Running update

So, week two of marathon training comes to a close.

*Warning - this is going to get a bit geeky. It is just a record for me, really.*
And family who like running and understand why!

It's really good to get another go at something, to have another chance. But it is hard! I'm going about it in a different way this time - last year I cranked out the miles, week-in, week-out, without ever really speeding up. I did pretty high mileages but felt quite leaden and slow a lot of the time. And like it was a bit of a chore too.
This time, I am going to try and aim for quality sessions over quantity, due to time constraints. So the plan is to do long run a week, one tempo/brisk medium length run, and either some speed sessions or hill work. Three times a week, trying to get the most out of each session. It's going to be a bit harder this coming week because I am looking after the children all week, and weekend. But hopefully I can still fit some running into the evenings. I'm kind of missing my spin class and aerobics but they can wait.
It's so interesting, psychologically, how the idea of a 'long run' is stretchy and expands. A month ago, a long run was anything 8 miles or over. Now it is double that...
I've actually been feeling surprisingly good on the long runs (not sure why) but saying that I markedly slow after 10 miles. After 16 miles today, the thought of doing another 10 miles was rather intimidating.
I've just entered a 20 mile race in Essex in a few weeks so that will be useful.
I'm going to keep updating this over the weeks so I have a record of my training. I'm also going to try to focus on pace a bit more, as opposed to just 'feeling' it.

Week One

Run - 5.2m
Tempo Run - 6.1m
Recovery Run - 3m
Long Run - 13.2 m at 8.44 min miles

Total - 22.3miles

Week Two

Run - 6m slow
Tempo run - 6m at just under 8 min miles
Recovery Run - 3m
Long Run - 16.1 m at 8.45 miles.

Total - 31.1 miles

Week Three

Speed run - 5m - 10 X 200m fast with 200m (1 min) jog recoveries
Long Run - 15 and a bit, at 8.55 miles. That was hard - into biting east wind after work, lots of hills. Carrying stuff on back. Sense of satisfaction and exhaustion.
Recovery run (jog) - 3m

Total - 23 miles. Hope to have better week next week when children are back at school. Essex 20 coming up too next weekend.

Week Four

Hill run -6m - including 10x2 mins up hill and down
Speed run - 6m - on treadmill, pyramid session
Steady run - 8.2m on roads
Long Run - 20 miles at 8.45 min miles - 2 hours 53 mins

Total - 40.2 miles. A good week. Pleased. Sore Achilles tendon/left ankle. Will ease up a bit next week.

Week Five

Recovery run - 6m
Tempo run - 6m (treadmill)
Long run - 15.1m
Easy run - 3m

Total - 30m

Legs were tired this week - the will was strong but the body was weak(ish). Feel like I've gone a bit off-piste with my training doing that 20mile race quite early on. Hope I haven't peaked.. Need to focus on quality sessions not quantity.

Week Six

Tempo run - 6m
Steady run - 8m (8.20 min miles)
Long run - 16m - 1 mile warm-up, Dartford 10 mile race (1 hour 20) 5 mile jog home.

Total - 30m

Hmm.. don't feel like I'm getting any fitter - feel the same as I did when I did that Essex 20 race a fortnight ago. I am on a 'plateau' - I don't think I can improve unless I markedly up the amount of sessions I do a week which is really hard to fit in. I wonder if I peaked at that Essex race. Bearing in mind I only have another month to go I reckon this is it. Just maintain where I am and try not to get injured. And enjoy it for what it is!

Week Seven

Slow run - 7m
Tempo run -6m - 1m jog, 4 x1m fast with 200m recoveries, 1m jog. Did this on treadmill, found it really hard!
Steady run - 6m - 1m jog, 3m brisk, 1m jog
Long run - 20m. 3hours 3 mins. Ghastly weather conditions. First half, the thought worse than the reality. Second half, sleet like needles, numb hands..reality caught up! Feels hard after 18 miles..
Recovery run - 3m

Total - 42m.

I tried to do every session this week as I know next week the children are off school and we will be travelling around for Easter. The weather's been gruesome which has affected motivation. However, I've been pleased that my body can take that level of mileage and my legs feel fine, and I'm lucky not to have any injuries/illnesses. (Don't speak too soon!) I've decided to treat myself to a post-birthday sports massage - never had one before - looking forward to it.

Week Eight

Hill run - 6m
Slow run - 5m
Speed run - 6m - 8 x 3min50 Lasso 800s)
Long Run - 20m (at 9.15 min miles)
Recovery run - 3m

Total - 40m

Good week but I felt heavy-legged and tired on long run. Really had to force myself to keep going after 16 miles. Still, I've been enjoying the runs for what they are, which is great, despite the cold weather. One of my runs was along the River Trent in Nottinghamshire and it was so refreshing to be running somewhere else - I saw a Tawny Owl flying over the river meadows, in broad daylight, with that distinctive torpedo shape.
I'm getting excited about the marathon. I don't think I'm going to be going that fast but I would really be pleased to beat my time from last year which is 4 hours 10. I feel a bit pacier and more engaged with it this year. Plus I had a sore rib last year which really hurt at points. Three weeks to go so don't want to speak too soon. I would love to get under 4 hours but know there's a strong possibility I won't. I think so much depends on the last six miles, and it can make or break your race. Seeing as I always feel done in after 20 I am just going to have to see what happens on the day. I think as well there is an element of luck on the day and a confluence of different factors need to come together - physical, mental, internal and external. Simple things like not stopping for the loo or setting off too fast. Go! Go!

Week Nine

Speed run - 7x800m fast with 1m jog either side - 6m
Slow run - 8m
Long run - 18m at 8.55 min miles

Total - 32 miles

Would have liked to do a bit more but was otherwise engaged with Easter holidays. The weather is finally improving. A joy to run with bare arms! Now the taper begins.

Week Ten

Run with running club in Devon - 5 or 6 miles
Easy run - 5m
Long run - 12m

How is it that my shortest long run felt like the hardest. Heavy legs, ragged breathing, boredom with the routes. Time to freshen things up.
Getting excited about the marathon and nervous. One week to go!


  1. great plan of action and action Sa (i'm impressed) x

  2. thanks SIS you know the score!!


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