Marathon Talk Weekend – Part 2

Hello! Hmmm I did say I wouldn’t focus solely on Marathon Talk for a post…but I kind of did sorry. I won’t be offended if you skip this if you’re not interested!

To catch up, check out Part 1

So after breakfast/brunch and getting showered and sorted we headed to meet up with everyone for 1pm.

IMG_5936 I tried to discreetly take a photo of Martin talking

They did a little “hello” sort of welcome chat (some people had only just arrived as they couldn’t make the Friday night or Parkrun). I have to say that Tom and Martin are so friendly and so lovely. There was lots of banter and they were exactly like they were on the show. It wasn’t like an “us” and “them” experience – it felt very relaxed and they were very easy-going and ‘normal’.

Then there was the Marathon Talk quiz. We were split into teams (by our birth month). Tom ended up in my team. The quiz was solely focused on Marathon Talk. It was great – Tom knew a lot of the answers which helped, but I was surprised at how much the rest of the team and I knew and that he couldn’t remember!

Marathon Talk quiz Tony was the quiz master and he was brilliant. He’s exactly like he is on the show – hilarious, witty and fun. The quiz was such a laugh.

And we won!

Winning quiz team In true runner’s style, we won cakes

Everyone on the weekend also got given (for free) a very swanky running T-shirt with “Run Camp 2014” printed on it. These were from Adidas (who sponsor the show) so they were of very good quality, and in a range of sizes. My T-shirt actually fits for once.

Marathon Talk weekend We’re on the far left (as our Tom and Martin, Tony is hiding at the back)

Then we were told the next part was an interval session. 6x3minutes with 3 minutes recovery. As jubilant as my Parkrun was and as desperate as I was to take part in this I didn’t think it would be sensible. I’m trying to be gradually get back into things and a hard Parkrun in the morning followed by a hard interval session (because let’s be honest, I’d never do it half-hearted) and then a long run the next day…probably not sensible for me.

Ben and our running club friend decided the same. Ben is only just getting back into running after his hip issues (marathon recap will happen – I am still pestering him). So we wandered over to Tom and asked if we could help out. He was more than happy for us to help him keep the timings as the entire group would be split into two (the speedsters and the not so speedsters). Another lady who had hurt her ankle also wanted to help out.

Everyone got ready and then ran to the interval location (about two miles away). Whereas we followed Tom’s car in our own car. Hilariously Tom took us the wrong way and then had to do a crazy dodgy 7 point turn on some steep dirt hill track. It was so funny (and quite scary…). Ben had a lot of jokes with him about that haha.

After some explaining of the time-keeping and lapping of stop watches (my god my tiny little brain really struggled) we each headed out to a certain distance away from the start.

Marathon Talk interval sessionThis is us heading out to our spots – Tom in the bright cap, Martin next to him//There’s the log I stood on to watch the runners pass

I’m glad I’m not great at maths as I didn’t realise I’d be stood there for 40 minutes in the cold!! Every three minutes the speedsters would zoom past me and then back.

IMG_5947The lead runner is Steve Way – stupidly fast! 

Then three minutes I’d be on my own again so I did a lot of pacing to keep warm!

Then we were done. Everyone ran back and we followed Tom back again. He seemed really grateful we helped so I felt chuffed despite how cold and wet I was.

After getting back and sorted we then headed to the meeting spot again for a buffet meal. It was quite funny because I was chatting to one of the other runners and we were wondering what we’d get. I jokingly said “probably sandwiches and pasties”. The other runner laughed and said “nah it’ll be a hot buffet of course.” Famous last words.Cold buffet monster meal Everything was cold. I hadn’t eaten since my brunch in the morning (11am) so I was absolutely starving (it was now 6.30pm). As you can see, I had everything and lots of it.

After our very cold but filling dinner, Martin did a sort of interview with Steve Way (an 100km ultra champion).IMG_5953 I had no idea who Steve Way was before the interview began. But I can now say I’m a big fan. He started running at 33 – going from an overweight smoker to an almost elite athlete; just seconds from qualifying in the elite category for a marathon. He “dabbled” with training for his first marathon and ran a 3:06. This blows my mind. Then after putting in some ‘proper’ training he got down to 2:19. Jesus.

