So…..although I may not have actually entered a marathon yet, or told anyone that I am training for one, my early experiences with the 80/20 training method have convinced me that with some real commitment on my part, I might actually be able to do it. A lot of my fellow club members have entered the Manchester Marathon in early April. I would have had to have started my training some time ago in order to make this date, so instead I have tentatively earmarked the Liverpool Rock n Roll Marathon on the 28th of May to be my first ever marathon.
I guess the seed was first panted back in October when I completed the Chester Metric marathon (16.3 miles or 26.2K). Having ran this at a relatively steady pace to see if I could do the distance, rather than aim for a fast time, I felt like if I worked hard I could go further. Having done 3 weeks of 80/20 training I am even more convinced that I could do it. Running 80% of the time at an easy or slow pace has meant I have been able to rack up my best ever month of running this January and am currently on a 16 day run streak. There’s no way I could have done this in the past and I am taking great heart from this. My recovery is quicker, I feel fitter, I am losing weight (albeit slowly) and more importantly my confidence is growing. As you will see below, there’s still 2 days left in January but I am already at 109 miles. That’s just shy of 40 miles more than my previous best ever month!!!!!!
The training went really well last week. I had a tough session with my trainer Stuart, and managed to get in just shy of 33 miles. It has been important as I have increased the mileage to keep up with my strength training and although the workouts are getting tougher, they really are benefiting me. Having had such a torrid time with shin splints, there’s no way I am going back to that place and keeping those legs strong with other activities, not just running, is am important focus for me.
On Saturday my training routine incorporated my running clubs first race of 2017. This year the club’s committee has organised a seasonal race series of 5 mile races, starting last week with the Winter 5 miler. It was run over the same course as the last few races the club has done, so it was a good opportunity to see how (if at all) I have improved from last year. The weather was cold and wet and sections of the race were on grass and trails, which due to all the rain had become very “bog like”, so trail shoes were definitely the right choice. Last year I completed the course in 40:07 so was aiming for anything sub 40 minutes.
I took the first couple of miles as steady as I could, knowing most of mile 3 was going to be boggy and slippery. Mile 3 did slow me down somewhat and was a bit energy sapping running through the mud, but thankfully I hadn’t used too much energy up and was able to speed up for the final 2 miles and somehow record identical splits for miles 4 and 5. My final chip time was 39:14 so nicely under my target, and I finished 34th out of 213 runners, so very pleased with that, given the conditions.
I good medal rounded of a really enjoyable race. I am now going to have to complete the other 3 races in the series as the medals from the 4 races all fit together to make a bigger medal/picture. You’ve got to love a bit of bling. So the training moves on to week 3 incorporating the Mad Dog 10K in Southport on Sunday, where this blog began last year. Hoping it won’t be gale force winds again like it was last year on a nice and flat PB potential course.