This is part of a series of posts reflecting on my experiences in the run up to the Yorkshire Marathon in October. I’m currently on week eight of a twelve week training programme. The idea is to write a post every week charting my progress and reflecting on my training.
I had a bit of a panic this week.
Whilst aimlessly scrolling through my Instagram feed (as you do) I stumbled on this post under the #YorkshireMarathon hashtag:
Flippin ‘eck indeed.
I say I had a panic, but a good kind of panic (we all know that panics can sometimes be good, right?) because it forced me to question my readiness for the task ahead. A month isn’t long. In fact, I’d already done two thirds of the training and the last part of any marathon training involves a week or two of tapering in order to give your body a bit of a rest before the big day.
With that in mind, I only really have two or three weeks of hard training left – flippin ‘eck, blimey and any other Yorshireism you can think of. That isn’t very long at all!
Am I ready? (I think so).
Have I done enough training? ((Well, I’ve kept to my programme, most of the time…).
Will I have the mental fortitude for the slog ahead? (Hmmm, not sure).
The distance and mental fortitude required to complete was niggling me this week. I was having a chat with one of my parkrun friends, Charlotte, on Saturday and we discussed how it was odd that most marathon training programmes didn’t actually involve a training run at marathon distance. This was certainly true of my programme. The furthest I’ve run is about 28km so far – 14km shy of the full distance.
Sure, on the day I’m sure adrenaline, the atmosphere, pure bloody-mindedness (call it what you will), will carry you a little bit extra. But 14km?
I’m not convinced. In the two or three weeks I have left I’m going to have to up the miles on my long run. There’s nothing else for it.
That’s why this has been a good panic – it’s forced me to reassess and adapt before it’s too late. It’s only two or three more weeks after all.
It will be worth it!
Overall this has been a fairly solid week without any distractions or health niggles.
- Monday: This was a rest day from running on the programme. Monday did see a long overdue return to the gym though. It’s been a little over two weeks since I last went so I did a fairly short session to break myself in gently.
- Tuesday: Easy run. I’ve noticed though that the easy runs are getting longer in length the further I get into the programme, which makes sense. I covered about 15 km at a comfortable pace. I called in at the gym too and did a full workout.
- Wednesday: Rest day from running. Third day in the gym – go me!
- Thursday: The return of the Yasso 800s in the park. Doing twenty laps of the local park, alternating between a fast pace and a recovery pace is a somewhat surreal experience. You pass the same dog walkers several times and get looks of “Are you completely bonkers?” Yes, probably … I also had an appointment with the physio at Blizard physiotherapy. After three consecutive days at the gym my shoulder was a little sore, but I’m pleased to say the physio is having a positive effect. I also picked up a spiky massage ball to improve circulation and stimulate muscle reflexes in my back. It feels a bit weird using it, but I’m keeping it in my office next to my desk at home so I get in the habit of using it when I’m sat for long periods at work.
- Friday: Rest day from running. Quick session in the gym.
- Saturday: Supposedly a rest day, but couldn’t resist dropping by Clumber Park to do my local parkrun. As ever, it was good to catch up with supportive friends who understand. I knocked out a respectable parkrun – 17 seconds off my PB.
- Sunday: Long run day, except the good old British weather conspired against me. A quick look out of my bedroom window confirmed what I could hear from my bed: heavy rain. I really didn’t want to run for two hours plus in heavy rain and risk coming down with something this close to the race. There was only one thing for it – I returned to the gym and did over two hours on the treadmill. I’m not a fan of treadmill running. Mainly because it’s boring. Twenty minutes or so is okay, but over two hours is a real drag. I honestly don’t think I would have got through it if it wasn’t for Motley Crue’s greatest hits on the headphones!
Apologies to those of you who usually drop by for updates about learning technology – I tend to post about that kind of thing on Jisc’s Inspiring Learning blog. I intend to use this blog for more personal, non-related work posts in future.
Two hours on the treadmill? – that’s the necessary mental fortitude confirmed. Most sensible training schedules go up to 20/21 miles for the longest run. Don’t panic and don’t be (too) tempted to cram in more training late in the day.
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Thanks for the advice OMIL 🙂
I guess I’d just feel better mentally knowing that I can do the distance because I’ve done it before, but you’re right, it would be silly to risk injury by upping the mileage too much at this stage. I’ll aim to do at least one twenty miler in the next couple of weeks, that should do it.
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