Call me crazy, but I really enjoy marathon training. I enjoy the routine, the discipline. I really missed that routine this time last year when I wasn’t marathon training. I actually rather like having a plan to follow and a goal to work towards. During tougher moments on my training runs I remember what I’m aiming towards to spur me on and during tough times at work I know I’ll have some kind of training to do that night to give me something to look forward to. Ticking off the sessions on my plan makes the weeks go by really quickly and even the sessions I dread make me feel uplifted and energised. Yes, I enjoy marathon training, which is good as I’ll be marathon training for most of this year!
This year, my workload at school is quite demanding so Steve has written me a plan which fits in with that whilst maximising the training that I do. At present my plan has me going to Metafit on Mondays and Fridays (a half hour class), running a short distance on Tuesdays and Thursdays (roughly 4 miles), having an easy run on a Saturday (30-40 minutes) and my long run on a Sunday as is traditional. Wednesday is my rest day as I have my orchestra rehearsal that evening. For this week, my first full week of “proper” marathon training, this meant the following:
Monday : Metafit
Tuesday: 4 miles flat
Thursday: 4 miles hilly
Saturday: 30 mins easy
Sunday: 10 miles
This week was also, of course, the first week back at work after the Christmas holidays. I was kind of dreading it as I felt I had “missed” part of my holiday due to having toothache and going back on what has come to be known as “Blue Monday” really didn’t help. In the end it wash’t too bad, but I was tired all week as I never really regained the sleep I lost last week. That tiredness had an impact on my Tuesday and Thursday runs where I felt a bit sluggish, but by the weekend when I was able to sleep a bit more things were much improved.
The biggest hurdle I faced this week was actually the weekend weather. Both my Saturday and Sunday runs were in rather cold conditions. The cold itself I don’t mind, but the pavements were really frosty and slippy which meant that on Sunday in particular I couldn’t always run at the pace I wanted to as I was trying not to slip and fall. Note to self: wear my Yaktrax on slippy days!
Slippy conditions aside, I was pleased with my run. When I was able to run properly (i.e. when I wasn’t trying to avoid a nasty fall), I was running at or better than my target pace and even with the character-building hills and challenging underfoot conditions, my overall time and pace were good enough for me to keep chasing a marathon PB this year. At this stage I’m not going to obsess over the pace but concentrate on getting the mileage done. There’s plenty of time to focus on pace when the weather is a bit better and the Metafit classes are continuing to make me feel stronger and fitter in the meantime. I finished my run today knowing that I could have gone on, which is encouraging ahead of a slightly longer run next Sunday.
Reaching 10 miles for my Sunday long run is something I really see as a milestone as all my Sunday runs from this point on will be in double figures. Things are getting serious and I was reminded of this when my new box of energy gels arrived in the post yesterday! I have realised that from now on, Sunday mornings are mostly going to taste like this:
It’s worth it for the almost immediate boost I feel in my running though. Fortunately, when I finish my run things are going to taste just a little more tempting as I get to enjoy my chocolate recovery shake:
I find it hard to eat immediately after I finish running, but know that I need something to refuel quite quickly. I really like these shakes and since they come in a powder sachet they’re also handy to take to races and mix with the water I’m given at the finish rather than having to go and search out other food or rummage around in a goody bag for something I feel like eating. I think I’ll be ordering another pack of these soon too!
And so just like that, the first full week of marathon training is done. I expect my legs to be a bit weary tomorrow so Metafit will likely be interesting, but I’m also looking forward to a sports massage on Tuesday to keep everything in tip top condition. I’ll let you know next week how my training progresses.
How was your running this week?
Are you training for a spring marathon or do you have a different goal?