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Manchester Marathon Training Recap – Week 3

A little change for week 3 marathon training. Also, a bit of a drop back week unintentionally but week 3 training for Manchester Marathon is complete! If you have missed the previous weekly update, read then here.


My run club sessions are on a Monday and a Thursday. I usually attend both sessions, but now that I run both Saturday and Sunday, and I am back working 4 days a week, I am having to rejig my running sessions.

I thought that if I missed run club and do my recovery session on the treadmill before work, I can spend Monday evenings with my husband. I had thought about setting the alarm clock for before work today, but I was shattered. So I took a rest day instead.


After laying out my kit the previous night, I woke up at 4 am, but was shattered so rolled over and went back to sleep. So, I hopped on the treadmill after work to get my first run of the week banked.

I was lacking in motivation and could have easily missed this run. As mile 1 seemed to go on forever, I did wonder if I would be able to complete all four miles. As the run progressed, I actually started to enjoy it and was disappointed when I had to finish on four miles (dinner was ready!)


Wednesday is now my day off from work, so I arranged to meet up with Christine. She suggested that we run 6 miles, which was fine with me. She was doing miles before meeting with me but didn’t manage to bank as many as she had hoped for.

My new style ‘wing it’ plan meant that I could say “don’t worry, I’ll run more with you”. 8.5 miles later and half marathon distance for Christine, we stopped for our cuppa and toast.

I thoroughly enjoyed the run, chatting away not worrying about pace or distance.


Another day when I could have quite honestly skipped this run. I was tired after work, but I have learnt that you have to just keep turning up. Consistency is key with marathon training.

I thought that the session was 400’s, so was a little shocked when I found out we were doing LONG hills! We were running a new route which was just over a mile rep.

I was running with Demo again and working hard. Although I think I probably worked too hard on the first lap as I got slower and slower with each rep!


Rest day!


No Parkrun for me this week as I had a hair appointment. Even though my hair desperately needed doing, I was a little disappointed to be missing it. I am enjoying Parkrun a lot at the moment.

After a fairly busy day, I decided to use the treadmill. I had planned to run a 10k, but after a mile and a half, I started to feel a little dizzy. I had little energy and felt all out of sorts. I slowed down to a walk with the hope that I would be able to carry on after my walk. I tried running again, but I just didn’t feel right, so I called it a day at 2 miles. Not ideal, but it’s important to listen to your body.


I was going to the National Running Show today, so knew that fitting in a long run was going to be tough. My daughter was adamant that she wanted to run Junior Parkrun before we went to Birmingham, so my run for today was just 2K.

Overview and Stats

Weeks like this is when you start to worry about the ‘Wing it‘ plan. If things don’t go to plan, you usually have a coach reassuring you! This mileage is way down on previous cycles, but I have to remember that I still have time. I need to get some more long runs under my belt, but I have time. I don’t need to panic just yet!

21 miles banked for week 3.

Looks like some hard work is needed this week, but on to week four, we go…

After run club smiles

Chicago Marathon Training – Week 3

Week 3 of Chicago Marathon Training has been and gone, so let’s see what happened! I was back to #runclub this week which was good.

Monday – 6 x 800m – Av. Pace 8:09/mi

Rather than just running an 800m loop our club pair us up with similar ability runner. We then set off in different directions until we meet – Ideally around 400m, you then turn and head back in the direction you have just come. This obviously keeps you working hard, as you should get back to the start at around the same time as your partner.

After run club smiles
All smiles once the session is over!

800’s are hard enough and this system keeps you honest and is hard work. My legs felt tired, but I worked hard.

Tuesday – Rest day from running

AM – Upper body & Core session

Wednesday – 1-mile WU 4 tempo Av. Pace 9:06/mi

As always this run feels me with dread, but once it gets going I really quite enjoy (??) it. We didn’t head out until 7:30pm for this, which was quite nice as the temperatures had dropped. We searched for a flat route and after sorting logistics of cars, we headed out.

During the warm up my legs felt pretty heavy and I did wonder how I was going to get to my tempo pace. But, as soon as my watch beeped the first mile I upped my pace and actually it felt ok, if anything I had to hold myself back a little as I knew I had to hold this pace for four miles.

I came away from this run feeling really positive and like I was actually making progress. (Tempo Miles: 1 – 9:00, 2 – 8:51, 3 – 8:47, 4 – 8:53)

Thursday – Gully Run at #runclub Av. Pace 10:05/mi

I was really struggling today. Everytime I stood up I felt dizzy. I rested during the day, but I just didn’t feel 100%.

Elevation Map of the Gully Run
Gully Run

The Gulley run with my club is a 1200m loop of a local park, that includes a set of steps in! It’s such hard work as the steps are not even and you really have to concentrate as your legs are burning! The loop is a little undulating as well so this is a tough loop. I took it easy to start with due to the dizzy feeling, but as soon as I was grouped with other runners, my competitiveness kicks in! After training, my husband took my blood pressure and for some reason it was low; which would explain my dizziness! Not sure why this occurred, I have never suffered previously, if anything my blood pressure has always been on the higher side of normal!

