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Manchester Marathon Training Recap – Week 2

Manchester Marathon recap week 2 has been a fairly good one. The miles are creeping up and I actually enjoyed pushing the pace in the session this week. If you missed last week’s recap, click here. Make sure you are subscribed too so you don’t miss any other posts.


Last week at run-club it was so wet and so cold, I really didn’t know if I could face another session being freezing. I spent most of the early evening trying to decide if I was going to run club or not. The one thing that I am definitely going to try this cycle is to use Monday sessions as recovery sessions. I think in the past, I have worked too hard at these sessions, especially after long long runs and then wonder why I can’t hit the paces in the speed sessions. I need to give my body time to recover. Not every session has to be flat out.

So, as Storm Brendan raged, I hit the treadmill. Frustratingly my watch never records correctly on the treadmill, so I set the pace at 9.0 km/h and ran 4 miles. The pace should have been easy, but it felt far from easy. I wanted to give up many times but just got on and got it done.

Manchester Marathon training on a treadmill
All smiles once it was over!


Now that I am back to trying to work a bit more now, fitting in training is more challenging, obviously!

Friends were meeting at 4:30 pm and it was touch and go if I would make it home in time. With Storm Brendan blowing, I knew I would struggle to get out on my own, so I was home, upstairs change and out of the door in about 15 minutes!

We were lucky that it was only drizzling, but the winds were strong. At times you had to really work hard running into the wind and on occasions, it helped me along too! We kept the pace slow, yet it felt far from easy!

5 miles banked and I am looking forward to my rest day tomorrow!

Finish selfie trying not to get blown away in Storm Brendan.


Rest day – yippee!


I genuinely loved this session. I had just completed my first full day of teaching for a while and was shattered. The weather was shocking as per! I really contemplated not going. But throughout this training cycle, I had decided that Thursday’s session would be my ‘hard’ session. Whether that be hills or speed, I had to attack full throttle.

The session was mile repeats. We were supposed to go at our 10k pace, which I thought was around the 9-minute mark. We set off and I was with Dem. I pushed the pace but was still able to talk intermittently. When we clicked the first mile at 8:38, I said ‘well that won’t continue.’

We set off on the second mile and I did feel this was a little harder – I could tell by my breathing, but I assumed that was due to going out too hard on the first rep. Well, that mile clocked in as 8:17 😱

I was convinced I didn’t have the third mile in me, but when we were told to go again I just kept working hard. I was definitely finding this rep the hardest, but I tried desperately to keep up with Dem. He pulled away at the end, but the mile still clocked in at 8:19. I was SO chuffed. I know that this isn’t my 10k pace, but it was nice to push the pace a bit and clock some miles with an 8 at the start. Even the rain and wind couldn’t take the smile off my face after that session.


Rest day!


What a beautiful morning! I am loving having a Parkrun so close to home now and it helps that it is such a pretty run. It was supposed to be a slow run and we started at the back so it started that way.

Girl gang prior to the start of Irchester Parkrun.

It was a little muddy, but it was a really lovely run. We got faster as we ticked off the miles and I did worry that I would regret pushing the pace during tomorrows long run.


The weather forecast was for it to be cold and icy. Trying to be smart, I suggested that we meet at the local park early so we could run on the trails. I thought it would be less slippery. Well, that was true, it wasn’t slippery. But it was flooded!

Just a little bit of flooding on our long run route

With a slightly adjusted route, we ticked off the miles. I felt remarkably good and we had to keep checking pace and slowing down. There was so much flooding, but some beautiful views.

We finished at Junior Parkrun. I ran the last mile with my daughter. It was bitter cold, but she did amazingly well, running the entire course. It was a great way to finish week 2 of marathon training.

Overview and Stats

I have still been rubbish with stretching and strength work! I am now back working more days than previous, so I need to keep consistent with train, even though I know I am going to be more tired.

Garmin showing weekly mileage from week 2 of Manchester Marathon.

26 miles banked for week 2

And on to week three, we go…

Smile or grimace face? The joys of marathon training

Chicago Marathon Training – Week 2

This week could be tough; my husband is away so I can not go to any of my club training sessions. I also have a family party on Saturday night, so my long run is going to have to happen on Saturday AM. But if I want to run Chicago Marathon, I have to get the sessions done, so here goes week 2 of marathhon training. (Read Week 1 here )

Monday – 10 x 400m – Av. Pace

My daughter had her Brownie meet up in a local park this week, so I decided I would drop her off and do my session in the park. The park appeared to have NO flat sections at all, so this session was ridiculously hard! I found a 400m section, but one way was uphill and the other downhill. My legs did not like me AT ALL, so this was a really tough session.

Smile or grimace face? The joys of marathon training
Don’t be fooled by the smile!

Tuesday – Rest day from running

AM – Upper body & Core session

Wednesday – 2 mile WU 3 tempo Av. Pace

I headed out straight after the school run, before I could talk myself out of this, or worry about it. The weather was gorgeous and I just got on with it.

Lake View

This felt harder than last week, but I was happy to complete my tempo miles in 9:00, 8:54, 8:54.

