I am training for a marathon. I haven’t actually entered a marathon. I might not enter a marathon. But I’m training for one none-the-less. I have in mind the Barcelona marathon for the following reasons:
1- it’s two weeks after I move to Spain so makes sense to do one in Spain
2- as it’s the middle of March it leaves plenty of time for recovery and then a July triathlon
3- I don’t really have a third reason.
Why am I thinking about running a marathon?
1 – I read so many blogs where people run them that it got me inspired
2 – I need something to make me run over the winter. I am so bad at skipping workouts if I’m not actually training for something.
3 – my run is my weak spot. Even though marathon training isn’t normally recommended for triathletes, I can’t possibly see how running three times a week, including endurance runs, tempo and intervals won’t improve my running!
4 – I’d just quite like to.
So there you have it – not very well thought-out reasons I admit! I have chosen to use the FIRST running plan – I came across this when Amanda on the Run to the Finish blog did a really interesting series profiling the different marathon training methods – here is her article on the FIRST plan. I immediately liked it because it means I only (ha!) have to run three times a week, and I have to cross-train. As a triathlete who will want to keep up biking and swimming at slightly lower levels throughout marathon training, that appeals a lot.
I’m using this plan as I liked how it is based on my 10k time / planned marathon pace. I’m hoping to run in under 4 and a half hours. I want a good time but I’m willing to admit I’m not really sure what that is. I thought 4 hours, but then so many bloggers see 4 hours as the “holy grail” and try and try to get to that so I thought it might be a bit premature to aim there for my first marathon! Having never run longer than 8 miles, I really have no idea what speeds I’ll be able to hold.
So this week was my first week of marathon training! It was also a week in which I went to Andalucia in Spain with my mum for some running, biking and hiking. More blogs will be coming on that subject but the first, on a lovely run and a hike, is up here. Lovely pictures as well, not because I’m great at taking them but just because the scenery was so absolutely incredible.
Due to our holiday, I did 12 and a half hours of training – and it was all wonderful.
1) first marathon training run – an intervals run on the treadmill. 10 min warm up, 6×4 mins (1 min fast (12km/hr), 3 mins slow), 10 min cool down. I enjoyed this – I had David Attenborough on my ipad, the fast was hard but only for a minute and I always felt like I could manage it.
2) Strength training session with a trainer at the gym. He is focussing on my muscle imbalances that I have as a result of minor scoliosis in my teens. Really hoping his exercises will stop my knee pain!
3) second marathon training run – meant to be a tempo run but the tempo part of it ended up just being trying not to slow down too much on the big hills I was running up!
4) long hike up over the mountains
5) 5 hr off-road cycle ride through the mountains
6) third marathon training run – the long run! The programme starts with an 8 mile run, perfect as it was just about the furthest I’ve ever run. I’ll blog about this in detail as it was just so beautiful but for now – we kept just under a 6min/km pace. We had really really tired legs after the long and hilly cycle ride the previous day and I was moaning by the end, but we managed it. So who knows how fast I could go on fresh legs?!! Positive outlook 😀
We also did lots of sightseeing in various Andalucian villages and towns – Zuheros, Priego de Cordoba, Cordoba, Antequera… more on that coming in future blogs!