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Manchester Marathon Training Recap – Week 1

Here we go again. Marathon training cycle number six for the Manchester Marathon has now started. Each week I will recap my training, highlighting the highs and lows of training for a marathon. As this is cycle 6, you would think I would remember what I am letting myself in for, but as with childbirth, your memory erases the pain.

I like writing these weekly recaps, as it gives me something to look back over when I am having a wobble. I have also categorised these recaps so that I can just scroll the week 1 of marathon training and it will bring up week 1 from all my other cycles. Great way to compare where I am in comparison to previous cycles. You can look at all week 1 recaps here. You are probably not that interested, but I know I will look! hehe


Travelling so no running.


Arriving back from Australia at 6:35am this morning meant I had know idea what time zone I was in. I did think about running as I thought it would help stay awake longer and then sleep well, but I was so COLD, I couldn’t pull myself away from the fire!


Jet lagged and weary, I met with Christine to run today. A little apprehensive as I didn’t know how the run was going to feel. I knew I was tired and my previous runs had felt quite hard, so I had constantly said to Christine that the run had to be slow paced and not too far.

It was COLD. Well, Christine didn’t seem to think so and was in shorts, but I was certainly feeling the climate change. We ran and chatted, I chatted a LOT. Reliving my holiday stories and before I knew it we were at the turn around point. We stopped to discuss whether we should carry on for half a mile to make the run 5 miles in total. Even though I felt ok, I was worried that I would struggle towards the end of the run if I pushed to far too soon, so we stuck with the 4 miles. We chatted all the way back too and I am happy to report that I didn’t fade with pace.

With out actually intending too we run a progressive run, which was very pleasing when I looked at the stats after. After running solo for the last few weeks, it was so nice to run with Christine. It certainly makes the run much easier and I enjoyed it.

I like the look of those stats!


My first session back at my running club. I was hoping that I would be able to stay awake for session as I had been awake since 3:30am! I knew it was going to be cold, but then I had the added fun of it raining too. It had been a while since I had run in the rain and leaving the house was a struggle.

We were doing a short hill session and when the heavens open just as we finished the warm up, I did question my life choices! I actually felt quite strong running up the hills, but my lack of running certainly showed towards the end of the session as my pace dropped dramatically. As much as I moaned about being cold and soaked through, I know that these are the sessions that are going to make Manchester Marathon manageable. It would have been easy to stay in and blame jet lag, but marathons don’t run themselves. They also do a good job of making you pay for it on race day if you don’t put in the hard work.


Rest Day.


My running club were doing a parkrun take over at Irchester Country Park. I had originally thought about running there and back to get the miles in, but was fortunate to be given the role of writing the run report. This meant that I could still run.

Irchester is an undualting course, but VERY pretty. I ran with Christine again and didn’t once look at my watch. The course was very busy, so I knew we were going fairly slow at the start. We chatted all the way round, the hills didn’t feel all that bad at all. I loved seeing all of my club mates on the marshal points and they were giving lots of encouragement.

I had to stop to take my jumper off at one point. I have still been struggling with the cold since returning from Australia so I did have MANY layers on! When I stopped my watch at the end, I was pleasantly surprised by the average pace. I was expecting it the start with an 11!

The when I looked at the whole run it brought a smile to my face. Who doesn’t love negative splits!

Not fast, but very a very pleasing graph.


You always no when marathon training starts, as your weekend alarm becomes earlier than during the week! It was an early start, but jet lag has been kicking my ass this week, so I didn’t actually need an alarm!

I was running with Brems as we were due a well overdue catch up. It was still dark when we started the run and we had agreed to keep the run slow. We chatted the whole way and to be honest I looked at my watch very infrequently. We stopped occasionally to take photos and just really enjoyed the run.

We ran to meet my daughter at Junior Parkrun and ended up running it with her. 7.72 miles banked in total and a run that I really enjoyed. Our pace and stats were not too bad either.