Thursday – 1 mile WU 4 x 1 mile – Av. pace

AM – Strength session – legs and core. Tiredness saw the last set of core exercises halved!

I was lucky that a friend had agreed to run with me, so we met and ran the mile warm up together. It was a VERY hot day, so drinks were left on a bench and the plan was to do laps of a lake which I was sure was exactly mile. We went off in different directions and I immediately knew I had set off too fast. I tried to pull it back, but the setting off too quickly made me pay towards the end of the mile. You can imagine my annoyance when the lake loop was less than a mile and I had to run past the bench and loop back! The first mile clocked in at 8:41. I knew then I had set myself up for a tough session, as none of the next 3 mile reps could be slower than that!

Friday – 4 miles easy – Av. Pace

The weather has been gorgeous this week, perfect to get out a run. So I jumped on the treadmill for this one! It just needed to be completed.

Treadmill selfie Marathon training
Marathon Training on the treadmill

Saturday – 13 miles LSR – Av. Pace 10:04

For some reason, I was dreading this run- stupid brain. Thinking I was too tired as I was on day 4 of consecutive days running. I had to run it solo and that worried me. I set off around 7 am, and the weather was perfect, sunny but a cool breeze. Marathon Talk podcast was selected and off I ran. I decided to tag the local Parkrun to the end of my run, planning to incorporate it into the last three miles, but then realised that I would have a long walk back, so I ran mile 10, 11, and 12 during Parkrun (too quickly obviously) which made the final mile towards home a little tougher than it should have been.

Running Watch Marathon Training
The longest ever Parkrun?

A little self-conscious and feeling silly, as I still had my hydration pack on which felt alittle excessive for a 3 mile run. I felt I needed to shout to everyone that this was part of my long run 🙂

Sunday – Rest Day – Av. Pace – SLOW!!!

This was very much needed and appreciated. Bring on Week 3!

How is everyone else marathon training going?

New York Marathon Week 2

New York Marathon Training – Week 2

One of my biggest fears with signing up to an Autumn marathon is the fact that my routine goes out the window, as soon as the school holidays start. Last week, I was away visiting family in Scotland, but I am pleased to report I still got the miles in. It did mean I had to set an alarm a few mornings, and forego my lie in, but so be it. Marathon training is not easy!

Being away meant that I got to run in the sun, by the sea, which was really lovely, and very unexpected for Scotland!!! During this week, it also marked 100 days until the marathon! Arrgghhhh

So my week in pictures:


My long run was a struggle this week, as again my foot was aching and I really wasn’t that organised. I knew that I was running low on Torq gels, but on Saturday morning when I went to pack them, I found I only had ONE! I also felt like I hadn’t hydrated well on Friday, so psychologically I was already down on myself before starting my run. Luckily, I had my running buddy ‘Sparks‘ to help get me through, but I can’t say I enjoyed this run as much as last week.

Last week, I was wondering why I write this blog, yesterday I read my posts from week 2 of my last three marathon training cycles (2014, 2015, 2016) and actually I am working much harder this cycle, and already clocking more miles. This has to be a positive. If I want to be better, I have to train better!

Recap of training


  • Running next to the sea.
  • Pushing myself on my 800’s, even though I was on my own.
  • Better pacing on my tempo run

Areas for improvement 

  • STRETCHING! – I have a feeling this is going to feature every week. When time is tight, stretching gets missed.
  • Replace my Tuesday run with a bike session and strength work. I’m not sure my body is ready for too many back to back sessions.
  • Getting organised. I need to order my gels NOW!

Has anyone found any good stretching routines they want to share with me?

#VMLM2016 training – Week 2

Monday – speed session at club. 425 metres X 7, with 2 minutes recovery. It was tough. My legs felt OK, but the route had some slight hills in it and they zapped my legs. My coach had suggested to complete the laps in 2:05 and I’m glad to say I was pretty much there or there abouts on every rep 🙂

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – 7 steady miles. Had a bit of a panic when my 2 running buddies couldn’t make tonight and I thought I was heading out alone! I even resigned myself to the possibility of 7 miles on the treadmill! Luckily one of the guys from club came to the rescue and I headed out with him and one other. They are super speedy and they made me work hard. But I loved it. We averaged 9.40 pace and the 7 miles flew by. Still amazes me that I can just go out after work and run 7 miles fairly comfortable.

Thursday – hills at club. We had to complete continuous hill; hard up a short hill for 15 minutes, then 3 minutes rest. Followed by 15 minutes continuous up and down a longer hill. I felt surprisingly good, legs allowed me to push quite hard on the short hill, the longer hill was tougher! In total we covered about 4 miles. My new runners had their first outing in this session.


I am in LOVE!!

Friday – rest

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 12 miles LR – When I saw the snow had arrived on Sunday morning, I did regret leaving my long run until today. What made it worse is that I had arranged to meet the girls at 4pm. Not sure about you, but if I leave my long run till later in the day, I spend the whole day battling with my mind – It’s too cold! I’m tired! I haven’t fuelled correctly! Luckily, arranging to meet people means you can’t opt out. I layered up, ready to brave the elements.


