Another Monday, another week of training DONE! I am now onto week 4 of marathon training with 3/3 long runs successfully completed over the past 3 weeks. I have been trying to be consistent with my running, completing 3 each week (as well as a hockey match!) all as part of my 24 week plan. This last week was a bit more unsuccessful with other parts of my training (hockey match cancelled, and a night away from home) but I still got my three runs completed, culminating in a 14.5km run yesterday in the bright sunshine and icy roads! This time of year is particularly tricky for cycling and running (not so much swimming!) as the roads and weather certainly play the largest consideration for what you decide to do. Earlier this year I had to go off on the MTB (see Feb post) as the snow and temperatures dictated that going out on the road bike would have been suicidal.
Will has been turboing an awful lot more than he ever has, which is great as he is still getting those miles in, and his back seems better now so is back running again (see his blog http://meinlycra.wordpress.com/) for regular updates on how he is getting along.
Anyway back to me and my training!
I have been aiming to complete around 7/8 hours training each week and building up the running miles slowly with Body Balance classes and weights and core training each week to help build up my strength and conditioning. I am missing the cycling, and I actually thought I would be able to fit it in somewhere, but with the dark nights and icy roads, I really do not want to compromise my running training, and have had to find it within myself to accept that this winter running HAS to be my priority and if there comes a night where I could get on the turbo, I would actually rather get in the pool for some low impact training. I am missing the saddle, and come April time after the marathon, I have got quite a few triathlons in mind to sharpen the speed and get ready for the all important middle distance event at the end of August.
It is quite weird and different to have running as my primary focus, but I am really relishing the change and enjoying it. I have the aim now of going out for a run and enjoying it, trying to keep a constant pace and just really keep going. I have been incredibly lucky with the weather, and also with the company I have enjoyed whilst doing these long runs.
My Sunday runs have looked like this:-
- Sunday 18th November : 9.5km around Hambleton Peninsular- a fairly flat start and then the second half is rather undulating. I was lucky enough to tag behind my friend Andrea for this run as my first one to break me in slowly.
- Sunday 25th November : 11.5km from Normanton Car Park over the Dam to Whitwell and back. A challenging run not least because the wind was howling an absolute gale, but luckily I had another friend Tim with me to shelter me from the wind somewhat on the Dam!
- Sunday 2nd December : A lovely sunny day greeted me, rather than the hangover from Stamford Tri Club Xmas party! The run was to be 14km and I was to set off from home. Taking a look at a couple of running websites where people share their routes, I was pleased to find one of the right length. I took Will's Garmin with me and managed to record the actual time and distance rather accurately. I completed 14.43km in just under 1 hour 24 minutes (1:23:55) recording an average pace of 5:49 per km.
Looking at the data from yesterday's run I was really pleased and this has boosted my confidence massively about my ability to run this marathon. Although the pace was fairly slow, I was really pleased that I managed to get around and felt like I would be able to run further should I need to. I also found that my pace generally got a bit quicker as I was more warmed up.
Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come, and taking it steady and surely is the right way forward considering how I was injured last year.
This week is a fairly intense week with an hours bike session for a research study I am taking part in (VO2 max test was a month ago) and finishing the week off with a 16km run on Sunday. Here's hoping for more good weather this Sunday!