Time For Marathon Training

How quickly a holiday fades from your memory and real life takes over…I am fully back into the swing of life. And jeeze how cold does it suddenly feel UK people? My tan is being replaced by goose bumps.

I’m going to save my second part of my Mexico recap till next week if you don’t mind (check out my recap HERE and the amazing food I enjoyed HERE). I thought instead I’d catch you up with what I’ve been up to post-holiday.

So it is approximately 11 weeks until Marathon Time. I am doing the Portsmouth Coastal marathon on December 22nd. I am getting my head and training into gear. I’ll share my plan with you guys once I’ve perfected it. I’m basing it on several different plans and moulding into what I think will work well for me.

It’s all trial and error really as I’m a marathon newbie. But I know what works well with half marathon training and hey they’re similar right? Can’t be that much different, right…? Ha. No seriously, I know myself and when I like to run, the types of runs that work well and also what races I have planned. I don’t like to rigidly stick to a generic plan. It would never work for me. I’m also fully preparing myself to change it as I go. Flexibility is key here I think!

I’ll go into more detail later, but it’s going to be a pretty standard plan!

Marathon training

In a nutshell: running 4-5 times a week, the long runs going no higher than 20 miles, I’ll be balancing things with spinning and will also always stretch and foam roll after running.

Last weekend I went to my first Parkrun (weekly local 5k timed run) since getting back. Wowza it was tough. Having done no speed work over my holiday I found it quite tough. I decided to run the 4 miles there at a casual pace (7.45mins/mile) as a warm-up. I know from experience that my body needs to have that warm-up before attempting any serious speed work or racing. Then when I get there I do a lot of dynamic stretches (see THIS video for some of the stuff I try to incorporate – not all of it as otherwise I look like a berk Winking smile at home I do a lot of these though).

The Parkrun itself went well. I told myself just to go with however I felt when I started running. It was quite reassuring to look at my watch and see my pace considering the whole time in Mexico was like running through treacle. Mentally I needed that reassurance that I hadn’t fully lost it.

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Though I will say that we were on the flat course (there’s a choice of two courses – one with a hill you do three times and then this one). So I know after a few more weeks back into normal running I could be faster on this course as this was only a few seconds from my PB from the hilly course. Well, fingers crossed anyway!

On a non-running related note, Saturday afternoon we watched Wreck-It Ralf. Watch immediately, it is hilarious.

Wreck-It Ralph

As Ben is a keen gamer and I used to be, this really went down well with us. But I’d say it could appeal to the masses easily.

Sunday I decided to get stuck in and do my furthest mileage yet: 14 miles. I stuck a podcast in my ears and just went out at a nice and easy pace. I tried to make sure I stuck to around 8.30mins/mile as this is roughly where my longer runs should be sitting.

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It was tough but not overly tough. In my head I said if at 11-12miles if I wasn’t feeling it or felt too tired I’d cut it short. But at 12 miles I was feeling very good and decided to go for it. Luckily I have a route where you can tag on extra miles or cut things short.

The rest of the day involves not much else! HOLD THE BOAT. I forgot to tell you. I am OBSESSED with the Great British Bake Off. For those who don’t live in Britain or, like me a few weeks ago, lived blissfully unaware of this TV programme, let me explain.

Great-British-Bake-Off

It’s a competition where 13 (very talented) contestants have a to bake an array of different cakes and show different baking skills (seriously tricky baking skills – when I say tricky I mean not tricky for me which is generally weighing ingredients out and mixing them). I’m not even doing it justice. It’s just so good. And also just emphasises how truly appalling my baking is!

Though I did attempt some baking the other day to take into work. Double chocolate chip and oat and raisins (I didn’t make a note of the recipes, I think I just googled them! Nothing hugely crazy or spectacular about them).

Anna's cookies

But they came out OK and that is a thumbs up in my eyes. And they were gone by the end of the day. Happy days.

This weekend I’m randomly running a half marathon. Ben and me signed up last minute as it’s a league race with our club and we thought “what the hell”. Though I will not be racing it, I will use it as a long run.

And I have some very exciting running-related news that I’ll share with you soon! I literally am so excited. It’s sad how excited I am but it’s true.

Have a great weekend everyone!

What are your plans this weekend?

The Great British Bake Off – do you watch it? What other food-related programmes do you indulge in? The Food Network is like my mecca.

Have you run a marathon? Do you have any wise tips and tricks to share?

What good films have you seen lately?

14 thoughts on “Time For Marathon Training

  1. So excited to start following your marathon training for the next 11 weeks. Really looking forward to hearing the highs & low (hopefully no lows of course) that you may face. Those times for your 14 miles are fantastic. Honestly, I feel like you just keep getting quicker & quicker.

    That show sounds awesome.. and addicting lol. I love just sitting around watching cooking/baking shows.

  2. Great job on your long run and parkrun! I think your marathon program sounds sensible, I am looking at a marathon for next year, I’ve entered the ballot for Berlin but I might do Edinburgh if I don’t get in. I never went over 20-21 miles during training for my lat full, rest, stretching and foam rolling were really important in terms of recovery. I like to do 3 heavier mileage weeks, and then drop the mileage majorly and have a recovery week and I find that helps as well. I’m looking forward to following your training. I loved Wreck it Ralph, very cool! I do watch the Bake off although I’m not massively impressed with the contestants this year.

    • Ooh yeah I entered the ballot for Berlin as well. World’s flattest marathon, gotta be a winner!
      I like how you have an ‘easier’ week in between hard stuff. Great way for the body to recover properly.
      I haven’t see Bake Off before so I have nothing to compare it to – they all look amazing to me but then I can’t really bake!!

  3. I am so excited!!!!! Hope all the training goes well!
    I am not sure if you can learn anything off me- I wish I had done more long runs as I only did one 20 miler (as it was my first and that was what the training plan said) but I think actually doing a couple would have helped me on the day.
    I love the bake off! And Top Chef- try to find that as it is addictive!

    • Hehe thanks, Maria!
      Yeah it’s a tough call on how many 20 milers to do. I plan on doing two. And one 18-19 miles. I don’t want to injure myself though :-S I’ll see how it goes and cut it short if necessary.

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