Friday – Rest day from running.

This day was SO needed, but I did make sure that I got in a Lower body and core session in.

Saturday – 5 miles with Secret London Run

I won a competition on Facebook back in April to run with Secret London Runs, which I have been fortunate to run with previously (Read here) We covered just over 5 miles, with lots of stops. I am going to write a separate blog post all about it, but for now, all I will say is if you like running, especially running in London, get yourself booked on one of these tours. They are amazing.

Even though our pace wasn’t fast and we stopped lots, my quads felt quite heavy and I was tired by the time I finally got home.

Sunday – Long Slow Run – Av: 10:25

My legs were achy (I suppose that’s what you get from marathon training!), I was still feeling a little light headed and dizzy, so I decided to slow this run down right from the start. I decided this run was about listening to my body and banking the miles.

Mile legs felt very heavy at the start and I stopped a few times to stretch them. I ran the first 9 miles solo listening to marathon talk and the miles ticked over nicely. Just prior to mile 9, I met with Christine, which was much needed company. We chatted along the next 6 miles and I was ready for it to be over and done with by the end, but I think that always happens when you know you are finishing at a certain distance. The positive was that my final 2 miles were my fastest (proof that I was wanting it to be over! hehe)

And just like that week 3 has been completed and week 4 awaits. This week is going to be a bit of a drop back week. I am running the ASICS London 10K on Sunday, which I am looking forward too.

Are you running the 10K on Sunday? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you marathon training? How is it going?

New York Marathon Training – Week 3

After my solid training last week and pretty high mileage for me, this week has been a disaster!!
My daughter had a cold, so it was inevitable that she would pass it on to me, but I didn't think it would wipe me out quite as much! I think picking it up, just as my immune system was low due to marathon training starting and the end of a busy school term, means I still have it now, and it hit me hard. I missed Monday and Wednesday sessions, Thursdays session was hard – who would think you need to breathe when completing 400's!!! Luckily my long run at the weekend was only 8 miles, so I could just about manage that.

So, pretty disappointing really! I suppose missing training this early on in the cycle is not so bad. Let's hope week 4 is better.

#VMLM2016 training – Week 3

Monday – Speed session at club. 800 metres X 5, with 2 minutes recovery. This was a toughie! I was aiming to run at 8 minute/mile pace, and I did stay close to it, but having only completed my long run yesterday, I did slow down on the final lap! I am also battling a cold at the moment, so at times breathing was interesting.

Tuesday – rest, but with some foam rolling! I could feel some niggles from yesterdays session, so I’m hoping 10 minutes of pain in front of the TV should help.



Wednesday – Rest day as ill.

Thursday – Rest day as ill.

Friday – rest

Saturday – Long run – my plan said I should have been running 13 miles, but I only managed 11.3 miles! I am still not 100%, but I had this strange idea that perhaps as I had extra rest days this week, this run would be good; How wrong could I be? I wanted to give up after mile 1, mile 2, mile 3 and every mile after that! I was lucky that a club mate was running with me and she pulled me round. I found it hard to get my breath at times, and every part of my body ached. My shins were sore at the start, then my hamstrings were tight and towards the end my hip was aching; all in all it was a run to forget. Onwards and upwards.


Not the prettiest of stats, but its miles banked!

Sunday – I read an article in Runners World magazine about how important the hip muscles are. It suggests that most leg injuries stem from weak hips. They have a plan of action, so I thought it’s worth a try. Today I completed day 1, which was 10 reps of hip abductors (See photo below) and 10 reps of hip flexor strengtheners. I was not particularly good at them, so I am thinking it is very probable that it is a weak area of mine too!


Hip abductor strengthening exercise

As you can tell from above, this week did not go to plan at all! Frustrating, as I had really enjoyed the first 2 weeks, but I suppose the positive is that, it is only week 3, and its better now that later in the programme.

So how is everyone’s training going? Please accept my apologies for too much leg photos in this post!!!



3 weeks down, 13 more to go…

This week was another 100%, but it was a lot tougher than the other weeks. Tiredness from work is starting to kick in, tired legs from the accumulation of the miles, and the lack of organisation on the nutrition side, meant that there were times this week that I wasn’t looking forward to my runs.

Tuesday, I dragged myself around my newly discovered route, and it was tough getting my legs moving through the first mile. Wednesday, I dragged my niece out on her bike to accompany me. I am finding it really hard constantly finding new routes, and not having a run buddy. I keep contemplating joining the local club, but I think I’m being a bit stubborn! £6 a week to run the streets where I live seems expensive to me!

It was great having my niece with me, as it meant that I experimented a bit with the route. I ran to the next town, which as we were approaching seemed all up hill. We stopped and headed back, smugly saying to each other ‘it’s all down hill now’, yet after 5 minutes of running, we seemed to be heading up another hill! How is that even possible?

