Marathon Training, getting started
by, 30-06-11 at 10:42 (2935 Views)
Just thought I'd blog this and see how I get along really.
I'm doing this http://www.chestermarathon.co.uk/ in October (which is lucky as that is when it is held) on a bit of a whim, but also something that has been niggling away at me for some time.
I started running just over two years ago in the realisation that I was rapidly approaching 40, was doing no meaningful exercise and was rapidly filling out. A conversation at my sister's funeral with my brother provided the final impetus to start. He had been inspired to run by my sister as she was a keen member of a local athletics club who coached the youngsters all through the years of her illness. To me it made a fitting tribute to her to turn my life around.
I started by doing a couple of 10ks that year in fairly slow times but felt like I was improving all the time; fast forward to last year and I did my first half marathon; unfortunately a few weeks after I suffered a back injury so in a not very good time. This led to sciatica and a couple of months virtually bed ridden.
I eventually decided as it was improving, pain or no pain I was going to carry on running, although the first few runs of the year were hardly inspiring doing two mile jogs at a very slow pace. But it gradually started to come back, despite various setbacks with the sciatica.
That led to me booking in for the Torbay Half Marathon in June to give me a goal to work for; goal was achieved and I got a pb of 1hr 44mins.
...and this is where it gets silly. I dont think my body is ever going to be 'right' and I am always going to have a certain number of aches and pains to deal with, but with the proper warms ups and post run stretching I feel like I am in a strong a position as I'm ever likely to be. The marathon is always a niggle in the back of the mind of regular runners to kind of know whether you could push yourself that far. Well the itch got a bit too much to scratch and a couple of days after the half I found myself on the Runners World website perusing marathons and review of them.
I liked the look of Chester on a couple of levels. Firstly, that level thing, well quite, yes, no really, it is. Unless you are going to run 26 miles round a track you are going to encounter some ups and downs (which I actually quite enjoy as it helps to break up the rhythm of your stride which is a good thing over longer distances) but you dont get much flatter than this, so ideal as a first challenge.
Secondly, the numbers. I have ran the Manchester 10k before which has about 30 thousand people taking part and it is just too big I didnt enjoy it as much as other events. I enjoy events with a bit of atmosphere and the entry level for this is capped at six thousand which is probably about right.
Finally when I was browsing through the website I looked at the date, did some quick calculations and realised it was in 16 weeks time, which just so happens to coincide with most marathon training schedules. It was fate, I was already in a good level of fitness having just run a half marathon and before I knew it the fingers were clicking and an entry was secured.
Didnt really have time to think about it as I was actually already two days into my schedule. Spent the next day at 'work' researching marathon schedules and looking at ones that seemed right for me. I eventually settled on a Runners World one designed for people who want to run it in about 3 hrs 45 mins, have a half marathon best of 1.44 and run about 25 miles a week at the moment, in other words almost exactly me! As a subscriber I got lots of other little details which really broke the runs down and were very prescriptive in warm ups and certain stretches after each run.
This is far different to anything I have done before for the half marathon I kind of made it up, made sure I did a long run each week and split up the other for sessions in different ways depending on how I felt.
...and of course, the first thing that happens is I get an injury on my first big run!
Five miles in and I get a thigh strain of some description. Had to pull up, did some gentle stretched and gently jog walked home. Luckily this was followed by a rest day and by the time Tuesday came around it felt a lot better, jsut a little tight, so plenty of stretches before and after the runs.
Wednesday was an interesting one as it involved three lots of intervals of 1.5 miles at a fast pace, which is more than I've done before for intervals. Felt like a really tough but good session. Those alternate days of easy paced runs are starting to make a lot more sense already!
So there we go, I'm literally off and running; I'm sure there are some ups and downs to come over the couple of months but I feel like I've made a positive start, but more importantly I feel like I'm in the right mental state to do this.
I'll never do anything more than a marathon, although I did say that for half marathons and there was a couple of interesting articles in this month's Runners World about ultra distance runners.....
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