I've surprised myself and managed resolutely to stick to my marathon training plan of abstaining from races two Sundays running (pun intended!) and keeping a lid on my midweek club run and I have to say it seems to be going swimmingly! Following a strained run to Huddersfield last week we embarked on an 18 mile canal run. Not knowing what was in store as there have been several closures along the Leeds/Liverpool canal we set off in the direction of Shipley/Bingley/Keighley. We were able to negotiate the diversions onto the river bank at Saltaire emerging back onto the canal at Bringley. Nine miles later we reached our destination and turned around and headed back to Apperley Bridge. I felt slightly disadvantaged at knowing how far we had to go to get back to our start point and 16 miles in my bones and muscles began to groan! I did though, feel grateful to complete another long run!
Thanks to Martin Yelling and his Marathontalk training plan which I've been loosely following I'm feeling quietly confident about getting round the 26.2 miles. I initially said I would like to better my 2010 time and I still feel that second time around I will have a good chance of doing so, not least because I know I am going to be accompanied to the start line by my youngest son Marc who is also in the throws of training - I also have a good insight into what's in store!
Improver's 16 week marathon schedule
You will embark on this schedule if you are able to run for approximately 60mins without stopping
and plan to run 3‐4 days a week. Your running days are not fixed so you can fit these in around your
lifestyle and weekly commitments. You can change the order of the runs but do try and have an
easier day following a harder days running. Be flexible with your training but at the same time, firm
with your commitment to getting out of the door.
Flexibility, for me was key and without blowing my own trumpet (well maybe just a little!) I have commitment, that has never been a worry. Mother nature did her best to scupper our early training but with the exception of one session so far I have managed to keep both me and Marc on track and also Claire from club who was first reserve for the marathon place - she has now entered the Manchester marathon and has been a valuable running buddy at club and on the last couple of long runs, we've literally run through thick and thin, some training nights have consisted of me Claire and Marc! If that isn't commitment I don't know what is. We've been called 'mad' amongst other things for running in the adverse weather but I never saw it like that, for me it was about doing what I could to keep my training on track, even though sometimes we didn't get the mileage in we might have liked, the effort was well and truly there. Although there's no guarantees with the British weather but hopefully the snow is well and truly behind us!
A 7 mile run on Wednesday and a short social run on Friday takes us to our planned 20 mile run to Skipton on Sunday, leaving just 6 weeks to go...... I'm actually looking forward to it so something must be clicking into place!
Meanwhile marathon shoes are on the cards, I want to invest in them now so that I can alternate my runs in them to have them well and truly 'broken in' by marathon day. I won't be making the mistake of internet shopping again and I now know a man that can!
Last but not least I must mention Marathontalk's fabulous Spring motivation tool 'Jantastic' which has been a useful aid to keeping me on track - I can't explain why but when I registered the Eccleshill Eagles team and encouraged club members to join quite a few did just that, alas most have fallen by the wayside, I'm not judging anyone, I'm sure they have their reasons, perhaps forgetting to log runs they have actually done, illness, work commitments? Who knows, but for me it works and I'm sitting pretty at the top of the table as we go into Marchvellous, for now at least!