London Marathon – Week 10 of 10


This is the final week of my build up to London Marathon. I think I can remember off the top of my head how many miles I’ve done for the past 9 weeks:

100, 100, 80, 101, 80, 100, 100, 102, 100

You can go check it for me if you want, but I’m pretty sure I’m right.

Pretty consistent build up. Hamstring injury affected weeks 4 & 5. 3 races missed due to snow, but otherwise, I’ve laid a good foundation before the taper weeks.

I find that I can train at about 90% of maximum pretty consistently. 90% is still really hard, but there is that 10% left incase I have a really hard day at work, or I get a bad night sleep. I can just about absorb 1 off day in a week, any more than that, and training will nose dive.

I have also found I have to watch my weight, in the reverse way. Being a builder, I knock or cut or bash myself at least once every day. I have to work in all weathers, and I need to be strong enough to haul 25kg bags around, or do 8hrs of digging, or whatever the job requires. When I am too skinny, I find that the cuts and bruises hurt more, I feel the cold more, and my overall strength deteriorates. It also means I am more tired after a day of work, and then can’t run so well afterwards.

BUT, with 3 weeks to go until marathon, I have to start transforming from Bentley Builder to Russell Runner. I have to let the weight come off and start getting race sharp. So that is the process I am going through now. Unfortunately for Nina, I can be a tiny weeny little bit short tempered at times, but – you know – I think it’s…cute.

Monday is an entire day of rest. I leave the house once to get some chicken and spend the rest of the day on the sofa with a book (10 Greatest Ships of the British Navy). So of course, Tuesday I wake up feeling like I’ve got a hangover. I have a fell race that evening and I’m really look forward to a good blast out without worrying over times or km splits. It’s going really well up to the top, then absence of any marshal or sign to tell us to turn around means we keep going till we feel like enough’s enough. My descent wins the day. I am young enough to be able to run down a hill in sub 4 minute miling, but old enough to acknowledge what a privilege it is to be running out on the mountains. I really value being able to run at this level, knowing I don’t have much time left flying close to the sun.

This week, 10 of 10, is a bit of a twilight zone for me, in between loading and tapering. I try and do what my body feels like doing, which ends up being shorter, sharper sessions. The last session of the week goes so well I cut it short and leave myself something in the tank for taper town.

In the 3 major marathons of my career, I have come into my taper phase with a hamstring injury (London 2016), calf injury (London 2017) and virus (Berlin 2017). But I still love tapering. I love getting home to see my kids in the evenings, love kicking back on the sofa, and love running shorter and faster.

Non-running related highlight of the week

Driving through Snowdonia on Sunday afternoon, listening to my favourite tunes, kids in the back, appreciating the incredible scenery and the sun.

Best thing on the internet this week:

I heard this song a year ago, when it was just a simple man and guitar demo, and it sounded great then. With full band, recording studio and backing vocals, it is even better now…

Link here

Thing I’m digging this week:

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

gold coast.jpg

2/4/2018 AM PM
 1st total rest day (i.e. no work and no training) for about 3 months. Love it
Tuesday REST Aber Fell Race – 1st. 6 miles total
feel awful AM, after 4 days off work it comes as a shock. Race goes brill
Wednesday REST 5x600m in 1.46 (2min rest). 10 miles total
tired AM. Raining and windy at track, 1st rep slow, gets easier as I go
Thursday REST 5 @ 5.45 miling
 weird day. Legs aching from race, don’t want to run 10 miles, so do 5 quick instead
Friday REST 5 @ 5.55 miling
 pretty much same as yest. Body just wants to go quicker, so roll with it
Saturday 11tm 3tm
Bad night sleep, El crying & I have toothache. Raining in the morning, drive to Bangor to do parkrun, not feelin it! Easy run on tm instead
Sunday 7x1km in 3min (3 min rest). 10 miles total
 session goes great, feels so easy, light, smooth. Sposed to do 10 tempo after, but scared I will cash in rather than invest
TOTAL: 50 miles tm = treadmill




6 thoughts on “London Marathon – Week 10 of 10

  1. ‘Bentley Builder to Russell Runner’ it’s all rock-‘n’-roll building that runner and whatevers his name, it’s going to be some show to follow come the 22nd!


  2. Love your blogs, Russell. I too am a builder, but I’m not young enough for those hair raising descents! I’m well into my 50s now and training for Ultra’s – sometimes work just takes too much out of me and I miss sessions, but it’s great to know even you guys at the sharp end are lugging those 6″ blocks around!
    Rooting for you


  3. Congratulations Dear Russell Welcome to membership of the fortunate club that experience the fascination of Snowdonia while they are young and energetic enough to cope with its demands. And congratulations on the determination with which you have got that smashed knee back into service. Warmest good wishes to yourself, Nina and the young who are of the same generation as the one-year-old Camilla for whom I am now the only greatgrandparent. Martin.

    Sent: 09 April 2018 20:49 To: Subject: [New post] Lond on Marathon – Week 10 of 10

    Russell Bentley posted: ” This is the final week of my build up to London Marathon. I think I can remember off the top of my head how many miles I’ve done for the past 9 weeks: 100, 100, 80, 101, 80, 100, 100, 102, 100 You can go check it for me if you want, but I’m pretty sure “


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