A fortnight ago I did the same distance (32k) in 3:15 so this was close to a 17 mins improvement.
It was not easy and my body is in pain right now. Towards the end, I had to grit my teeth and grunt in exertion. I just wanted to push myself and give everything. As I do nowadays for recovery, I will walk home today. I did not suffer a headache after the run so I believe I have sorted my hydration problem. The solution is to wear no more jackets irrespective of how cold the morning is - just wear a singlet and go hard. I mean, this is tropical Africa near the equator, not freaking European winter.
My aim ultimately (by July) is to do 32K at about 2:30 (4:45 mins per Km for 32Kms). By that time, a 1:30 21k should be doable because I should be having very strong and fast legs by then.
I have learnt several things in the last four weeks which I just want to go through.
- Last year, running several miles meant I often went to my runs less than 100% recovered and so I was never able to run hard enough to hit all the cylinders. That is why I got my ass kicked @ Stanchart Marathon: I was strong but slow. This year, I will be running less weekly mileage but every run will be a quality run. The only good thing is that running those several miles gave me strong legs to enable me run 32K w/o going through a slow buildup to that distance.
- Running long is best for Sunday when there is less vehicular and human traffic. Yesterdays run was fun. It was the first Sunday run I have done in a while.
- I will use the two shorter weekday runs for strength, flexibility by incorporating heel-toe walks for my calves and shins, lunges for my knees and quads, One-legged squats for quads and balance, Jump squats, Hip rotation and ITBL stretch squats. And speed runs. Then on Sundays I go all out.
- Believe that during rest is when you improve. Rest completely. Recover then train hard again. Repeat.
- Dont wear a jacket during the morning run especially if you will be running for more than two hours. You will be overdressed and will get excessively dehydrated especially if the Sun comes out early.
- Strengthen your muscles through variety and excercises that target muscle groups.
- It is true that you can't lose endurance fitness in 14 days especially if you are doing other exercises - so I will probably be doing my 32K run every 14 days.
- Warm up or start at moderate pace.
My average pace was 5:32 min/km if I improve my average pace by 15 seconds i.e. 5:17, that will take me to sub 2:50. I can see my main battle starts from 19K (at which point my average was 5:05 min/km) so 19K is when I need to ensure I am IN the fight, and not doing any autopilot business. Every Km must count and I must strive to stay sub 5:25 and also strive not to deteriorate so badly on the hill at 26, 27, 28,29 and 30th Km (where I returned 6:24, 6:25,6:45, 7:54 [yes, legs completely fucked up] and 7:05) - that is a 34:23 5K!
So, barring any injury, this Sunday I will do hills in preparation for my next shot at 32K.