The kind of weeks I like

Hi guys. Now if you’re back at work, commiserations. It’s no fun. Especially after all that lovely time off (and commiserations if you’re time off was limited). However this week has gone by very quickly. Well, there’s only three days of work so I guess it would do. And the commute has been a dream and not many people are back at my work so it’s nice and quiet. So it almost feels like I’m still on holiday. Almost.

However, I am feeling upbeat and ready to kick start this year with gusto. Never used that word before, thought I’d throw it in there. Maybe I won’t use it again…

So let’s get into the good stuff. Though this week I haven’t been crazily adventurous with food (due to excessive and wondrous amounts of left-over turkey – I’m afraid I’ve been eating the same turkey meal for three days.

New Years Day

I should have tried my hand at some inspiring turkey recipes but I just love that turkey meal so damn much. Blogging fail? Maybe. Happiness factor? Hell yes).

However, before I become that little bit more predictable (hello oatmeal every single day), I did try a new recipe at least once! Ages ago I spied THIS recipe from the lovely Chelsea and kept meaning to make it. So I gave it a bash the other night:

Moz sticks

Breaded mozzarella sticks. Honestly it was so simple. I used some cheese strings cut in half, rolled them in wholemeal flour, then dunked in egg, and then a breadcrumb mixture (I just whizzed up a slice of wholemeal bread and added some tasty herbs and spices), then fried them. Done! We had that over salad and pomegranate seeds (and maybe a sneaky bit more of freshly torn mozzarella).Moz sticks 2

Yum! It tasted naughty but actually wasn’t that bad considering cheese strings are quite low calorie and I used less than two slices of bread for all of it. And Ben loved it!

So a while ago I mentioned I’d signed up to the Reading Half Marathon. It’s in March and currently less than 11 weeks away. I really want to give my all to this so I searched online for a training plan and I’m currently in week 2. I thought I’d give THIS training plan a go.

image

I’m vaguely working to the length of times I should be running as I prefer to think of miles rather than time. So today I was meant to run for 40 minutes, so I ran a 4.5 mile route.

IMG_3398

Almost 40 minutes. And I think that’s how I’ll play it as for some reason I hate to make myself run for a certain time. I prefer to have a set of miles I have to do and then try and run that as fast as I can.

Also, instead of the 30 minute ‘easy’ run, I’m going to use that as another short, sharp interval run to really help improve my speed – between 2-3miles.

It does sound like I’m veering off the plan but I have to make it accessible for me and, if I’m honest, I can’t be bothered to trawl through a load of training plans. I just need something to vaguely plan to. It’s mainly the long runs that I’m really going to stick to as I think they’re the most important.

I love that the plan is pushing me and now instead of “oh I can’t be bothered” I think “I really should go for that run”. And there’s a level of competition that is keeping me going. A group of guys from my work are also doing it and you know I just have to kick their butts.

And it works quite nicely as I’ve joined Maria with her Jantastic running team to see if we can stick to our goals of how often we run a week. I said I’d run three times but with this plan I’m aiming for four.

To complement the running, one day a week I’ll do a short (no more than 20mins) strength training routine (things like planks, press-ups, squats) and a Pilates session.

I feel really chuffed with this plan and I really hope I stick to it and improve my running to do well for my first ever half marathon!

Have you ever run a half marathon? Any tips?

How do you prepare for a race?

13 thoughts on “The kind of weeks I like

  1. You know you can change it to 4 runs per week? I usually run for 3, but after listening to their podcasts where they try to make you push yourself a little further, I said I am aiming for 4 runs each week. Unless I am ill I know I will get the 3 done, so I suppose the extra motivation might help me do the 4th one each week.
    I like looking at plans, but mainly now for the long run, as I have made my own ones for my past few races. I prefer running to miles too, but my reason is different- because I am slow it worries me that if I run for 100 mins as my longest run (for example) I might only cover 9 miles or something, which is not quite near enough the full 13. Plus I can map out a 4 mile route, but mapping out a 40 min route is hard as I run different speeds on different days.

    • I changed to four runs now, thanks! I think I was just a bit worried that I’d never make four runs, but after doing it last week it was fine! I think it’s just because I’m usually a bit lazy at the weekend and can never be bothered to go for a run despite having the time. I’m always so impressed with often you do quite large distances, like 8 miles. I really need to get into longer runs again.

  2. There’s so much to say about this post, I’m not sure where to begin! First, I’m the same way when it comes to turkey leftovers – I much prefer the traditional dinner several nights in a row than fancy schmancy (and in my experience, not-so-delicious) “turkey leftover creations.” Why change a good thing? 😉

    Second, the baked mozzarella sticks are making my mouth water! Yum. I actually made a similar recipe a year or two ago, and then went through a phase where I *had* to eat them every day. This post might serve as the instigator of phase #2!

    Third, your training plan looks great! However, like you, I prefer to focus on distance rather than time, so I think customizing – as you’re doing – is the best approach. It sounds like you’re well on your way, and I have no doubt that you’ll kick those boys’ butts! <3

    • Haha the mozz sticks were pretty darn amazing. I will definitely be eating them again and again!
      I think there’s something so satifying with covering a distance rather than a time. To end a run going I ran x miles is something of an achievement, whereas I ran for x mins/hours doesn’t sound so good!

  3. Great that you’ve joined Maria’s team! I trained for the Great North Run twice – it was fab but I kept getting injured! I think you are doing the right thing following a plan, I just did my own thing and I think my mileage was higher than it needed to be. Hope you’ve had a good weekend!

    • That is definitely a concern for me for over-training. You can sort of wing it if you haven’t trained enough but training too much and getting injured is a completely game changer. I think I might sign up for the Great South Run this year as they are always so popular.

  4. I don’t know much about running but I’m sure you can adjust a plan to suit you because the more it fits in with your routine and themore you enjoy it, the more you’re likely to do it all (and I don’t mean you personally, I mean in general!) I bet having a goal and plan is much more motivating than just running too… I’ve loved the 5ks I’ve done but just didn’t have the dedication to train!

    • It’s true, if I can’t get excited about my runs or start to feel that it’s a real chore I just won’t put my all into it. Like this morning I was tempted to run a further distance but I kept to my planned 2 speedy miles just because I know later in the week is going to be longer miles. And now I’m looking forward to the longer runs!

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