When a run isn’t going as planned do you either:

Pull it, slow the pace or make a tactical decision and do something radical that will either make or break the run? Recently during a marathon paced 11 mile run I chose the latter.

By 4 miles I was over a minute off the required pace due to no other reason than general psychological and physical fatigue of higher mileage training. Tactically I altered the course and for the next mile decided to take in a long hill descent to the next village. This would assist me to get my leg turnover quicker and it worked, 10 secs inside marathon pace. After that game on …

Came back up the hill with arms pumping for all their might and only 10 seconds over time. Then two miles of slight decline and now hitting 10 mile speed.

After that gritted my teeth and dug in against torrential rain, roads swimming under my feet and a strong wind.

Job done – damage limited and finished +4 secs a mile over the norm which is a 6 min mile, well within marathon range

The learning? Don’t give in even when everything looks lost. Read the roads and the weather conditions and think in advance how to run those sections. Learn to run tactically and with a little luck your opponent won’t