I do NOT like being cold!

I have had a toothache for the last 2 days, and have also developed a head cold, so I kind of felt this run was ‘kill or cure!’ I’m pleased to say that I completed all 12 miles and I’m here writing about it, so it definitely wasn’t kill, but I have sneezed numerous times whilst writing this, and my nose is streaming, so no cure either! I’m not going to lie, it was tough, but the miles are banked and I am on to week 3 🙂

So, how’s everyone else’s training going? Do you run when you have a cold? Anyone else hate hills as much as me?



Week 2

Again, another 100% week!! I am actually really enjoying this training cycle, easy to say when you are only 2 weeks in!! The training plan that I am following is all about easy runs for the first month and I do think this is helping, as I know I wouldn’t be looking forward to my runs quite as much if it was a hill or speed sessions!

Last week was also exciting for reasons other than the training too. I had a tweet asking for my email address as there was an opportunity that I might be interested in linked to the London Marathon. Obviously, this excited me hugely, and I quickly sent my email address in. I then got an email asking me to be an #extramile ambassador. I have to admit that I wasn’t totally sure what it was. I remembered seeing the hashtag at the expo last year, and it was on my finishers t-shirt, but I wasn’t too sure what it meant.

After some investigation, I found the #extramile website and had a look around. You can sign up, linking all of your social media accounts, so that every time to add #extramile to a tweet, photo on instagram etc, it collates it in one place, making a collective timeline for all runners. You can also create your own #extramile time capsule, creating your own webpage which follows your marathon journey. Click the link here and have a look. They are also running lots of competitions to win great prizes. The latest prize is £300 of Adidas kit!! Check out the competition here.


This was my entry into the competition. Feet up after #first 9 miler this training cycle #extramile


I also started thinking about raising money, as again I am running as part of #TeamMND. I have explained in posts before (here), how my dad suffered with Motor Neurone Disease, and I still want to raise as much money and awareness as I can. The disease is devastating and as yet there is still no cure. I am reluctant to ask family and friends for sponsorship again – if anyone offers, I would never say no, but I don’t want people to feel like I am constantly pestering them for money. I have started to contact companies asking them to donate prizes, that I can then use them to raffle off. So far, I have had an offer from Nuun, which is brilliant! So keep a look out for the information on what the prize is and how you can win it.

My long run on Sunday was fun as I got to run with my friend Kate. We used to fit in quite a lot of runs together, but since I’ve moved this isn’t possible. It was so nice to run and chat. My plan said 70 mins, but Kate’s said 9 miles (she is doing London too) We met up about 9 miles away from Kate’s house. I had warned her that I may have to walk bits as I hadn’t run that kind of distance in a while! I was also worried that I may have slowed her down, but we soon were back to our old ways, chatting away at a comfortable pace that seemed to suit us both! We did walk a little, to take on some water, but I surprised myself how comfortable it felt! My legs must be remembering all that training from last year!! I also think psychology plays a huge part, knowing that I have run these distances before stops the negative ‘I can’t’ or ‘what if’.

I also included a bit of core work and stretching this week, as I am terrible finding the time to do these. I am a member of the Run Mummy Run group of Facebook (excellent, supportive group) and someone asked about what additional training to do at home, straight away I replied saying how great the Nike Training App is! Funny though, I haven’t used the App in a while, so practised what I preached. I just need to keep this up!


Nike Training App


So training looked like this:


Week 2 training

Total mileage 18.64 miles.

Anyone else using the #extramile hashtag?




Week 2 completed, 14 weeks left to go….

So, i have managed to complete every run on my plan so far. Only another 14 weeks to keep this up!!!! The big test starts now, as reality hits and I have to fit training in around work! I have set my alarm for 6.00am tomorrow, so that I can fit my recovery run in before I head off to work. To be honest, I could probably do it tomorrow evening, but when I run before work it makes me feel so much better, and I might actually be slightly less grumpy when I return to work!

Today I completed my long run – 7 miles banked. I was looking forward to this long run as after trying to up the pace for in my last 2 sessions, I thought running slower was going to be nice. I was also running with my friend Kate, and I always find in easier to run with someone. So we set off, with lots to catch up on, and I thought it was going to be a gossip all the way round. So much for easy and enjoyable, as we started I was glad that it was Kate talking, so I could just nod and say yep at the right time. My legs were so heavy and I took a while to get my breathing sorted! After about 3 miles, I started to feel more comfortable and was relieved that I could finally take part in the conversation and actually felt ok. We ran 7.14 miles in total – only another 19.46 miles left to find!!


So tomorrow sees the start of Jantastic, in which I have set myself the goal of complete 4 runs a week. With my running on track at the moment, I think I now need to start thinking about fundraising. Even though I got my place through the ballot, I am still very keen to raise as much money as possible for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. If anyone has any good suggestions for fundraising, please get in touch. If anyone has any spare pennies left over from Christmas, please fell free to donate and share this page.