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Road running

An early part of today's run was along
Cullens Road which I enjoy so long as
traffic is light.

I'm getting fitter following my heart/lung problems at the end of last year and am continuing to contemplate running the Macleay River Marathon in four weeks time, just to see how I go.  One argument against running is that my legs still need some toughening up if I'm not to disgrace myself.

Although I enjoy running on trail more than road, my experience has been that if you want to race long distances on the road, you need to train over long distances on the road.  It is the hours of repetitive pounding on the road, with every step exactly replicating the preceding step's effect on the musculo-skeletal system, that builds the fitness necessary to cope with a marathon.  After training for long distances on the road, I have always been able to feel the growing strength in my legs, particularly the quadriceps.  Almost suddenly, I will feel stronger, fitter and faster, after a few long road runs.

Ward's Hill is steeper than it looks.

I know I need a couple of long road runs under my belt before tackling a marathon.  For my training today, I ran one of my favourite 21km courses from my home in Copa.  It has some long road stretches, some busy and some quiet, along with a few hills, including one really nasty one around halfway.  I felt good early, maybe the best this year, and was averaging 5 mins/km for the flat sections, but I could feel my legs getting very tired by the time I summited Ward's Hill.  By working harder, I maintained my momentum, but struggled on the last hill with three kilometres to go.

I finished comfortably, but am convinced I need to get in a couple of long road runs in the next two to three weeks if I want to reach an acceptable level of fitness for the marathon.  I haven't entered yet.