With the Brighton Marathon now just over 3 months away (cue absolute panic), I thought I’d start a weekly update on my training progress. I didn’t begin during week one because I was far too busy enjoying my Christmas break(!), but here we are at the close of week two.
Most blogs/tips I’ve read about marathon training have suggested getting yourself to a comfortable 10km before you start the training programme. I got myself ahead of the game with a 10 mile race (would have been half but you may recall that it got cancelled!)… Regardless, I feel pretty ready to kick start the training and prove that I’m capable of running 26.2 miles!
The general idea is to run 3 times a week, with long runs taking place at the weekend. So here’s a quick summary of my runs and cross-training, how they’ve gone and how I’m feeling about the end goal.
Thursday 5km – At the Beach
My first run of 2018 was pushed back by a few days, because the weather wasn’t on my side and, to be totally honest, I just wasn’t feeling it.
I woke up on Thursday with a new determination, having spent Wednesday evening looking through a stack of my mum’s old Runner’s World magazines. I want to be stronger and fitter than ever by the end of this year – I’ve set myself up to be, now I just need to follow through.
There’s a beach near to my parent’s, which is absolutely one of my favourite places to be. It was less pleasant on a wet and windy morning, but I knew I had to squeeze at least one run in before the weekend.
I started off pretty slow, deciding to take a really easy pace. The route was 2.5km right along the beach, so I decided to run that twice. I’ve got Strava distance markers switched on, so when I first heard the voice in my ears telling me that I was running at a good pace I was pleasantly surprised. I avoided the temptation to pick up speed and kept on.
Eventually I had to turn back and run the way I’d just come (the road ran out!). This is when the wind and rain was not in my favour. It was a struggle to catch a breath and made for my slowest part of the run. Once I was back in a more favourable direction, I realised I was running much faster since fighting the wind, which was setting me up for a decent speed and perhaps even a PB.
Unfortunately I didn’t quite make a personal best, but I ran my fastest mile and it felt good (apart from dropping my phone and chipping it – not so fun!).
When I got back from my run I did a bit of a workout with my new dumbbells – about 10 minutes of exercises I pulled out of a copy of Runner’s World.
I also nipped to Sports Direct later on to get myself a running belt (need to start wearing it on my longer runs!) and a skipping rope for cross-training days.
Saturday 5km – A new Personal Best
I started off feeling a little unmotivated to run on Saturday, but decided to get another 5km out of the way. I’ve been listening to an audiobook and it’s almost finished so that kept me pretty distracted most of the way.
Like Thursday, I started out with a slow conversation pace, but after the first kilometre I again discovered that I was running even faster than before. (I think the hills back in Suffolk did me a world of good over Christmas, the runs are feeling easier and easier). Each kilometre was about the same or faster than the previous and I quickly realised I was a fair amount ahead of my usual time.
It felt really, really good. No struggles and a solid finish with a new personal best really lifted my spirits. It was one of those runs that you kind of wish you’d kept out on, because it felt so amazing.
After some stretches and a love-hate session with my foam roller, I did a 10 minute dumbbell workout, squats and a skipping workout too.
Sunday 7 Miles – Tough, but another new PB!
It seems like this week has been a good one for breaking into new PB territory. Each of my long runs feel a certain amount of pressure now, as I know they’re all leading to the big one. Nevertheless, I told myself that time doesn’t matter for those long runs, it’s all about covering the distance.
Annoyingly, I realised I’d forgotten my water bottle less than a kilometre in, but I didn’t want to turn around for fear of not actually leaving the house again so I pushed on without it. It wasn’t as fast as Saturday’s run but as it was longer, I kept the pace down. I finished my audiobook and switched to music about 3km into the run. I find that music definitely screws with my pace more than audiobooks do!
My feet slipped on ice a couple of times but luckily nothing bad enough to send me flying. When I got to 5km (running past my house), I fought temptation to call it quits. I’m glad I did, despite it definitely feeling tougher the second time around.
I was happy that I hadn’t stopped to walk yet either, which I’m sure is the main factor in a new 10km personal best.
The final 1.2km felt the toughest, I was longing for the end of the run and for a glass of water. I’m feeling good for having done it though and I know that it’ll all be worth it in 3 months’ time!