Monday, 15th of July. The start of a new 16 week marathon training block. The start of my road to the New York Marathon.
I’m not going to lie, the thought of starting another marathon training plan absolutely terrifies me. Motivation has been lacking and it scared me that this next big commitment has come round so quick.
I recently found out that I had glandular fever at the start of the year and have been living with post virus fatigue ever since. It was actually my physio who pushed for the blood tests that confirmed that the virus had been present and it explains why I’d kept getting ill at the start of year. Shortly before the doctor told me, I’d picked up another head cold so they told me I needed to take some time out. I had just over a week until my training plan started so, on doctors orders, I used that time to relax. I wanted to feel strong and fit going into this training block and I just …. don’t.
I got the first two weeks of the plan on the Sunday before it started and my first week of marathon training looked like this:
Monday – Cycling intervals
Tuesday – 3 mile run
Wednesday – Rest day
Thursday – 5 mile run
Friday – Rest day
Saturday – Parkrun (3.1 miles)
Sunday – 8 mile run
I was kind of relieved to see the cycling work out on the plan for my first day back. Cycling is much easier for me sometimes in comparison to running (I cycled London to Paris on virtually no training) so thought it would be a good way to ease myself back into training and get some miles into the bike. I definitely need to find a better place to do these intervals though as the seafront is full of zebra crossings and people who step out into the bike lane!
I felt nervous for my run on Tuesday but I just kept thinking, ‘it’s only three miles’ and that was enough to get me through. I hadn’t forgotten how to run and it was over in a flash! I realised how much I’d missed running over those 12 days off and I’m pleased to say that it went some way to helping with my motivation issues.
I had to work until midnight on Wednesday so I’m glad that was rest day but it did impact on my Thursday run. I felt tired and my legs didn’t feel like they could push more than 12 minute miles but I was pleased over all. I had to keep reminding myself that I’d been ill (I think this might be a reoccurring theme over the course of this training block) and had done no running for 12 days. My coach knows that some days you won’t hit the pace you need to, but running should be done first and foremost for the enjoyment so that’s something I need to remember this time around.
Friday was another rest day (although I did do some strength work at home) and Saturday was parkrun day! Except I didn’t do parkrun. Well I didn’t run it at least. I got up at 6am on Saturday to do 3.1 miles on my own before heading down to Southsea to volunteer at my local event. I was photographer for the morning capturing the locals and some parkrun tourists before heading off to the Southsea food festival. I haven’t been up this early for a run in a long time and I actually enjoyed it! No traffic or people to weave in and out of and the heat hadn’t quite come out yet so this run was the best of the week!
Before I knew it, it was Sunday. The last day of the first week of training and the big one – 8 miles. It doesn’t sound like much to some but this would match my longest run of the year which happened before I went into physio for my lazy left leg. It was a run of two halves. The first 4 miles were great. I felt strong and steady in my pace. In fact I was spot on where I needed to be. The second half was … not so great. I completely fell off the pace and there was a LOT of walking but I plodded on until I got it done. I guess my legs need to adjust to longer distance again after months of cutting back on mileage but they better get with the programme sharpish!
When I got home I stretched them out and foam rolled while I was drinking a chocolate milk (How has it taken me this long to try Shaken Udder?!). Recovering well is going to be a big thing for me this time round so I need to do all I can to get myself ready for the next seven day once the week is over.
So, that’s week one of marathon training done and I’m pleased that I got all of my sessions done. I’m not sure how I feel yet but I intend to work hard and do what I can. Will it be a success? We will have to wait and see how the next 15 weeks go …