Marathon Diaries: Sub4 Edition, Week 1

Week one of official training for Brighton kicked off. It’s a little odd training for a marathon in 3 months when I’ve got one in 3 weeks; but Brighton is my A race, the main event! The rest are just for ‘fun’ and the finish, for now.

My rest day always! Rest is super important especially for me as I have a few recurring niggles that I need to keep in check. It’s strangely still one of the hardest things I have to do each week and I get super envious of everyone else’s running antics on social media. Stretching, Rolling and generally drinking all the coffee! Oh and going to Ikea to buy all the furniture and then making it at home, that’s rest right?

5.5 miles of off-road, steady climbs and fast downhills are just dreamy. I love Tuesday Run Club for this very reason I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing but we chat and laugh and at the end of it I’m happy and muddy, this week I was very muddy. It was pretty slippy up there on the South Downs 😉 Elev: 550ft, 2 and a bit miles up, 2 and a bit miles down and some time frolicking at the top. Not setting the world alight with my trail running times, but running on the hills consistently helps my running on the flat.

I’ve been getting frustrated at my lack of speed for some time now. I have to constantly remind myself it’s a work in progress and to look back to where I was a year ago rather than where I was last week, or yesterday. No surprise really that PT is incorporating much more running. We kicked off with 10x200m and 30 seconds rest. It just about killed me, and then I still had 45 minutes of legs and core work to contend with. If you’re looking for some help with your spring (or anytime) Marathon training then I can highly recommend Kevin who offers everything from personalised training plans, nutritional advice, Strength & Conditioning plans and all the support you could need in making it through 26.2.

In the evening I had a great massage with Muscle Point Therapy where we worked out some of my hamstring tightness, ITB/TFL issues and generally just making sure my legs felt tip top again. Maggie is great at what she does and our sessions go super quickly as we put the world to rights!

I was supposed to run in the morning, I didn’t. I was supposed to then run in the evening, I didn’t… I had a friend’s birthday and decided instead to eat Mexican food and play glow in the dark crazy golf. I blame the killer PT session, it obviously couldn’t have been my fault!

I missed out on early miles (sorry Shelley) but instead took an afternoon stab at 5 tempo miles. I came in on average 7:59 which would allow me once again to hit that sub 50 10k pace! I felt good and strong and each mile was quicker than the last. Plus an added bonus of seeing the sunset and dodging the rain!

Evening Yoga session with Sarah Vardy and my first yoga session since before christmas. I could tell I had been away for so long, but it felt really good to get back into the flow of things. Part of my new year’s plan is to get to at least one of Sarah’s classes each week! It really is the perfect accompaniment to running!

Worthing Park Run. I haven’t PB’d since September! Ok I’ve run 2 marathons in that time and have been focusing more on distance and subsequent recovery than speed, but still! I’ve been working so hard and have felt so frustrated with my time over shorter distances. My stamina for running at a faster pace has been all but non-existent. Safe to say when I crossed the line with a PB on Saturday I was over the moon. It was only a handful of seconds off, but I’ve been nowhere close to it in months and it felt delightful!

Long slow run, except it wasn’t that slow. I wasn’t sure what I was going to have time for distance wise, but I knew I really needed to fit in something longer than 15 miles before attempting the muddy mayhem that is Dark Star Marathon (28 miles) in a few weeks. I was meant to leave the house earlier than I did, I forgot to eat my breakfast at the right time and then quickly engulfed it and ran a little sooner than I would have liked. I ran out west to pick up Martine, who joined me along the seafront for a few early miles as the sun came up. I was rather stop starty to say the least! To take pictures, use the ladies and sort out my camelbak; it just really didn’t feel like it was going to be my day. Martine headed home and I continued east and started to settle down in to it. My pace was strong, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised time and time again how my natural speed, the speed you run at when you’re just in the zone and not paying any attention, is improving over longer distances. There were so many runners out, it’s funny how as the New Year hits those Sunday mornings get so much busier on the prom!

By the time I got to my turning point I was feeling pretty happy, and fresh in the legs. I got back near home and my extended route which should have been bang on 18 was in fact much less so I begrudgingly ran around the block a few times.

Bearing in mind the start had been so shaky I’d managed to run 11 of the 18 miles at marathon pace without even thinking. I guess it just goes to show that if you keep on moving forward you might just surprise yourself.

But yes I started off by saying I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to run due to the time I had… That’s because I had to go pick up the newest member of the family and my soon to be running compadre, Cohen! I eased out my sore muscles with a walk on the downs and some snuggles on the sofa watching hunger games! Don’t let this cute face fool ya, he’s a little monster, but we love him!


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