Overview and Stats

So, it’s a start but there is SO much more hard work to come. I need to add in strength workouts and some stretching routine. I am not young anymore and additional things other than running become much more important. I am hoping that my sleeping will return to normal soon as well as training will need to ramp up.

Onwards and upwards!

18.38 miles banked for week 1


Chicago Marathon Training – Week 1

So, here we go again. The 16-week count down to Chicago Marathon is on, and all thoughts are firmly fixed on October 13th 2019. My flights and hotel are booked and it’s now all about the hard work.

Chicago Marathon Logo

I really want to improve my time for Chicago and I have been hitting the gym prior to this marathon cycle starting, as well as losing a little weight (not as much as I had hoped) and fairly high monthly mileage. But as soon as I see the paces that my coach has set me for my training plan, I start to doubt that I want to go faster! hehe.

Sunday – LSR – 12miles – Av. pace 10:26

Long Run – 12 miles. I am lucky that another club member has signed up to a marathon the week prior to Chicago Marathon and we are similar paces, so we are hopefully doing a lot of training together. Having children means we like to get up and out early, so decided to start this session at 6:30 am. We both set off from home and met after 2 miles. The early miles felt tough and it took a long time for my body to wake up and my legs to get going. As I started to get into my stride, we ran up a horrible hill which zapped the pace. As soon as the hill was conquered, the pace felt fine. The concentration was mainly on slowing ourselves down to stick to the pace.

Monday – Speed – 4.5 miles – Av. pace 9:03

My legs HURT loads today! My quads were not my friend and I can’t say that I was looking forward to my running club session.

Split times from Monday's session
Split from Monday’s session

We started the warm up, and my legs felt like lead. I took it really easy and chatted with friends. The session was 425 loops and 325 loops! We had to pair up with someone of similar ability, so our recovery would be about the same time as we were running. Throughout the session, it felt extremely hard work, but I was being pulled along by another club mate. By the end of the session, I felt I had nothing left in my legs and quite sick. When I looked back at my splits, I now understand why!!!

Tuesday – Rest day (from running!)

AM: Gym – upper body and core.

The strength work is essential, as I can’t expect my body to get faster, without doing somethings differently. As I am going to be pushing it, I need to help it not to break, by making it stronger!

Wednesday – Tempo run – 5 miles – Av. pace 9:55

My tempo run was taking place in the evening, so that meant I had all day to worry about it! Silly really, as the paces that were set are all within my capabilities, but for some reason, it was still a worry!

The plan was 2 miles warm up, 2 miles tempo 8:55-9:10 pace and then 1 mile cool down. Trying to find a route that doesn’t include hills was the main aim, so myself and Simon decided to repeat a 3/4 mile loop that we know. It isn’t the most inspiring route, but it was more about concentrating on the running than taking in the surroundings.

My legs felt sluggish again during the warm-up, and I did wonder if I would be able to hit the paces set but as soon as my watch beeped 2 miles we were off. The pace actually felt quite ok, and we managed to hit both miles at bang on pace. In total, we completed 5 miles, which it really didn’t feel like. I think concentrating on the 2 in the middle, made me forget about the other three!

Thursday – Club session – 5 miles – Av. pace 9:55

AM – Gym – Core & lower body

Mid-morning – Yoga – full body stretch

PM – Club Session Hills

This was hard! My glutes were on fire from the start and then working hard up and down the hills made me very happy that tomorrow is a rest day!

Elevation chart from Thursdays session
It’s all about the hills.

Friday – REST DAY – Yiiipppppeeee

This was SO needed!

Saturday – 4 miles – easy! – Av. pace 9:34

I headed over to Bedford Parkrun to complete this run. My pace was supposed to be 9:45 -, but can you ever really run park run without being a little competitive??

Sunday – Long Run – 13 miles -Av. pace 10:10

Another early alarm can only mean one thing – Sunday Runday. 13 miles on the plan, so that’s exactly what we did. Our pace was set between 9:55 – 10:20. I started slowly as it was so early and it takes me time to wake up!

