Well it’s the 1st December and today I began marathon training with my first “long” run – just under 12km to work. This is the start of a 20 week training session – this first “warm-up” week then beginning an 18 week programme one week early.
I’m following roughly the same plan as I did last year, for Barcelona marathon, because it seemed to work and I loved marathon training last year. It’s a mix of a Hal Higdon plan and the Run Less Run Faster method, with a lot of cross-training and three runs a week. Longest run will be 20 miles (hopefully – last year, injury meant I didn’t get above 18 miles).
That’s another point – injury. I am planning on trying to avoid it this year in a few ways:
- keeping up lots of yoga
- doing all the strength exercises that my physio has me doing
- warming up properly
- not doing some of the really fast, longer intervals that I tried last year on the Run Less, Run Faster program.
Learning lessons from previous years (all of last year’s marathon training posts can be found here)! I was just re-reading this post from my first week of marathon training for my first ever marathon. At this point I hadn’t even entered… I gave these as my reasons for doing my first marathon:
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 at this point I think it’s probably quite useful to look back at those and see how they apply for this year. Numbers 1 and 4 still apply – I am forever inspired by the blogs and podcasts of other runners, and I really would just quite like to run another marathon. Numbers 2 and 3 … I am pretty sure I would still run over the winter even if I didn’t have a marathon to train for and my run is certainly becoming less of a weak spot!
So why am I running marathon number 2?
1 – So many people, or so I have heard, run one marathon and then think NEVER AGAIN. This was not me. Even crossing the finish line, in agony, I was mainly sad that the whole experience was over, and was already thinking of running another one. So number 1 is that I just loved it. I loved the event, I loved the sense of achievement, I loved the training for it – yup I even loved solo three hour runs in five layers of clothing past frozen lakes. I want the whole experience all over again.
2 – there is no number 2. That’s all there is!
My weekly review posts are about to turn into marathon recaps, in which I will detail:
- my three weekly marathon runs
- any cross-training (hopefully lots!)
- my weekly marathon inspiration
- favourite marathon eats
- something fun that was nothing to do with running
Oh… and before I forget … because I know it is important … my marathon goals and aims.
I am going to train for a 4.15 marathon (knocking almost 14 mins of my first marathon time, but I think its doable). However, I may decide not to go for it…. My mum has also entered Brighton marathon and I would really love to run the whole distance with her. She may well end up faster than me, she has certainly been running a lot more than me recently. We may both end up at the 4hr15 mark. Or she may be slower and I may feel I would prefer just to run at her pace. There will always be another marathon, but there may not always be one I can run with my mum!!!