Week eight

HALFWAY THERE & it’s a deload week!

Monday: Mini strength sesh at lunchtime, practicing snatch/clean/jerk technique. Cyclebox after work, which was a nice stretch for the legs but also made me feel a bit sick. HIIT is brutal. Good times though, & good recovery for the 20 miles total from the weekend.

Tuesday: 4 miles speed. Did the local hill repeat again to try & get my times more consistent: it was better than last time, with 5 250m repeats and 400m gentle recovery. Not ideal distances but that’s the way the hill is. It will get brutal in the next couple of weeks when I go up to 7 miles of hills.

for now, though, 45 minutes on it & straight home for dinner.

Mushroom, spring onion & cheese omelette with spinach & too much chilli sauce

Mini lifting sesh today as well, mostly training back & biceps but threw in some front squats too.

Wednesday: 5 miles easy. Ended up as 5.92, as that is how many miles away my house is from my office.

Thursday: 4 miles on the treadmill. I had aimed to increase the speed with each km until the last 400m was flat out. Did manage this, but my Garmin doesn’t show treadmill lap splits quite as well as when running outside & the pace has averaged out. It was OK though. Also managed a strength session today, & went a bit heavy as it’s the day before rest day & I can spare the DOMS.

Squat rack sulk

Deadlifts, overhead press, split squats, tricep dips, face pulls & tuck jumps, though. There is no part of my body that is not slightly achy after that.

Friday: Rest day. Nice after a busy work week to have another Netflix evening.

Saturday: ALSO A REST DAY. When I first started this plan, random Saturday rest day seemed so far away I barely registered it. But now it’s here!

I did go to the gym, I’m not some kind of maniac. This rest day is basically the last one before a fierce few weeks, so I am appreciating every little last bit.

Sunday: 13 miles, very easy. Took a GFR squad for 7.5km of hills, & added on an extra 15km on my own. Took in the latest episode of the marvellous From Your Big Sister podcast by all-round legend & superstar Last Year’s Girl as well as some inspirational tunes on the way.

Good view from the top of the hill

Total miles: 27. What a treat to drop the miles by a third. A huge part of marathon training is getting used to the feeling of running under fatigue, & a lot of folk I follow on Instagram who are doing earlier marathons are hitting the cumulative fatigue point this week. It’s harsh and horrible & you start to hate flights of stairs with a passion. I am not looking forward to that when it comes to me, but this week has been a nice break from it all.


Nutrition: very on point this week. I am not overly concerned with my actual weight as I am tall & muscular, which distorts things, but I am 3kgs down since the start of the year & that is with no change to my diet, plus regularly eating quite a lot if a long run has made me hungry. I haven’t ran enough miles this week to be so careless, so I have been tracking well & making good choices. Except for half a box of baklava, but I could not resist.

more pad Thai, but my boss paid so it barely counts

Feeling: Good enough. A cutback in the miles was certainly due, & I feel better for it. The 4 mile tempo run was the worst this week, but that was more to do with the treadmill. Too hot & didn’t have a hair tie (again…) so my hair was everywhere & annoying. Also: more sleep, more reading, less time fannying around online or watching TV. It’s good for you.

Also getting quite a lot from plan deviser & veritable running sage Hal Higdon on Twitter:


I think this is genuinely a thing – every time I have tipped over 20-21 miles in training, I’ve either cried during the run or had some sort of hysterical breakdown within the following 24 hours. It clearly does not work for me. That final 10km of a marathon is incredibly strange, & I have had some very dark moments during it, but also some wonderful chats with people. It is also forever associated with questionable music choices: Twisted Sister’s ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’, Starship’s ‘We Built This City’ and Laura Brannigan’s ‘Gloria’ have all featured in the last 6 miles & a mild PTSD feeling is now associated with the opening bars of these tunes.

Week 9’s ramping up the miles again, so I will drop back the strength training & stay hydrated.

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