The thing about marathons, or more specifically – training for them, is that it’s actually hard bloody work! There’s no getting away from it; training to run 26.2 miles at a good pace takes some time and effort. Then, when invariably you have a wobble on your training plan, how do you pick yourself up and get back on track?
The last six weeks of my training have looked like this:
So, after the mileage started to increase quite nicely I’ve gone a bit backwards.
There were factors outside of running and the usual family stuff that contributed to my lack of training. But also, the dreaded plan…
I’ve talked before about my problem with training plans and how I become somehow compelled to stick to the plan. I know, I know, that’s the whole point. But as someone who runs for the simple pleasure of running – being told by a plan how far to run, how long for and how I should be running is just at odds with my entire relationship with the sport.
So, I’ve ditched the plan!
It boils down to this:
On Sunday 26th April I will be on the start line of the Blackpool Marathon. Ahead of me will be 26.2 miles of flat running on asphalt and concrete. I know what I need to do to be ready for that.
Being ready for it is one thing, but I have set myself a goal time of 3:29.
So, I need to do more speedwork and I need to be able to sustain a strong pace for the whole distance.
This is where the treadmill will come into play – the speed work and interval training. It’s ideal for that and it’s ideal for me. I’m not a huge fan of speedwork and when outdoors it’s easy to not put in the required effort. Not on the treadmill though, because when you dial in that speed you either stick at it or come flying off. The act of turning the speed setting down before you are meant to is something thing I can’t bring myself to do.
This past weekend we cleared the garage. Not just a little cleanup, we absolutely gutted it and took 3 car-fulls of junk to the local recycling centre. I tried to be as ruthless as I could and let quite a few things go that I would normally hang onto. I mean, that garden vac might have come in useful one day. I even added more boards in the rafters to store more items up there.
But, now we have a nice and tidy garage so the treadmill has been relocated in there. It’s not the most glamorous of home gyms, but it’s functional. Plus, it’s cold and working up a sweat is a necessity!
I didn’t do all my running indoors last week though. I actually got out and did a 6-mile trail run on Saturday morning. The weather was glorious and it felt really good. In fact, I felt like I could sustain speed with a bit more ease – maybe the training is working.
I’m glad I got my long (ish) run in on Saturday as storm Ciara hit on Sunday. I’m not a fair-weather runner by any means, but being able to avoid bad weather is always a plus.
My mental, holistic, not-written-down plan for this week goes a little something like this:
- Monday: Treadmill intervals (am) & 8 miles (pm)
- Tuesday: Treadmill intervals (am) & 3 miles (pm)
- Wednesday: Treadmill intervals (am) & 4 to 5 miles (pm)
- Thursday: 8 miles (am)
- Friday: Treadmill intervals (am)
- Saturday: 16 miles
- Sunday: Half an hour on the treadmill (maybe)
Working out each week’s training at the start of the week seems to work for me. Plus, because it’s so fluid, I don’t beat myself up if I miss a day or run a shorter distance.
Thanks for reading