Paris Marathon Training, Uncategorized

Week Three. Who dares, wins.

Week Three of Paris Marathon training has been such a fantastic one, following on from a great week 2, I’m almost too scared to start week 4. It’s been a week of fun, with two very different races completed, and still running every day for the Run Every Day Challenge for the charity Mind.

It’s been a lower mileage week (40 miles) than last week (47 Miles) as technically, following the ‘Advanced Marathoning’ plan it should be a recovery week. Now, I am a little behind on the 16 week plan. More like I just missed the first couple of weeks. December and Christmas lead up happened. We all know what that is like. But since kicking back in to it, I’ve decided to follow with the recovery week as scheduled, so as not to mess with the remaining plan anymore.

This week has consisted of

Monday – 1 Mile warm up (to continue run streak) followed by 40 minutes of HIIT

Tuesday – 8 Miles (general aerobic with 10 x 100m strides

Wednesday – 5 miles (easy)

Thursday – 5.3 miles trail night race

Friday – 5 miles (recovery)

Saturday – 3.1 miles (easy, grass running)

Sunday – 13.1 miles half marathon race (completed at a steady effort)

Sprinkled with core work, strengthening and stretching (a lot of stretching)

The races (side note…. absolutely loved my bib numbers this week. Containing my lucky number 8… winner, winner!)

Race one. Rogue Runs, Beechenhurst night race.

Based in my home stomp of the Forest Of Dean, 5.3 miles of wonderful woodland paths, tracks and bridleways, hills, ankle deep mud and all in the dark of the night? Glorious. Such a fun, wonderfully organised event. When the race director advises at the start line to run is at your own risk, promptly followed by holding up a local newspaper showing a man with the tip of his finger bitten of by our mean looking wild boar residents, you know it’s going to be a good one! There’s something very primal about adventuring in the woods in the black of the night. For someone who has the elegance of a baby elephant wearing roller skates, it was as much as I could do to stay upright during some of the more difficult mountain bike trails. Which seemed to slope off in every angle all at once, covered in tree roots, rocks and mandatory mud. That’s mandatory mud before the actual ‘mud bath’ now that woke me up!

But it was so much fun. It did cross my mind at various points how sensible I wasn’t being considering one wrong step could of resulted in no more spring marathon, but I felt alive. It was fun. And sometimes, that is just what is needed to keep the mind fresh and focused on the relentless marathon training.

Race number two. Gloucester Half Marathon.

Again, another well organised event, with the most friendliest of marshalls! By no means flat. But lovely country lanes for the most part, with some ‘inclines’ I wasn’t expecting much from this one, other than to use it as a training run. Having so far remained unscathed from winter bugs, a lovely breathing restricting but snot flowing cold had come and taken its hold. I tried to keep it easy and relaxed, although I was aware at quite a few points I was working far too hard for that, and had to have a few walk breaks to try and regain some control of my breathing as my chest tightened!

Absolutely over the moon to have walked away an official PB by 12 minutes! This excites me more than I can describe, because it shows me that the hard work is paying off. I’ve taken a gamble doing a high mileage training plan, and so far it’s working wonders. I’ve been questioning all the easy paces, it’s hard not to, but if it’s working….. I need to trust in it a little bit more!

Uncategorized

The November run streak. Two thirds done.

So what’s a girl to do when you’re at a bit of a loose end prior to marathon training schedule starting? I decided run streak! That is running a number of days in a row. Everyday. Minimum 1 Mile. Not naked running. Although this may have been an option to get some speed in the legs for fear of being seen!

There’s a couple of reasons why I am running every day throughout November. I am not very good when there is no structure to my running. I need routine, a plan, a challenge. Something to stop myself from taking the easy option of sofa and a small giants portion of cake. So the small giants portion of cake hasn’t gone, but happily sticking to my run goals for November is there at least.

I also wanted to build up a good aerobic base prior to marathon specific training. To be quite frank, just any base is more than welcome after my complete slow down, almost complete halt following Berlin Marathon.

Finally I wanted to do something for Diabetes Awareness Month that I wouldn’t normally do. It can be hard running with Type 1 Diabetes. It can throw a million and one challenges at you. So what better way to flip the proverbial bird than to run every day! No rest for the wicked!

20 days in, 100 Miles covered. What have I discovered during my short time of running every day? Quite a bit.

I have learnt to go slow in order to run more. Almost every run has been a relaxed easy pace. This has worked wonders for me. October was spent entertaining an array of niggles. Since running more, at a slower pace the niggles have subsided and I feel so much stronger. This hasn’t all been down to easy miles. I have been very conscious of spending time daily stretching and incorporating strengthening routines, all of which have been beneficial!

There have been a few rest days. For these a mile plodding along with the dog has been a welcome break.

There have been times where I thought I didn’t have time or felt too tired to run. Fitting it in around work, family, kids, general everyday madness has been a challenge some days! It’s amazing how you suddenly find ways of fitting in a run….. and how much better you feel for getting it done.

I’ve also become very reliant on dry shampoo. It’s been my saviour, many a day! 😂

10 more days to go, until I finish my November challenge. Hopefully I will still be as chirpy at the end of it. Hopefully I will have hit my goal of 150 Miles. Hopefully, I can then save money on coffee and dry shampoo!