I have just completed my first week of marathon training. It started off as a fairly gentle week, which is lucky, especially after all the Christmas cake I have consumed. 13 miles in total and mostly going at a ‘slow’ or ‘steady’ pace. My confidence has been a little low but it is just a hurdle I need to get over.
Firstly, before I go into the details of my run this week I want to highlight what a great community the running one is. Post-Christmas, I have felt pretty low with my running and it is amazing how a few words from other runners can really lift your spirits.
It isn’t always easy to find local people to support your running hobby; as much as your family love you, sometimes they just don’t want to know about the state of your bum muscles. As we are always digitally connected, using social media is a great way to ask for advise, moan or revel in your victory online. You never know, you might even bump into a fellow twitterer* at a future race.
These people feel your pain and joy and will happily talk to you about things like chafing, sore nipples, energy bars and that sort of thing.
On to this weeks running… (the less exciting part)
Monday 5th Jan
3 miles at 11 minute mile pace. This felt okay but my legs were very stiff from yesterday (a warm up 6 miler on the trails), not feeling that confident but a lot better than I felt yesterday. Also, I was useless at running 11 minute miles. I ran about 9:30 min miles.
Dan says it will take a couple of weeks for the training to catch-up for me to feel normal again. It was hot and sweaty tonight, I shall not be putting the skins back on until its snowing!
Tuesday 6th Jan
6 miles at 11 minute mile pace. What a fantastic run! What a difference a day makes eh? I managed to slow down this time, my watch was a bit squiffy again (don’t know why – its new, shiny and expensive) but I think the pace was more 9:40/10:00 minute miles. It was a pace where I could take in the scenery and what a beautiful night it was. I don’t tend to have a habit of getting deep and reflective but the sky was clear, the stars were out and the moon was lighting the way. I felt like I could spend all night out there.
Maybe my running mojo is making its return?
Thursday 8th Jan
2 miles. 11 min mile pace. Felt quite tough tonight, we ran much later than normal and the thought of dinner was quite prevalent. Our local area has a ‘residents running club’. It is just a few people that fancy a bit of company when out running. There is a small, 3 mile loop that they have marked out so I did this today. I ran with someone new and we managed 3 miles in 30 minutes, so getting a bit closer to the pace!
Saturday 10th Jan
2 miles at a steady pace. With the weekend looming, it seemed a good idea to take part in Park Run for this training session. A little over the 2 miles required but it was good to turn up to an event like this without feeling competitive. As the weather was terrible – rain and wind – it made a challenging session. Being soaked through before you have even started isn’t the best feeling. I was completely covered in mud by the end. It felt tough again, I’m sure the weather wasn’t helping. Completed in half an hour; pretty much spot on for pace this time.
Sunday 11th Jan
Today was marked as my rest day *but* I realised that I have Hell Runner next Saturday so I’ve shifted one of next weeks session forward. The aim of todays session was 4 miles at 11 minute miles. Bah, I made a terrible effort of this pace again! I started the first mile with Dan (mistake) and then decided to go find some muddy trails, for practice. I found getting the pace correct quite difficult in this session. I think it was down to running too fast initially, then having a very different terrain – mud, branches, gates etc. It made it hard to get into to a rhythm.
The first week is over and I managed to stick to the plan, even if all of the runs didn’t feel fantastic. A total of 19.5 miles this week, which was 6 more than intended.
Key learnings this week:
- It feels super tough after Christmas.
- Don’t beat yourself up because it feels hard, training will take a bit of time to catch up.
- Not drinking alcohol makes a big difference to energy levels, they feel more regulated.
- Surround yourself with lots of positive people that run.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Eat more (healthy stuff) as you train more. Don’t get hungry.
- Roller, roller, roller!
*twitterer = one that tweets!