So I have put it out there. For all to see. My scary goal for 2021. I have other little adventures and mini goals to go along the way, but ultimately… a BQ is THE goal. It’s all geared for achieving a Boston qualifying time in around 10 months time, depending on which marathon I decide to go for (At the moment this is looking like Manchester or Abingdon in October) ) and also, hoping that this world wide pandemic may have subsided a little by then!
If you have missed why I want to Boston Qualify or how big a goal it actually is for me (A whole 1 hour 13 minutes of my current Marathon PB) , you can check out the YouTube vlog here. It explains all!
Now, since announcing my goal, I have had lots of requests to share the training I will be doing. I want to be completely transparent throughout this process, so if by detailing what training I am doing, why, how, what is working, what isn’t… you get the idea, but if by showing the journey, warts and all as they say, it helps someone else to either go for it, or not, then that’s great. The weekly training updates will be detailed on YouTube, but after lots of requests for a written format too, I will be sharing them here, resurrecting the blog, and trying to update weekly.
Week 1. Goal of the week – Find my rhythm .
Just one goal for this week. Get into structured training again, find my consistency and ease in. Turned out another spanner would be thrown into the works, when lockdown came back. What a way to kick off the first full week of January. May even have won the title of the most ‘Mondayist Monday’ ever! Lockdown poses a number of problems for us, as it does for every other family in the UK right now. Home schooling. Home schooling three different key stages, pacifying the endless ball of energy, that has already started with toddler tantrums, that is Harri, working from home and everything else and bang… suddenly all plans go out of the window. That lovely, structured plan you set? Kind of looks impossible now.
The only way I have managed to stick to my training plan thus far is by staying flexible. With the introduction of other hurdles, it has simply meant that whilst I try to plan as much as I can during the day (Home school times, work times etc) the training has had to slot in when there is a spare five minutes (or hour), sometimes it means making a decision between getting the training in, or something more comfortable such as an extra hour of Netflix, but I’ll be honest, the physical outlet provides far more for me right now! It also means prioritising. I want to cover this is more details at a later date… the juggling act!
MONDAY – RUN 1 HOUR EASY – This ended up being a buggy run with Harri. Buggy running and easy don’t particularly go hand in hand, but you just adjust the pace. Yes, it’s slower to keep that heart rate in check, but you are pushing a chariot. It doesn’t matter anyway. Easy miles are just that, pace is irrelevant. STRENGTH – 35 MINUTES. First session working with an online strength coach who I have enlisted to help get me strong. I will be detailing more about strength workouts, but for now, just settling in, but moves included were Back Squat, Romanian Deadlift and lots more! BIKE – Zwift. Zone Benchmarking, start of a 12 week ‘Build up fitness’ training plan available on Zwift. Quick note about Zwift here. I have embarked on a build fitness 12 week plan, again for some structure and perhaps accountability. I have a strength coach, a running coach, and this just provides some direction with the cycling. Also, just keeps things interesting when putting the cross training miles in! Although, I do love reading whilst doing the easy stuff on the bike. Something I will again go into a later date! Cycling is featuring heavily in this years training. To add much needed volume, build that aerobic base, get extra miles in, in a low impact way… too many benefits for me not to include. Plus, I love disappearing for some me time in my Mum Shed/Pain Cave!
TUESDAY – RUN – 3 x 5 Minutes Steady. First bit of anything faster than easy since returning post stress fracture. 10 minutes warm up, 3 x 5 minutes steady (based off Heart Rate range) with 1 minute walk recoveries, 10 minutes Cool Down. I really enjoyed this, was nice to get the legs ticking over a little more, and the foot felt great! Winner! BIKE – Pedalling drills. I found this really difficult…cycling with one leg is hard! Who would of thought!
WEDNESDAY – BIKE – 1 HOUR EASY (ZONE 2 HR) Just ticking along keeping the heart rate nice and low.
THURSDAY – RUN 1 HOUR EASY – An enjoyable easy run! The trick with easy runs is to leave the ego at home, and go with the flow. Acknowledge that there can be a number of factors that can dictate your easy pace on any given day. Are you fatigued, does it follow a hard workout, are you dehydrated, did you get enough sleep? When I am easy running, which is the majority of the time, the only field I have on my watch is Heart Rate. I just use that to make sure I am within my easy range, and that’s it.
FRIDAY – BIKE – 1 HOUR – Another Zwift training session, called Devedest. An interval type session with increased RPMS. Followed after another long day of home schooling and life, but thoroughly enjoy escaping to the ‘Mum Shed’ for a while!
SATURDAY – 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES TRAIL RUN WITH HILLS. Kind of shuddered when I saw coach had set that last bit. It has been a long time since I ventured towards any hill. But off I went in search of some big ass hills. Greeted with wonderful trails and a ridiculous amount of mud, for the first mile out and the same back. But there we go, it was fun, and this marks the start of my ‘long runs’ Each week, they will gradually increase. For now we are keeping them to the trails just to help with the load on my foot, and to try and keep it as low impact as possible. It’s always a great idea to incorporate some trails into your training if running the majority of your miles on the road. It breaks up the training monotony and also gives your body a break from the relentless concrete pounding! Obviously, in time, my long runs will be a lot more specific and geared to the race I will be attempting to BQ at, but that’s a long, long way off yet. For now, it’s just about increasing the volume of my running in a safe way.
SUNDAY – BIKE (90 MINUTES) RED UNICORN. First of the unicorn workouts on Zwift and I must say, I found it enjoyable! The time flew by, too busy concentrating on the change in intervals!
RUN – 20.62 MILES
BIKE – 60.82 MILES
STRENGTH – 1 HOUR
So that’s week 1/40 (working off Manchester Marathon date) and it’s a good start. Goal for the next few weeks is to just stay consistent, try and build the volume, and try to stay sane whilst navigating life. Simple right? One thing I do want to point out is that, because my goal is so huge, and with a relatively short time to accomplish it, I am going ‘balls deep’ The methods and commitment I am hoping, or will be giving to it, isn’t for everyone. It may not work or be for me. But instead of wondering what if, I’m just going to put it all out there. It will either work, or it won’t, but either way, I want to find out.
If you want something you never had, you have to do something you have never done
I’m not alone in my quest for a BQ and have joined forces with some other incredible girls for The Boston Project. We all have the same goal this year, but all of us have different lifestyles, abilities and approaches to training. You can follow them and their own journeys by clicking below! Pop over and see them. share some love and support!
Kirsty @shortgirlrunner https://www.instagram.com/shortgirlrunner/
Charlie @therunnerbeans https://www.instagram.com/therunnerbeans/
George @fitcetera https://www.instagram.com/fitcetera/
Mara @mara.thefitlondoner https://www.instagram.com/mara.thefitlondoner/
Grace @gracerunsldn https://www.instagram.com/gracerunsldn/
In the meantime, I will be posting weekly updates on YouTube every Tuesday, and Weekly training recap here on the blog (hopefully every Wednesday!) I do plan to cover topics as they come up throughout training, but would love some feedback as to what you would like to see included! For now though, I am off to navigate Year 5 maths that has me completely dependant on google.
Stay safe, and Happy Running!