With six weeks to go until the London Marathon, we’re well onto the third stage of the plan. It’s a light running week, but I’m still peaking. Eating ridiculous amounts of food but clothes I bought in January are getting looser. This is generally good, but I’m showing signs of being a bit run down – spotty, lethargic, often irritable, a cold sore that lasted for more than a week.
I am excited about what this training’s leading up to, but will also be happy when it’s over. I am tired & usually struggling to give enough time to work, leisure, friends, training, family and sleep.
Monday: strength workout, woohoo. Allan has given me a maintenance strength plan with two alternating full-body training sessions, keeping the weights light-ish and also keeping up core strength. Today’s session featured a lot of squat movements – not feeling particularly amazing after the long run the day before – but the gym was quiet for once and it was a good session.
Tuesday: 5 miles: 5 threshold intervals of 1km on a treadmill. Walk breaks of 3 mins in between because I was feeling lazy. Warm up & cool down at easy pace. Lots of stretching afterwards.
Wednesday: 5 miles easy-ish at lunchtime, and the gym for a strength workout in the evening. Wrong way round, but I had a 5:00am start for work so had to fit it all in somehow. The run was hillier than I had anticipated, but it was fantastic weather & the view is always, always worth the climb. I need to remember this.
Thursday: 3 miles with GFR, very easy pace. Didn’t realise how nice it is to have a proper recovery run & not feel sore!
The plan said 5 miles, but 1) I am trying not to be obsessed with the plan and 2) being 2 miles short will make no difference and I NEED TO REMEMBER THIS. Slow, steady run with a group of C25km graduates was absolutely perfect.
Friday: As last night was meant to be 5 miles but I did not feel in the mood for any extra, Cyclebox at 7:30am more than made up for that laziness. Alternative cardio is a good way to keep the fitness up without any more damn running.
I spent the evening fretting about the weekend weather. I had 8 miles tempo and 13 miles steady to do, with no particular commitment for which day to do them on, so it was all weather dependent and a bit of a discipline test.
Saturday: As anticipated, snowing when I got up. I love snow but I also love not being injured. Went out for parkrun with the intention of potentially doing the 13 miles depending on underfoot conditions – once I’d run to the park, done a few loops to keep warm, and completed the parkrun, I’d done over 10km so decided to push on, slowly.
I’m glad I did, but it was one of those training runs that you talk about in hushed tones
or hyperbole for years afterwards: it was freezing despite wearing three top layers, gloves and a hat; the underfoot conditions were awful; so many parts of the path were flooded I was in ankle-deep water several times; I kept swallowing snowflakes and coughing. 2 hours out did truly seem like years, and I would have preferred a faster pace, but I made sure to put a towel and dry clothes on the radiator before I left and it was so delicious to come home to. Also coffee.
Sunday was much better weather. 7 and a half miles was good, and a nice pace could be maintained on the canal towpath with no traffic lights or junctions to mess up the flow. Had a go at this later in the day because I needed a bit of extra sleep, & 7 miles is only an hour and a bit for me so it doesn’t need to be done particularly early. I alternated faster miles with easy paced miles, and it worked well enough although my legs felt quite heavy for the first couple of miles. The faster pace became easier as the miles clocked up, as always.
Total miles: dropped down to 33.3, slightly under the planned 36, but the speedwork days felt good this week. Wednesday’s easy run was veeeery slow in parts due to inclines, but I was happy with the pace of the 13 mile Saturday run given the conditions, and felt fine to push it out on the least slippery bits. Sunday’s 8 miles was quite well paced & a fantastic way to round off the week.
I have run 110 miles so far in March, which seems ridiculous.
Nutrition: good. Craving hummus & flatbreads, tea, anything spicy. Need to prep more to avoid snacking on toast or only eating yoghurt for dinner. Started the week well with kimchi, pork & egg rice at Bibimbap; finished it with home-made shepherd’s pie.
Feeling: also good. These frequent mileage decrease weeks are good for managing fatigue. Most of the runs came up a little short on planned mileage this week, but Friday’s spin session was a good cardio substitute, and the weekend’s running was on point. Managing to avoid hypothermia on Saturday was grand too, as miserable as it felt at the time.
Random insomnia on Saturday night was odd, but hopefully not a regular thing. Getting hardly any sleep after the longest run of the week isn’t ideal, and I had been looking forward to a good night’s sleep because of not having to be up early on Sunday for it. Never mind. It didn’t affect my Sunday running too much, but I think I could have definitely pushed the pace a bit more if I’d had more than a couple of hours sleep.
Next week turns up the third phase of training, with two further high mileage weeks before tapering begins and it all gets very, very real. A lot of friends are running races in early or mid-April so I’ll be learning from and listening to them as they peak and taper earlier than me. I could really do with a bit of warmer weather too – I’ve had enough damp miserable long runs. Lighter nights are going to be good too.