I could say a huge amount about this interview – a lot of useful and interesting information –but it would take up a lot of the post. Unless people are very interested I’ll leave you with just a few tidbits:

  • He said though he gave up smoking, he is still a smoker. He just doesn’t smoke because it would “affect his running”. He has a cigar after every marathon to celebrate though.
  • He can run up to around 150miles a week.
  • The average pace of all those runs (recoveries to speed sessions) is 6.30mins/mile.
  • He talked a lot about knowing the limits of his body – knowing he couldn’t go over 150ish miles a week as he’d start to break down or become over-trained.
  • He takes his HR every morning. It sits around 30 beats a minute.

It was very inspiring but a little ‘out there’, you know? Like all I kept thinking was “how can I relate this to myself?”. But you sort of can – the focus, perseverance, the drive…though it was beyond most of the people’s ideas of a usual training week we were all nodding along. It was inspirational.

After the interview (which went on for a good hour with us being able to ask any questions), Martin explained what was happening for the long run the next day. IMG_5954He handed out maps and explain that there was an 11 mile route, a 16 mile route and a 19mile route. We needed to decide what distance and what pace we’d like to do so the next day we could get into groups. I already knew I’d be doing the 11 miler. No way would I be attempting more at the moment. Especially considering the terrain was off-road, challenging and the route was, in Martin’s words, “f***ed” with all the rain water. Haha.

Then we headed back to the lodge where I had a lovely hot chocolate in bed and a fairly early night.

Early night We fell asleep fairly quickly. We were shattered!

I will save the next day until another post (another interesting interview, long run, carvery and Q&A session with Martin and Tom).

Do you listen to Marathon Talk? Would you want to go on a trip like this?

Do you know your limits for exercise? Number of days, level of mileage?

Do you do interval sessions? I will be incorporating intervals in my training soon but for now I’m just doing regular runs and tempo runs to not stress my body out too much –> interesting article on exactly this: Returning to running after injury

16 Replies to “Marathon Talk Weekend – Part 2”

  1. Excellent recap! Very jealous of your weekend. I can’t wait to hear more! Also looking forward to Ben’s marathon re-cap….tell him to get a move on with it 🙂

  2. Wow, 150 miles a week…I’ve done over 130 in a week once, and I typically try to stay over 100 unless we’re buried under 10 feet of snow, in which case my mileage drops horribly. It’s taken me a long time to build up to that though: when I first jumped from 90 mpw to 100+ mpw I ended up with a series of stress fractures :/ Men are so lucky in that they can typically handle more when it comes to bone-related injuries. There are lots of them out there with similar stories of being obese or smokers or otherwise unhealthy and they suddenly find this hidden endurance beast within them later in life…Rich Roll, for example. I wish there were more ladies out there with similar transformations!

    Thanks so much for this series of posts – they’ve been so interesting for me to read. The 19 mile run on the f***ed up course sounds like fun 😀 But you were right to be conservative regarding your injury recovery.


    1. Wow you’ve done 130?? I am very impressed! I would love to get up to 100 miles a week but at the moment I haven’t got past 35ish due to injury. But I’m strengthening up so I can eventually get there. I think it takes time and experience I guess (right???)

  3. The weekend sounds amazing! I think they do come across really friendly on the show which is partly why it is such a great show to listen to. Of course they know their stuff too, but they always seem very friendly and down to earth. The weekend sounds great although very tiring too with all the running- I couldn’t have managed intervals after a parkrun in the morning either!
    I think I need 2 rest days per week really, otherwise I get overtired and basically end up running as slow as through treacle- at the moment I am normally having more than that (3) but I am so busy with work that it suits me anyway.

  4. I can imagine Tom, Martin and Tony are just as they are on the show. Tony always makes me laugh at his section! I would definitely go along for a Marathon Talk weekend if they have another one in the future.
    One of the long distance runners at our club finishes every race with a fag and a Guinness and takes a pack of cigarettes with him on every ultra just in case he gets stressed on route! I would have loved to have sat in on the interview – did you ask any questions?
    I think you did the right thing by skipping the interval session. I’m in the process at the moment of trying to work out how much speedwork is right for my body – I don’t want to get injured, but I want to pick my pace back up again. Need to get the balance just right!

    1. Well as long as we can make it we’ll definitely go again – be great to see you there!
      It’s funny you mentioned about the fags, the guy who often wins our Parkrun will have a smoke straight afterwards. Imagine if they didn’t smoke??
      I asked Steve if he did any strength workout. He said not as often as he should but that when he does he focuses on what he knows are his weaknesses (as in what he’s injured in the past).

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