Marathon Training Weeks 2 & 3 – Recovering Already!

Well, this isn’t how it was supposed to be.

Regular and long-term followers of the blog will be aware that I first registered for Frankfurt Marathon in 2013. I was supposed to run the NDW100 in August and then Frankfurt with the Gees in October. When NDW didn’t happen I rescheduled my 100 attempt for Caesars Camp and because this was in October I ruled myself out of Frankfurt (though the resulting injury only confirmed that decision). Luckily, the injury meant I was able to get a doctors letter and deferred my entry to 2014. When 2014 rolled up, I had continued contending with injury, and finally underwent surgery in September. Another letter from the doctor, and miraculously the marathon organisers deferred my place again. In February 2015 I signed up for the Frankfurt Marathon for the third time; if I don’t make it this time, maybe I should just stop trying.

For the first few months of the year PBs seemed to fall almost every weekend and my running went from strength to strength. Weekly mileage topped out at about 35 miles – more due to time constraints than running issues. I was setting myself up for an assault on marathon training from the end of June, and I was really pleased with where I was at.

I talked in my last blog about taking on a coach again and it has so far been a very positive experience working with Marc. The only issue has been that one week before we started I picked up this stupid niggling calf issue. The first week of training went really well, and then the problems started.

Week two of training basically included the following:

  • compression socks / calf sleeves
  • frozen peas
  • very little running
  • a trip to Guildford Sports Clinic

Ben at guildford sports clinic is am osteopath and after taking a full history he quickly diagnosed a soleus issue; most likely some micro tears rather than one big ouchy. It’s not an easy muscle to get to so he did some general work on my whole calf/lower hamstring area in am attempt to ease-off my leg and reduce any strain on the muscle. A few more days of rest and I was able to finally go for my second run of the week on Friday. It was Ok.

I sat out of parkrun on Saturday and we drove down to visit my parents for the week. On Sunday I set out for an easy run to see what I could do. In the end I ran a steady (8:30 pace) for 8 miles and called it a day there so as to not aggravate anything.

We had a great time during our week on the coast, though the weather left a lot to be desired for the height of summer at the seaside on many days. We visited the Eastbourne miniature train, and Drusillas zoo, but sadly didn’t enjoy cake on the colonnade as they had no gluten free options :-(

Eastbourne Miniature Railway. Choo-Choo
Eastbourne Miniature Railway. Choo-Choo
Hanging out at the Zoo
Hanging out at the Zoo

On Tuesday night I joined the Bodyshock Bexhill running group because my mum and dad lead the session there. Dad had planned a progression run along the seafront and I hoped to simply see what I could do. Foolishly I did the lunges during the warmup which always knacker my hamstrings; I normally refuse to do them at the club. However this was the only injury I felt.

Bodyshock Runners
Bodyshock Runners

The session was easy enough: from the flagpole to the top of Galley Hill was one rep. On the outbound rep we ran at marathon pace before returning at half marathon pace; turn around the flagpole and head out at 10km pace before finally coming back to the start at 5km pace. I felt great as I cranked through the gears, and thankful that the wind had died down enough so that the final effort wasn’t so appalling! Each rep was about 1200m and I achieved paces of 8:26, 7:58, 7:17, 6:55

And, I finished first! Not that it’s a race of course; often at the track I am trying not to get lapped.

I rested again before an easy 5 miles on Thursday, and again before parkrun on Saturday. Here, I knew I want in great shape and wanted to take it easy. However, I am very easily swayed ams Gavin convinced me to try harder. My calf felt great as I pushed the pace, but nothing else in my body did after a few weeks off. I finished in 21:13 and was pleased with that. It was also nice to run a cool down lap with Gavin, talking about running, as he’s not been to track for quite some time.

On Sunday I managed to knock out 10 steady miles and I felt strong throughout. This was especially important as I actually did it at the end of a long day on my feet volunteering at a race, and I had a particularly tight timescale to work to as I knew I had to be back for a goodnight kiss for Delilah. I performed an out and back along the downs link towards Bramley; it was monotonous, but basically flat which allowed for a consistent pace. I say I felt strong, but at the same time I am not sure I could have done much more. I made it through the door and dashed upstairs just in time as Delilah finished her milk and I got my kiss! :-)

Week 4: onwards and upwards!

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