Marathon Training Week 1

Well, January is here. And that means marathon training is here. I think I am excited about that fact (mainly excited because of lots of food and excuses to be tired) Taking a look back to my suggestions on how to choose a marathon training programme, I ended up opting for the Runner’s World intermediate plan which is interspersed with a few bits and pieces from our Clapham Chasers sessions AND a few thoughts of my own.

Goal wise….hmmmm. I have set myself a broad range of 3.20-3.30. Considering the improvement I saw in the latter past year over the shorter distance, there’s no reason why I can’t knock off more at a marathon. And I think just aiming for 3 mins and X seconds to get me below 3.30 is a bit of a wimpy way out.

(This is either a genius move that will motivate me, or a silly thing to do as I kill myself trying to get there)

Sooooo….where was my base? I hit 13 miles on the 12th December, for no other reason that I wanted to say I had done it and make sure I could stumble my way through a half at short notice if I ever needed to (not quite sure what kind of situation might warrant that?!) Other than that, my long runs have consisted of a few ‘extended’ runs home from the office (aka I tried a new way and it was longer than I thought).

After a week skiing returning on the Sunday with insane tunnel check-in queues and horses on the M25 meaning that I didn’t get back to my flat in London until 11ish on the Sunday night – not an ideal situation, a 6am alarm did not seem that appealing. However, I had a plan to stick to!

This is what the plan looked like…

Monday  4 miles easy
Tuesday  Gym  Track
Wednesday  Regent’s Park loops  Netball
Thursday  5miles incl 8 x 30 sec hills
Friday  5 miles
Saturday  REST  REST
Sunday  2 hours out and back

(1 hour MP + 60, 1 hour MP +30)


And this is what actually happened.

Monday. 4 miles easy before work. I did my early get up and felt very virtuous because I came back and had time for stretching AND hot water with lemon AND to watch BBC breakfast without feeling in a rush. Made up a new route this morning.

Then I went to the gym in the evening. It was full of resolutioners. But luckily 90% of them were on the cardio machines so it didn’t cause toooo much disruption. If you can read my writing, here is what I did.

Tuesday. Track was the aim. Then decided I don’t really fancy track and would prefer to go visit the boyf and eat insane amounts of noodles (advised)

Did a gym session in the morning instead. Please see below for beautifully descriptive notes.

Wednesday. Should have been doing a pre-work cycle however Tuesday evening’s change of plan meant I wasn’t coming in from my flat and therefore did not have bike in tow.

We had our netball final in the evening. We lost. 15-14. I was gutted. Played a full game at centre, which apparently seems to be my position now. This was quite tiring.  Avoided the pub #dryjanuary

Thursday. Early morning in the office so running had to be done at lunch. This was grim. Really grim. Did 8 x 1minute ish up Primrose Hill in the wind. I swore a lot. Did not enjoy one bit. Nearly kicked a chihuahua (it yapped at my feet, what was I supposed to do!) Ended up being just shy of 5 miles.

Friday. Life got in the way. 5 miles did not happen. It did not happen before work due to surprise early meeting, it did not happen running home from work because #lotsofwork

Saturday. I therefore went running today instead. 6.6 miles of pretending I knew where I was going, including a little trip round Streatham Common because I ❤ hills. Introduced boyfriend to world of banana pancakes, which he now CAN’T STOP MAKING. (You are saved from a picture of the first batch which were burnt and I nearly threw a strop)

Sunday. Well this was a bundle of fun. Did I do what the plan said? No. Did I decide to just run the whole thing at 8.30s? Yes. Did I actually do this? No. Went out just under 8s, turn around around 7.5 miles, came back with 4 miles sub 7.50. OW. Then the wheels fell off a bit and 12.5-15 were a bit dreary. Let the others run on.

Total 15.04 miles, 7.59 av pace. Tough but I think kind of worth it. Stupid workout to do this early on but hey, at least I know I can do it!

What I did was drink hot ribena in the path, wear compression all day and then wander around Sainsburys in a daze. I then lay down on the sofa for quite a lot of the afternoon.

Total mileage 30.7

Total runs 4

Lessons Learnt 15 miles at low-goal marathon pace is quite hard in week 1 of marathon training. Expect this. Do not argue (mildly disagree) with boyfriend re: blender’s blending abilities. He won’t listen. Try not to get lost in potential dodgy parts of SW London. Risky (#overdramatic) Work can and will get in the way. Be flexible.

And the week ahead? Looks a bit like this:

Monday. No running. Probably some upper body stuff at the gym.

Tuesday. Track. Easy few miles warm up from the office to the track, and then whatever is in store for me upon arrival (going blind is the best way, means you can’t chicken out)

Maybe morning gym.

Wednesday. Easy 5 miles.

Thursday. Tempo (5 miles with 3 fast)  Tyre flipping aka City Strongman. The guys have got a new set-up and I am SUPER EXCITED to see it.

Friday. Maybe some yoga?

Saturday. XC. I think it’s approx 4 miles. Who knows. It will probably be muddy and there will probably be hills.

Sunday. REST

(You’ll note no long run, I’m moving this to the middle of next week as have other commitments on Sunday. It will involve a very, very elongated run home from work…)

So, that’s me. Quite happy with week 1. Also quite happy with ‘no chocolate or alcohol’ week 1.

(I may or may not consider this feature as a regular. Probably only when I have interesting things to say that is more than ‘I went running’)

How has everyone else got on with the dreaded week 1?

4 thoughts on “Marathon Training Week 1

  1. Woop – you go girl!! Can’t belieeeeeeeve your splits for that long run! I’m like Week 5 into my plan and defs couldn’t do 15 miles at that pace – you’re definitely going to smash this marathon… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • IT WAS HORRIBLE! Literally nearly threw a right strop on Putney Embankment because everyone else was breezing and I felt like I was going backwards!! I am either going to smash it or fall apart. Let’s see which happens first…

      Liked by 1 person

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