12 weeks to go….

I can’t quite believe that I have now completed a whole month of marathon training, and I am pleased to report that I have not missed one run, AND I am still enjoying it. This is probably because all of the runs are distances I have completed before and I am lucky enough to work within a distance that I can RunCommute. I actually completed my first run home this week! I was dreading it, as there is a fairly steep hill on the way back, and I had completed a full teaching day, PLUS a parents evening. I’m not sure if it was the threat of getting drenched, the fact that it was a long day or that I just wanted to get the hill out of the way ASAP, but I actually completed my fastest RunCommute, which was very pleasing and a complete shock.

In my last post, I had mentioned buying the Karrimor X Lite Backpack, and I am pleased to say that I have used it twice this week on my commute and it’s great. It is very light, high viz and can actually carry a fair bit. I like the fact that it has little pockets on the straps that wrap your body. Very handy for phones, money, gloves etc – things that you want to be able to access without necessarily stopping your run. For only £11 from SportsDirect I think it was a real bargain!

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I’ve been running with a hydration backpack for my last couple of long runs – it was just a cheap one that I purchased in France during the summer. I hate holding anything in my hands when running, which has always been fine for the races I have completed so far, but I just feel I want to be a little more in control of my own hydration and fuel for the marathon. It is such a big race – not only distance, but participation too, I can just imagine the water stations being places you want to avoid if you can! I now need to find a combination of my backpack, with the pockets on the straps, and a hydration pack. I am sure that there are lots out there, but I want a bargain too!! Any suggestions?

Again, my alarm went off at 6.15am on Saturday so that I could complete my long run, without it impacting on my family too much. The aim was to complete 1 hour 45 minutes. Last week, I had tried taking jelly babies and having Lucozade in my backpack.This week I purchased some Clif Bar Shot Bloks from Runners Need. I decided I was going to follow the plan from last week: to take the first blok around 3 miles along with a drink. Then take a sip of drink every mile, with additional bloks every 2 to 3 miles. The bloks were much bigger than a Jelly baby, so i wasn’t so sure that I needed to have that much. They were very sticky to handle and initially I found them quite hard to swallow. But once I got used to the texture, i didn’t find them too bad.I tried these bloks as for some reason I assumed that you wouldn’t be able to survive on just jelly babies, but last night I was speaking to someone who has run numerous marathons and they said that you had to go with what suited your body, so I am thinking I might stick with jelly babies!

I’m finding all of the pacing quite difficult at the moment, I know that I would really, REALLY like to go sub 5 hours for the marathon, and then I look at what pace I would need for that (11:27 minute per mile) and I wonder if I am not being ambitious enough. I just have no idea how my body is going to react when I hit 18 miles +, so I feel it is important to be respectful of the distance. So, if that is my pace and then it is suggested that you run your long runs about a minute slower than your race pace, I would virtually be walking! Also, my plan is all about running for time, so my longest run being 3 hours, I would not really be covering that greater distance!! So I have kind of given up on pace, and i’m just running on feeling. When the plan says tempo or hard, I run quickly, making sure that if I was running with someone I wouldn’t really be able to hold a conversation with them. Then when I rung long, I run relaxed and hope that I could hold a conversation!

I love checking my Garmin at the end of each run and analysing the miles and pace. I was pleasantly surprised after this long run, as mile 10, my last mile, was the fastest of the entire run and I clocked a 9:49 minute mile. My average pace was 10:16, so i’m thinking I must be on the right track and now just have to see what happens to the pace and as the distance increases.

Next week is a lower intensity week, which I am certainly looking forward too! How is everyones training going?

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