With the London Marathon fast approaching, and a fast finish at the Brighton Marathon under his belt, we wanted to check in with Ruben Carvajal, one of the lucky winners of the club’s London Marathon place draw, held annually at the Christmas Party. Ruben was one of two lucky winners in the draw.
Q. How is your training going?
It’s going great! After the Country to Capital Ultra in January and 2 weeks recovery, I followed a self-training plan leading up to the recent Brighton Marathon where I surprised myself with the good outcome. I’m going more by feel in these few weeks prior to London with less focus on volume and more on speed and strength.
Q. Are you following a plan?
Yes, I wrote down a training plan focused on volume with relatively low effort where I would peak over 100k for a few weeks and then taper. I reduced the planned volume from week 8 due to accumulated tiredness and some shorter races where I needed speed and being recovered. Instead of a taper it was more of a sheer drop in mileage which really helped with my recovery. In these recent weeks I’ve put more focus on shorter distances and increased speed, including pushing really hard during the track sessions.
Q. Any surprises along the way?
I was surprised to notice a significant increase in my fitness after returning from a visit to Spain where I had the chance to run/hike some good hills in the countryside. Shortly afterwards I took part in the Middlesex indoor 1500m where I managed to get a sub 5 min PB. Giving myself time to fully recover allowed me to be fresh for the race.
Q. What has been your favourite run during training?
To be honest, the thing I found most useful was failing and making mistakes in some of my training runs, whether it be pace, fueling/hydration, running gear or amount of rest. On my peak distance week my body was very tired and I had to split a long run I did to Lee Valley and back in to two parts. Despite having a slow pace, the run felt really difficult and I had to stop and walk at times. At this point I realised I had reached my accumulated effort peak and needed proper recovery. After dropping the mileage significantly in the following days, I ended up performing well in the 1500m indoor and also got my first sub 20 Gladstone Parkrun.
Q. Are you ready for London?
I feel ready for London indeed and I think the support from the crowd and energy from fellow runners will be a huge motivator throughout the course. I have, however, set the bar higher than anticipated with a fast finish of 3:21:53 at Brighton. I’ll keep up the training and recovery in these last few weeks so I can perform as best as possible on the day. I might have slightly underestimated how much fuel was needed on course at Brighton so will make a few adjustments for London.
Q. How long have you been a member of QPH?
For around a year now. I joined shortly after Philip Voke kindly mentioned about the club during a Gladstone Parkrun warmup. The decision to join QPH has made such a positive difference in my life! A big thank you to all the coaches and all who have been so kind and added to my motivation during training and in races.
Q. Was it a surprise to get the QPH entry into the marathon?
This was a very pleasant surprise! I had initially signed up for Brighton Marathon and this raised the bar for me in terms of being more dedicated to training properly and setting weekly distance goals.