Marathon Training week 1 – Highs and Lows

17 weeks to go, probably about time to get some marathon training under my belt. The goal for the first half of the year was to break my 5km, 10km, and half marathon PBs so as to get a little bit of speed into my legs. I have ticked all those boxes in a big way, so it really is time to get cracking on building towards Frankfurt.

I also decided that it was worth outsourcing my training plan to someone who might know what they are talking about; to that end I have signed up my coach from the running club, Marc Woodall, to be my actual coach and to set my training. He coaches a few of the guys at the club I believe, and they seem to do pretty well :-)

So we kicked off this week, and it started super well – with a nice easy recovery run. Not sure what I was recovering from given that last week was pretty easy, but I enjoyed a really relaxed 4 miles in the sunshine on the hill as the office was empty and the school was quiet as all the students were on a trip. It almost felt like a chore to run so slow, but it gave me a lot of chances to look up and enjoy the run that much more.

I was still feeling good on Tuesday and ready to ramp up my efforts to the ‘long’ session at the track. Except that Lyndsey was stuck on a school bus on the way home from Thorpe Park on the M25 and it was 7:30 before we got home. Not one to be put off on just the second run of the training block I decided to head out and run my track efforts on the mean streets of Cranleigh. The evening temps had really not dropped and the session of 4x400m, 4x800m, 4x400m (all off 90s recovery) was an absolute brute!

My calf felt tight, and I was glad for the rest day on Wednesday while I visited the University of Surrey for a conference. It was nice to enjoy air-conditioned seminar rooms on the hottest day of the year, rather than being stuck in the office!

On Thursday we managed to sneak in a slightly early finish after the end-of-year staff leavers lunch where we endured some epic heat, and some emotional speeches from a few guys who had been at the school for about half a century between them. It meant that Lyndsey could drive home and I could run and still be home in time to see Delilah before bedtime! The session was another quick one as I performed 3 lots of 6 minutes at max effort with 90s recovery. Including the warm up and cool down miles I totaled a little over 5 miles in 39 minutes. Although the route is net downhill, there were a few little rises in the middle of the ‘fast’ sections which inevitably slowed my pace a little. My calf was still not feeling hot at all at the end of this run.

Friday was a core/strength day and I decided to add in a yoga session that I had seen on Youtube which is designed for runners. I normally do yoga at school on a Friday, but that is usually some stretchy-bendy stuff – this was really hard work; I was sweating buckets.

Saturday called for parkrun, but Lyndsey was on a trip to London for the day, and my leg was truly unhappy so I gave it a miss. Delilah and I enjoyed each others company instead (when she was awake) and we hit up Cranleigh village for tea and cake in the afternoon – which was all very civilised!

After another night in the compressport calf sleeve I decided to risk the leg on a run this morning. I applied some Tiger Balm, warmed up a little and headed out the door – ready to turn back if I needed. My calf felt a little sore, but this settled really quickly once I was in a rhythm and I was able to tap out the 8 miles at a steady pace with relative ease.

I have managed to keep fairly mobile throughout the day and the calf feels much better than it has in recent days. Fingers-crossed that I have moved beyond whatever that issue was. I shall monitor it closely though.

I also had a little tidy up of my shoes which seem to be hiding in various places around the house. It seems I might have quite a few pairs!

Who's to say how many is too many?
Who’s to say how many is too many?

Miles to date : 23.7
Running time : 3:14

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