My training schedule is different this year, as I run Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Friday is also the day that my daughter has her swimming lessons, and I was struggling to find a time to run. I ended up wearing my kit to her lesson, and then getting my husband to drop me off on the way home, so that I could run home. Sounds great, but even that wasn’t so easy, as the first opportunity that he had to stop, which wasn’t on an ‘A road’, was only about 2 miles from my house! So again, I had to add extra loops where I could to make up the distance.

My plan stated that I needed to complete 80 minutes on Sunday. After doing 9 miles last week, I did think that I might do more. I set out with a vague route, but my problem is, I plan routes on mapmyrun, but soon find that there are no paths on sections of my routes! The run felt really hard at the start, I felt embarrassingly slow, but it was going up a hill. Into my 2nd mile and it still felt harder than normal. When my watch flashed up a 9:xx minute mile, I thought no wonder! The bizarre thing about my pace was it felt so slow and sluggish. I knew that I had to low myself down, but I felt embarrassed, as if people would think I would be quicker to power walk. Although i did slow myself down a little, the whole run felt tough. I spotted a new pathway and decided to see where it took me. I noticed some runners behind me, and felt silly when I had to stop to look at a map. I thought they probably thought I just needed a rest! But as they went past, I had to ask a local dog walker where I was so they could point me in the right direction home!

Last year was so much easier fitting in all my long runs, as I just booked a different event every weekend. There was so much going on in London. I am sure there are lots around here (Northamptonshire) but I just haven’t found them yet. I am excited to be running the Winter 10K run this weekend, and hope to attach some extra miles possibly in Hyde Park!

So the stats for this week:


Total mileage: 18.81 miles.

How is everyone else’s training going?


Week 3 complete

The alarm went off at 6.15am on a SATURDAY!! Normally I would not be happy, but actually it wasn’t so bad! I got up early as I wanted to try and have breakfast before my run, but as I wanted to start about 7.15/7.30, i still didn’t leave enough time! Instead I had a banana around 7, loaded my back pack with Lucozade and put my jelly babies in my pocket! I have used gels in the past, well, for my first ever half, but I tried them again last week and they made me feel sick! So I decided to try jelly babies.

I headed out as it was just getting light. I was heading to my local park run, as I had decided that I could tag that on to the end of my long run. When I head on long runs, I listen to Marathon Talk, I love this podcast. People must think I am strange, as I often smile to myself, mostly when Tony’s Trials is on, whilst running along.

By the time I had covered 5 miles I was at Hampton Court Bridge and greeted by the most amazing weather! I’m not usually very good at stopping to take photographs, but I had to, as it was so pretty!




During my run, I sipped on Lucozade Sport every mile, and had a jelly baby at 3 miles, and 5 miles. I arrived at Parkrun at about 8.30am, so I had to keep jogging around a bit, as I was concerned that I would get cold. By the time Parkrun started I had completed 6 miles. It felt a little weird starting a Parkrun, and not pushing my speed. Usually its an attempt at a PB, but this one was just to enjoy and complete my final 3 miles of my long run. It was a lovely day, but the ground was a little muddy and there were a number of times, I worried that I was going to hit the deck!

As I suspected my competitive nature got the best of me, and my final 3 miles were much faster minute/miles, than any of the first 6! My first 6 were all around 10.20 minutes per mile. My last 3 were 9.57, 9.42 and finishing with 9.40! I’m pretty happy with that – its amazing how your pace picks up when you are around much faster runners. Just I was contemplating a fast(ish) finish, Cassie, from the Run Mummy Run group ran up beside me. I was wearing my new compression socks that I purchased from them, so as soon as she spotted them, she was determined to make me push to the end. Even when I tried to make the excuse ‘I’ve run 6 miles before this’ I had no choice I was sprinting (again ish!) to the end. The best line Cassie said to me was ‘You have to earn those socks’ I think I’ll remember that every time I wear them!



The compression socks were lovely to wear, and today my legs have felt really good – not sure if this is down to the socks, but??? I have bought another pair too, and I am really looking forward to wearing them.

The Run Mummy Run group, is a great group to be part of. The chatter on Facebook is always good to read, and so motivational. Even though the title suggests you have to be a mummy, this isn’t the case. You can request to join if you are a women and you run! I would highly recommend it!

I completed my recovery run today, as I have a pretty hectic week coming up. I decided to try out my new running backpack I just purchased from Sports Direct. I read about these bags in another blog, and when I went on to Sports Direct website they had been reduced, so I just had to get one. Especially as I am planning to run to work far more in the coming weeks, and it is certainly high viz! I ran to the shop to get my lunch for work tomorrow. It felt comfortable to run in, and could fit a fair bit in. I was only running for 15 minutes, so will review better next post, as I am planning to run to work twice this week and plan to use it both times. 

What new kit have you purchased recently?