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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.

Monday

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.

Tuesday

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

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.

Thursday

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!

Friday

Rest day!

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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…

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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.

Monday

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!

Tuesday

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.

Wednesday

Rest day – yippee!

Thursday

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.

Friday

Rest day!

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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…

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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

Monday

Travelling so no running.

Tuesday

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!

Wednesday

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!

Thursday

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.

Friday

Rest Day.

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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

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Running and Travelling

So, I am currently sat in the airport in Singapore waiting for my final flight back to the UK. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that I have been on the most epic trip to Australia. So, here are my ramblings on running and travelling.

Aeroplane called Big Fella Fella
Only in Australia would a plane be called Big Yella Fella 😂

We stayed in Brisbane, Sunshine Beach, back to Brisbane and then finished in Burleigh, on the Gold Coast. It was truly amazing and I am sad to be heading home.

Beach view
That is Surfers Paradise in the distance

Running when you are in a new destination is amazing. You get a feel for the area and some of the views that you get to experience are amazing. I love exploring new areas; it is best when you are with another runner, but solo exploring is good too.

I have to admit that I only got to do a very small run at Sunshine Beach as I was ill for the first section of our travels. Nothing serious just coughing and spluttering, but enough to choose to give running a miss for a few days, especially as the Christmas Festivities were in full swing too.

This didn’t mean that I wasn’t active, I made the most of swimming and hiking through Noosa National Park. I wrote about our first walk here, but I did actually complete the walk twice. The second time we set off earlier in the day and boy was it hot! But the undulating walk, steps, and walking on the sand built up a good sweat and made the post walk beer so much more enjoyable!

Well earned beers

When we arrived at the Gold Coast, the set up was too good not to run. A path along the beachfront, what more could you ask for! I was feeling better and actually really looked forward to getting out to run. The heat was intense during the day, so I had to get up early to run and was amazed at how many people were out running, walking and skating along the path at 6:30 am. Not only was the path busy, but the sea was also full of surfers. Australia really does appear to have an active lifestyle culture. The path that I ran on appeared to go on for miles. I was almost disappointed with myself for not being fitter to run longer, as I am sure I could have run to Surfers Paradise and back.

Trainers and sea

Tips

  • Plan a route. I just used my iPhone map to look for a route. Luckily I was with people that knew the area, so I knew it was safe and fine to run.
  • Set your kit out the night before. If it is out and ready you are more likely to get out of bed and go.
  • Set your alarm. I had been waking up early most mornings, but I still set my alarm. In Australia you need to run early or it just gets too hot, so you don’t want to miss your opportunity.
  • Tell people where you are going. I always take my phone as well. Mainly for photographs, but also incase I get lost!
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. The first morning, I told myself I could walk if I wanted too. As I hadn’t run for a while and had been unwell I ended up just run walking. Just getting up and being out was great.
  • I don’t wear headphones often as I like taking it all in. So I also made sure that I looked around listened and tried to take it all in.
  • I stopped to take lots of photos, catch my breath and take in the views.
  • Build up your runs over time if you want too, but really just enjoy the opportunity that you are experiencing.

My runs were not long or fast, but I loved them. I am so grateful that I am able to run and I got to run in such a beautiful part of the world.

Koala
How adorable do Koalas look?

Now it is time for the hard work to start. Manchester Marathon is fast approaching and I need to get stuck into training. The cold is going to be a bit of a shock I think, but I’m ready for you, marathon training cycle number SIX!

Are you training for something?