent pace, trusted the training, trusted the gel strategy, and came away with a massive PB. Didn’t even feel that ruined at the end to be honest.

The plan was 5:10ish pace per km, and a 3:40 goal. Knew with a couple of km to go that it was on and still had enough in the tank to keep pushing. First gel at 45mins in and then every 30mins. I kept an eye on my HR and generally kept it in Z3 and slowed myself down if it was getting a bit high. As a result I completely avoided hitting the wall.

Training was the advanced 12 week plan from the organisers themselves with a few workouts swapped out for some of Ben Parkes’s. Only ran 50-60K a week on average but did plenty of specific training at faster than goal marathon pace (4:50/km) so 5:10 felt very doable. Still ran 80% of my training runs at a super easy pace in Z2 heart rate.

Also: clean clothes/underwear, crocs/sandals, toilet paper and a can of coke in the bag are absolute game-changers ❤️