Marathon Training, Week 1 – Done

Today, I write having completed the first week of marathon training 2012. It’s also the first week of new years resolutions, and the week following the parkrun trifecta.

The week started on pretty tired legs following Sundays escapades, an to stretch them out a little Lynds and I went for a little walk around Banstead woods, covered about 3.5 miles in the squelchy mud in about 1.5hours and it was lovely, hard to believe it was the start of January on such a beautiful mild day for stroll. Also a nice chance to chill out before starting back at work on Tuesday.

My Jantastic target set for myself, and corroborated by my training plan is 5 runs per week. This week started well with a nice easy 30 minutes, the aim of my easy runs is to keep my heart rate down, and I focus on the HR monitor, trying to keep it below 160 – and more like 150. That was about the only thing I successfully managed to do, my calves were tight, my stomach was cramping, there was pain in my shoulders, and this hip flexor issue just won’t go away.

But that said, it was probably a better run than fighting the gale force winds on Wednesday night. It was something of an interval session (4mins hard, 2mins easy- 3 times) with a 10 minute warm up / cool down on either side, but the headwind around every corner just turned it into such a tough effort the whole way.

By the end of the day on Thursday though, I was just knackered, and I got off the train from work being aggravated by my hip, and gave up on the idea of my run. But in doing so I had to make a promise to myself that I would go in the morning. Now I hate morning running! But, I wasn’t going to cock up Jantastic, and miss out on a training session in the very first week, so before bed I set my running gear in all the strategic places around the house, and set my alarm a little earlier than usual (not a lot earlier, as I always just spend time faffing in the morning anyway) and vowed to get up as soon as it went off.

Lo-and-behold, I only bloody done it, and actually quite enjoyed my 6amCLUB run – 4 tempo paced miles. But I still won’t be doing it too often if I can help it.

What it did mean though, is that the three more strenuous runs were lined up in three consecutive days. So Saturday loomed, and I decided I had a bit of a choice to make, having enjoyed my parkrun tourism last week I thought I might like to have another go, and so I chose to head to Nonsuch parkrun. Nonsuch is a lovely course, and a new route (this was just their 18th event) all of which have still been dry. Owing to the mud last week and the slight challenge at the pinch-point in the route it was changed a little on Saturday, and the start line was shifted 10 metres down the course. Despite jog warm up and some stretching to start with, left calf, and right hip flexor were still causing me issues. But I started strongly, most of the first lap was good, slowing though when I back end of the course. Time check at halfway was a little slower than I had hoped for, and I was outside a PB attempt, but I seemed to get a bit of a second wind in the second half of the second lap, and perked up a bit. And there was no way I was getting done on the line again this week :-) in fact I had a good kick and overtook a couple of guys in the last 100 metres for a time of 24:40 – all in all, I was pretty happy with this.

Did a quick bit of baking in the afternoon – an easy-peasy banana loaf, which by the way is incredible spread with Nutella post-run as I discovered this morning :-)

The final run for the week, and to bring my Jantastic score to 100% was a 6 miler, and I set up a route on the computer before heading out, involving a trip about 1/3rd of the way up Reigate hill. It was a nice route, and gave me a chance to go house shopping (well, spending my dream lottery win money on houses) but as I topped the hill and started back down I was in tonnes of pain, I just wanted to give up. It happens frequently, when I put in any kind of effort up a hill, the route back down seems to initiate stabbing pains in my shoulder rotator cuff, and today I also got a stitch or cramp-like sensation in my diapraghm. Was in two minds as to whether I should pack it all in, but once on the flat I felt better so persevered. And I am glad that I did. It was a lovely day for it, no real breeze, no rain, and a great temperature so as to not overheat. Overall it was a nice comfortable 6 miles at 6mph. The only downside being that I saw 5 other runners, and not one of the miserable sods acknowledged my smile, nod or hello.


Week in numbers:
20.42 miles this week
29.72 miles this year
4:38 hours of running
19.2 donuts burned
100% Jantastic score
1964.2km remaining in 2012

Finally, I have been keeping up with my plankaday resolution nicely (despite forgetting twice and having to get out of bed to complete them). They are getting easier, well, when I say easier I actually mean that the shaking starts a little later each time, but I can see improvement, and whilst I have done the standard plank, on elbows and toes all week, I have decided to make sideplanksundays a little twist just to mix it up a little. I think that once I am a little more proficient in general I will move on to lifting various limbs off the ground mid-plank too. iliketocount wrote an interesting piece on this burgeoning plankaday concept today, and whilst I do totally see his point that the plank is perhaps not the wonder-exercise that it seems to be enjoying at the moment, I do think it is a viable concept, and for me an interesting challenge. I can’t do press-ups, never have been able to really despite trying to do the 100pressup challenge a couple of times, I can only ever get so far. At this moment in time I am seeing a benefit to the plank – and in reality I hope it actually helps lead me to a place where I can doing other things like a pressup with more success. This weeks best was 1:27.

Edit 09/01/12 – Apologies for the enthusiastic Americans, but this guy is phenomenal, the Guiness World Record holder for the ‘Static Abdominal Hold’ (plank to you and I) with an amazing 1hr 20mins 5secs.


6 thoughts on “Marathon Training, Week 1 – Done

  1. I’ve been doing the “plank a day” too, and while I don’t know if it is making a huge difference in my fitness, it seems like I’m doing something productive.

    Also, I love that you count the number of donuts burned as part of your weekly accomplishments!

    1. Thanks Amy, I reckon it is working a little – I think even in this short space of time my running form is not slumping quite so quickly as it has done in the past.

      I can’t admit that I count the stats personally, but donut burning is something that tracks :-)


  2. The question is…after 1hr, 20 mins did he really run out of steam or fall asleep?! Keep up the good work, good running and I’m sure the press-ups will come if you want them to!

    1. In fairness, he did kinda look like he was working hard :-) I shall keep on trying, hopefully one day I’ll see improvement, but i suspect it will very as a result of a good combination of planking, pressups, & situps etc

    1. Not actually been to Tunbridge for a few years, but it is very nice!! Yeah I am just going to saunter back on Saturday morning :-) I just thought it would be interesting to add real life distance, rather than just count down some numbers. It’s all fairly rudimentary though, I’m not even sure where exactly I have ‘run’ from – just ‘London’.

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