Marathon Training: Week Two
Another week of cross training, short runs and a long run complete, 15 more to go. As much as I’m trying to enjoy training rather than just seeing it as a countdown to race, tracking every run on Strava and against a schedule hammers home just how far I have to go before I’m ‘marathon fit.’
This week felt a little bit easier than the first in terms of getting up and out before work and I feel like I’m getting into a good routine with my weekday runs. Getting them out of the way in the morning means evening are free for socialising (if getting to know the characters of How to Make a Murderer counts as socialising) and feeding the inexplicable hunger which has come out of nowhere and now possesses about 70% of my waking thoughts.
I’ve now set up my Just Giving page, where I’m fundraising for Macmillan Cancer, a charity really close to my heart, so if you are able to your sponsorship would really mean the world to me.
Now, on to the training…
45 min Spin sesh. After Sunday’s 10-miler my legs were feeling on the tired side, but I was determined to make my weekly session on the spin bike. I describe my relationship with spin class a lot like getting on a rollercoaster: I get really excited on my way to class, then as soon as I get on the bike I regret it and wonder why I put myself through it every week, then comes the adrenaline and the possibility of vomiting and finally I get off the bike feeling AMAZING. Ok, unlike a rollercoaster I don’t want to do it all over again straight away, but it puts me in good stead for the rest of the week and also helps work out any of the muscle soreness from the Sunday long run.
I run with a Garmin Forerunner 220 and I love it, but as with a lot of things we’ve come to expect a lot from technology, forgetting that sometimes it glitches, loses signal or just has a tiny meltdown.
I was adamant that I was running my first km at about 5:30, my Garmin was adamant that I was pacing at 6:20. It’s one of those stubborn relationships where neither of us admit that we’re in the wrong, and being a woman I tried to over compensate. It’s funny how your mind adapts to running different distances. On my long run I didn’t even notice passing 5km, but when it’s your end goal it seems so much further.
Having spent the evening in his favourite drawer next to my snazzy new running socks, the Garmin and I were back on speaking terms. A pleasant run, no aches or niggles, although I was seriously feeling the hunger for the rest of the day. One breakfast just doesn’t seem to cut it any more, and I’ve been getting through a huge bowl of sweet potato wedges nightly.
My training plan doesn’t included any tempo runs, but having read around I’m keen to get some in somewhere. This wasn’t a tempo run as such, but I was conscious of trying to keep my pace up whilst controlling my breathing and focusing on form. I find when I start to get tired I end up leaning backwards, so I used the faster pace to help put some techniques to the test. Runner’s World suggests imagining someone is picking you up from your chest and pulling you forward, and I found this really helped in terms of improving my form and also a great distraction technique!
Rest day. It’s the days when I don’t exercise that I find the tiredness hits. I took full advantage of my day off to spend Friday night with my new best friend, the foam roller, and a bar of Ombar and a huge bowl of sweet potato wedges. As I said, socialising priorities during training become very different.
I started off the first week of training having to tear myself away from my bed in the mornings, but as the end of week 2 approached I found myself waking up excited to get out running. I get a daily wakeup call at 7am from my kitten, Edgar, who unfortunately can’t tell the difference between a Saturday and a Wednesday, which means my running schedule remains pretty consistent at the weekends.
The frost had well and truly set in, so I set off bundles up in gloves and a hat, which led to a comfortably paced 8km before heading out for sweetcorn fritter, halloumi and avocado at Milk. Ah-mazing!
After Saturday’s run I wasn’t feeling on top form and woke up on Sunday with a banging headache and a temperature. Luckily, my legs were feeling totally fine, so after spending some time lounging in bed with the Sunday papers I went ahead and set off on my long run.
The first 10km or so felt great, and I find that running at such a slow pace really helps me to concentrate on my technique and pin point any issues or niggles. But by about 15kms I was feeling pretty tired and had noticed some discomfort in my hips and knees. I spent the last 3km really reigning in my stride length and thinking about the hot shower, avocado and eggs waiting for me at home. I felt great once I hit the 18km but it really hammered home just how bloody far 26.2 miles really is!