Marathon Diaries – A1


Well the first full week of marathon training is done! It felt a little strange to kick things off again. When I decided to run my first marathon I had a really slow build up. I knew I was running it about 4 months before my training had to start. I kept fit and active and felt pretty strong before training kicked off. This time round I feel like I’ve done the opposite; whether it be injury or tiredness or just the short 2ish months between completing one and starting on the road to another, I’ve just felt a little underprepared.

The craziness continues, and I convince myself once again that it must be an impossibility that I could ever run that far again, questioning if I’m actually capable of doing any of this? I’m totally aware this makes no sense, as I now have actually run a marathon, and should therefore know it is no longer an impossible pipe dream.

I hit a full week of training, hard, and I’m glad to report I’m starting to feel that little buzz of excitement growing! It was by no way a perfect week, but it feels great to have ticked off all the boxes on the training plan! There is nothing like a gold star for effort to kick you in to gear!

Monday – Personal Training. Now I know PT is a luxury, but it’s something that I really love. So whilst I’m on temporary promotion it’s a luxury I’ve gifted myself. I work harder in that hour than I could ever do if I was at the gym, or in a class. I love that for one session a week I can switch of my brain and allow someone else to do the planning/thinking. We did a whole lot of stuff, some sprint work, quick feet on the ladder (my nemesis), and a lot of upper body and core. My coordination and rhythm are appalling, and so whenever I mess up (quite often), I get given a push up for punishment. I was so excited that I managed to complete all my punishment push ups as full proper push ups! One clear way I can tell I’m getting stronger.

Tuesday – 6.5 miles off road. It was raining pretty hard, the type of rain that makes you stop and think should I really leave the house? Not ideal conditions, but was probably one of the best runs I’ve had in a while. I love running off-road and am lucky enough to live near some of the best country side spots. Running in bad weather gives you some sort of magical feeling that you’re the only one, or at least part of an elite club, in the world crazy enough to be out in that wildness. I also love my running club, I always feel better after we go out and run together. It’s light hearted, no one takes it too seriously, we’re all heading towards different goals, and yet we all support each other for where we are now. It’s such a friendly and fun atmosphere, that I almost forget I feel like death running up some of the hills!

Wednesday – Intervals and Strength. I didn’t have a huge amount of time so got to the gym early and did 30 minutes of strength work with the kettle bells. Followed by intervals on the dreadmill! I hate the treadmill, but actually the gym was pretty empty, which meant I got the treadmill with a view out to the ocean! I managed 6x400m intervals with 60 seconds of recovery in between .

Thursday – Hill Repeats. I’m training for Amsterdam with a friend of mine, which is such a nice change. We’re mixing in Hill Repeats and some Tempo work to try and secure a good finish time on the day! 5 Miles with a 2.5 mile section focussed purely on running hard up a steep hill over and over again, was it fun? Absolutely! Even those runs that make you feel like you’re going to throw up are fun with the right side kick.

Friday – Rest/Yoga. I was going to go to run club in the morning but my body opted for an extra 30 minutes in bed. In the evening I spent an hour in yoga focussing on back bends, ending in full wheel, and getting some much needed time upside down.

Saturday – Park Run. I love park run for many reasons, but in general it’s just a great start to my Saturday. Sundays are my long run days so park run for me needs to be a bit of a shakeout, easy effort run. I struggle with this, and on Saturday I felt really strong so just went for it. I was pretty certain I’d smashed it out of the park. I had a shoe lace incident and had to make the decision to endanger myself and run untied or to stop and tie the laces. I opted to tie the laces. I still thought I smashed it. I didn’t! I was 7 seconds off my PB, and was all grumpy about it, which was totally ridiculous. I had to remind myself of the bigger picture and that I still had an 8 Miler to finish off the week. We all have our own goals and targets and this just was one of those when I felt I had more to give.

Sunday – Long Run. 8 miles at an easy pace. I slept really badly the night before, I’d had a stressful weekend and it showed in my running. I felt lacklustre and slow, my legs felt heavy and I wasn’t sure I would even be able to manage 8 miles. The sun was out though and I was running with my friend who was running really well, which as always kept me going. I stopped pretty early on to stretch out my muscles, everything felt tight. I kept on pushing through and made it to the end. It wasn’t the best run, or the best time, but it was miles in the bank.

People always say to me oh a 5k or a 10k must be so easy for you now! The truth is every run is completely unique. Sure 8 miles at an easy pace should on paper be fine, but the reality can be the complete opposite.

A week of highs and lows, and retraining my body and mind to the process that is marathon training; reminding myself it’s so much more than just getting out and running a few times a week. Total weekly mileage came in at 27 miles.

Setting the reset button to kick it all off again this week…

Bring it on!

c-x

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