Week Nine: Lovely weather for ducks!

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 nine of a twelve week training programme. The idea is to write a post every week charting my progress and reflecting on my training.


I don’t think it’s possible to consistently train for twelve weeks without hitting a couple of snags along the way.

A few years ago I entered the Manchester marathon. I’d done my research, it was a good entry level marathon, because it was mainly flat. I did all the training. I even raised a bit of money for charity, thanks to my generous friends. Then, a couple of weeks before the race I fell ill and couldn’t do it.

I was gutted. All of that training for nothing. I not only felt like I had let myself down, but everyone else who had donated to my cause.

This is partly why I have been extra careful this time round. Careful with what I eat, drink and general lifestyle choices (early to bed, regular visits to the gym, looking after myself with visits to the physio, etc). Careful with my running programme and when I go running in order to avoid going out in bad weather conditions that might trigger a bout of manflu or anything else that might set my training back.

I think I’m paranoid – I don’t want a repeat of Manchester.

The snags this week weren’t anything too serious, thankfully. In Sheffield (and most of the rest of the UK) we’ve had rain this week – a lot of it. I was chatting to one of my running friends at parkrun on Saturday who’s done the Yorkshire marathon and he said it rained that day last year. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind too much if it rains on the day (I’d rather it didn’t, of course), or if I get ill as a result – as long as I do the marathon. What I absolutely cannot have is falling ill before the marathon and being in a position to not do it again.

To that end, I’ve been doing absolutely everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Up until this week …

Training Programme

The challenge this week has been getting out there and dodging the downpours!

  • Monday: Rest day. Steady hour or so in the gym.
  • Tuesday: Easy run – done on the treadmill in the gym again thanks to the floods, boring but at least I got it done. Some good news though, had a physio appointment and I’m making progress – I don’t need to go back for a couple of weeks. My old shoulder injury has not seriously impacted on my training so far, which was always a worry.
  • Wednesday: Rest day from running. I managed another steady session in the gym, mixing some weights up with cardio work.
  • Thursday: More downpours! I went to the Les Mills Body Pump class on my dinner – I hadn’t been for a while due to holidays and physio appointments, so I really knew about this the following day. Then later in the day I noticed a brief window where the rain stopped – trainers on and out for my tempo run!
  • Friday: Rest day from running, another steady session in the gym.
  • Saturday: Rest day, even skipped parkrun.

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 13.12.15

  • Sunday: Long run day. I got up early and checked the weather – rain. I waited an hour and it had stopped. I was out! I decided to do three 10 k (ish) loops for my long run, that way if it did come down I wouldn’t be too far from home. First 10k was dry. Second 10k – light drizzle, so I pressed on for a third loop. Yep, surprise, surprise, the heavens opened and I got utterly drenched. At this point though I was committed. I pressed on. I’m chuffed to say I managed the longest run I’ve done so far in terrible conditions. Just over 34 k in 3 hours 15 minutes. I was deliriously ecstatic – not only because it allayed some of the fears I had last week about whether I had the fortitude to cover the distance, but also because my target of 4 hours for the full marathon is becoming more achievable every day 🙂

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.

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