We picked up the pace and although it felt ok, around 8 miles the negative mind games kicked in. Telling myself that I can’t run this pace and that I was going to struggle at the end. I wanted the run to be over and done with then. So from 8 miles, I had to grit my teeth and try some PMA (positive mental attitude)

Running Shot

So week 1 is done and now I have to repeat it (+ further runs) x 15. Wow, that sounds scary, but I know it will be worth it! Chicago Marathon here I come!

Does anyone else struggle with the negative thoughts creeping in when you try to run faster? Any tips?

New York Marathon Week 1

New York Marathon Training – week 1

I’ve been pretty useless on my blog lately, and I’m still questioning do I want to keep one? But as my NY Marathon journey has started, I have decided to document it, so that I have it all in one place, and can look back when I need too!!

Sorry if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, as you would have already seen these pictures! I will try to be more inventive in future posts!

Recap of training


  • I completed all my runs.
  • I enjoyed my long run, even though I had really worried about the pace I had to hit!
  • I did some strength work to compliment my running.

Areas for improvement

  • Stretching
  • My foot is sore and I’m really hoping it’s not anything bad! So if it could improve quickly, that would be helpful.
  • As always keeping my water intake up!

One week down, 15 more to go. Is anyone else training for New York Marathon?

#VMLM2016 training – Week 1

Week one down, FIFTEEN more to go! Wow, I’d forgotten how hard marathon training is. This week really was a shock to the system. Actually, I think I’ve just realised how lazy I have become. The consistency of my training has not really been there lately, and I really felt that during this last week. So here goes;

Sunday – Long run – 8 miles. My plan suggested a pace on 9.55, which I was very apprehensive about. I thought LR’s were supposed to be when you catch up on all the gossip with you mates. Let’s just say, there were some silences on this run. At the start it didn’t feel too comfortable, but once I had warmed up the pace was actually ok.

Monday – Club 10K time trial. My coach had originally set me a time of 55 minutes to finish in. I did tell him that this would require me getting a PB! His response was, ‘you should be able to run that time, looking at your 5K time. I interpreted  that as ‘Zip up your Mansuit’ So that’s what I did. I probably went out too fast and found that towards the end, I was just hanging on. My Strava suggests it was a PB in 56.44, but I know that back in 2009, I ran a 10K in 56:20, so no PB, but I was pleased to get so close.
Tuesday – Rest day – Phew! I really need to stretch, as my hamstrings were not my friend today!

Wednesday – 6 miles steady run. This was supposed to be at 9.30 pace, but I took the decision to wear my watch, but not look at it. I wanted to run on feel. My body was tired, and I don’t need to be pushing too hard, too soon. With the exception of the warm up, we generally stuck around the 10 – 10.15 pace and I found the last mile so hard. I really had to grit my teeth to get it done. I spent a long time after this run, stretching and foam rolling.


Check out my new provitz jacket! Can you see me?? 🙂

Thursday – Club speed session. I am pleased to say my legs felt better, but this was still tough. 1 minute fast, 1 minute recovery x 4, 3 minutes rest, 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds recovery x 4, then repeat it all!

Friday – Sports massage – Ouch. Enough said!

Saturday – Long run – 10 miles. One of the worse things about marathon training is the early weekend alarms. I was going away this weekend, so my run needed to be an early one – 8am. Now, this doesn’t sound too early, but having to eat breakfast 2 hours before I run, means my alarm was set for 6am (on a Saturday!!) I was lucky that a few of my friends were all crazy enough to run at that time too, so for 5 miles there were 3 of us, then 2 more joined us for the last 5. The weather was AWFUL, but I really enjoyed the run.


I really must learn how to take a decent Selfie!! ?

So, all in all not a bad first week. I just now need to keep up that intensity and consistency for another fifteen weeks. I am feeling positive about this marathon prep. Having joined a running club, and meeting so many like-minded runners, they are all so supportive and always willing to join me on a training run.

How is training going for you? Anyone else doing London?