Ultra marathon training – in sickness and in health

The week started horrendously, with most of Monday spent in bed blowing my nose every 2 minutes, tissues piling up on my bedside table, and generally feeling very very sorry for myself. Then it ended wonderfully, with a huge Sunday roast dinner and several bottles of red wine with my best friends. Still a bit sniffly but I have so much more energy and am really looking forward to getting back to it next week!

Running: I missed a lot of my planned runs due to trying to prioritise getting over my cold – my aims this week were to stay in bed for as long as possible in the morning and get to bed as early as possible in the evening! Run 1 was a very slow 20 minute treadmill run that was really just about getting moving through my sniffles on Tuesday.

Run 2 then wasn’t until Saturday but oh it was such a good run. With rested legs and almost fully recovered, I felt amazing. Six miles, the first 3 at an easy pace, the last 3 at a steady pace. Running felt easy, effortless, and I had a huge smile on my face despite the grey skies. I tied the run in with my Saturday chores, stopping after a mile to buy a Christmas tree to be delivered later that day, after 3 miles to pop into a running store and look at their trail shoes, and with 1 mile to go, stopping at the wine store to buy a crate of wine to be delivered… and indulge in a little wine tasting before I ran home! My watch ran out of battery so I was running on feel but recording on Strava and I was just so happy every time I heard my mile splits. The kind of run that reminded me just how much I love running.


Run 3 was then similar except the skies were ridiculously blue and it was my favourite kind of winter day. Two hours, the first half an hour easy, then an hour at a steady stage pace (9mm for me) and then the last half an hour easy. I ended up running a sub-2 hour half marathon – my first ever – and I really wasn’t pushing too hard, it was fantastic. Another run that I absolutely loved and made me really happy.


Cross-training: I cycled to work and back twice, taking things very easy but just enjoying being on my bike. Cycling to work is the best, cycling home in the dark is always more of a struggle. No yoga but I did keep up headstand practice once my cold got slightly better! One strength session and one swim. I swam for just 25 minutes, and swum 1000m (2 x 200m front crawl, 2 x 200m with pull buoy, 3 x 50m (25m really fast, 25m slow), 50m backstroke cool down).


Something fun that was nothing to do with running: ah I had so many good moments this week. There was Tuesday night, where I watched the final episodes of Westworld with my housemate and her boyfriend, eating a French onion soup Issy had cooked. Then on Friday I finished work early and went for several drinks with colleagues which was lovely. Saturday evening was spent watching Strictly come Dancing, putting up the Christmas tree, drinking mulled wine and just generally enjoying a quiet Christmassy evening in. Then there was Sunday evening over at Charlotte’s eating a roast dinner with all my closest friends. It was a lovely week!

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