Tag Archives: training

Tricky Second Marathon: Training Begins

After a 2016 full of PBs at distances from the mile to half marathon, my 2017 has a much narrower focus.  Securing a ballot place for the London Marathon means I’m training for my second marathon.  And with my form on the up, I wonder what I can achieve? Well, training has started positively.

I had assistance from my coach mentor for my first marathon. I also has the privilege of a training session with Martin Yelling as well as hearing a seminar from Mara Yamauchi.

Since then my own coaching experience and knowledge has increased so I decided to put my theory into practice on my most awkward athlete: me!

My 2015 London Marathon was about taking me from never running more than 13.1 miles up to the full 26.2 and getting across the finish line in one piece. This year it’s about seeing what I can do.

So I’ve assembled a plan that’s fairly aggressive – for me.  I won’t go into the details of how I pieced together in this post; that’s for another day.

Despite the cold and icy weather so far this winter I’m enjoying the training, perhaps enhanced by me helping a couple of the club and a couple of charity runners with their own  training plans.  I feel more enthused by setting a good example!

My first marathon ultimately ended in a 4:04 result which, despite being just outside where I’d hoped, I was pleased to set as my benchmark.

My 2016 performances, and a desire to be less conservative, I’m training towards a 3:30 marathon and so far things have been going well.

Helpfully, a 3:30 marathon means averaging 5 minute kilometres (or 8 minute miles for those who use old money!) which is convenient to keep track of and is nicely comfortable over a half marathon so I’m feeling confident.

My confidence has been boosted by clocking a 17 mile slow run at a nice, low heart rate and at a pace that’s faster than I was running long runs two years ago at the same heart rate.

This weekend saw me combine a 7.5 miles marathon pace run on Saturday with 18 miles slow with a few clubmates on Sunday.  Nearly a whole marathon across the two days and, other than slightly tired legs this morning, I’m feeling good.

So 3 weeks down, 13 to go. And I’m loving it!

Time Flies

Doesn’t time fly?! Can you believe it’s 3 months since I wrote anything on here? It’s not because I’ve been injured or had writer’s block; I’ve just not had anything I’ve wanted to say. Which is highly unusual for me!

As we rapidly progress into the final quarter of the year, and with no more racing scheduled for this year, I thought it was the right time to reflect back and look forward.

The first quarter of 2015 was the adventure of my first ever marathon training plan; stretching my longest run from 13 miles to 20 was far more enjoyable than I expected!

And what can I say about Q2 of 2015?

Quite possibly the best period of my running career to date. The experience of running the London Marathon was almost indescribable! I also added the cherries of a new road mile PB at the City of London Mile and a 5k (parkrun) PB on my birthday too.

The third quarter picked up where the second had left off – securing a mile PB at the Iffley Road track – but after a tough 10k in the Great Newham London Run, the fatigue of such a cracking first six months was creeping in. I was running regularly but not training specifically. The dreaded junk miles were starting to increase. Races were getting tougher and the frustration was growing.

I managed to refocus enough to secure my second quickest half marathon at the recent Oxford Half Marathon to finish off my season. The last few miles really showed up the lack of race specific training – the beauty of hindsight!

I’m now enjoying taking it easy for a couple of weeks – the first time since last Christmas. I’m still running of course but nothing too long, nothing too hard. It’s providing an opportunity to be a bit more social and to pull together some coaching ideas for the spring, not to mention giving some consideration to my own winter training!

Juneathon 2015 Days 15 & 16: The One With The Work Trip

For the first time in ages I had a trip to head office in Aberdeen this week – up one day, back the next.  All the intentions were there for me to continue Juneathon at least by doing my strength training.

By the time we arrived at the hotel we decided to head straight for dinner and then, with there being a decent sized group of us, we headed to the bar for some team building.  And then it was time for bed!

I’m not a morning person so, already getting up earlier than normal to meet for breakfast, I decided not to get up even earlier to do my workout.

It was a busy and positive training day so no time before heading to the airport.  I  guess I could have done something while waiting for the plane but Aberdeen airport is pretty small so not ideal for physical exertion.

I’m writing this on the plane back to Heathrow and by the time I get home it’ll be fast approaching midnight so looks like I’ll be writing off two consecutive days of Juneathon.

I did at least talk about running – with one of my colleagues being a keen but lapsed parkrunner and the trainer, a marathoner, who is keen to go for a run when he’s delivering the next session down in Oxfordshire.

Back to it tomorrow!