4 weeks down, 24 weeks to go until the Paris Marathon 2016 and my first ever marathon.
Here is what I’ve been getting up to this week with my training following the Bupa Half Marathon training plan.
Rest day (favourite day of the week)
TRAINING: 30 mins easy
AVERAGE PACE: 6:15/km
SOUNDTRACK: Rudimental – We The Generation
THOUGHTS: I decided to take it very easy today. It’s amazing that when I’m not focussed on time, distance or speed, I actually just quite enjoyed being out running in the fresh air. In all honesty, I was hardly out of breath by the time I finished but the easy runs are great for stretching out my legs.
TRAINING: 30 mins tempo
AVERAGE PACE: 5:03/km
SOUNDTRACK: Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience
THOUGHTS: I was feeling particularly full of beans last week when I did my tempo run but was feeling particularly lethargic today so I didn’t have much confidence that I would be able to beat last week’s time of 26:04 for my 5km. A little pre-run espresso was called for…
I REALLY pushed myself though and I was determined to beat last week’s time. I managed it in 25:24 so was delighted to take 40 seconds off last week’s time. My next challenge is do it under 25 minutes by the end of October. Very annoyingly, I didn’t actually hit the start my run button on the Strava app which I didn’t realise until the end. However, being the control freak I am, I always use a back-up on Runkeeper for precisely this reason. Phew!
My back-up run tracking app, Runkeeper
40 minutes on cross trainer at the gym – so unbelievably boring! Think I’m going to have to start going back to a spin class for my cross-training session as I really find long spells on any machines on the gym mentally exhausting.
Should be my speed work but I had a rather big night out last night and I am fit for NOTHING today. I feel guilty, especially as I think the speed work run has really helped my overall speed and stamina. It is also the first run I’ve missed from my training plan in nearly six weeks. Consistency has been the biggest factor in improving my fitness levels and speed so I need to make sure I don’t miss any runs next week.
TRAINING: 8 miles (13km) long run
AVERAGE PACE: 5.22/km
SOUNDTRACK: Chart mix (but this was appropriately my favourite running song)
THOUGHTS: Considering I didn’t leave the house yesterday as I was feeling slightly fragile (i.e. hungover to f*ck!), I was a little bit worried about today’s run. I planned out a route on MapMyRun to make sure I covered the 8 miles as it’s the farthest I’ve run in a while. This route included two really long hills, the biggest one near the start of the route which was a 10 minute uphill climb and one quite near the end. I started off quite fast as I knew the hill would slow me down. Just about the 50 minute mark, I checked to see what distance I had covered to see what kind of 10km time I was likely to do (the most maths I do in life is when I’m out running, trying to mentally calculate times and distances) and I realised that not only could I beat last week’s 10km time that I could even do it under 55 minutes which is another personal milestone I’d set. I ended up doing 10km in 53:26 which I was delighted with!
The last kilometre or so seemed harder than the previous 12km and it didn’t help that my Strava app was about 400m or so behind my other apps so I had to run past my house in order to get it to 13km.
Spot the steep, downhill run at 8km when my pace was 4:05/km! I was running like Phoebe in Friends and loving it though…
This is me. Except for the fact I’m not “mommy”.
TOTAL DISTANCE: 23.8km
Having the cold last week made me realise how important it is to stay really healthy this winter if I want to stand any chance of getting through my training this winter. I paid a visit to Napiers shop and clinic in Cresswell St in the West End of Glasgow to have a look around and find out about what else I can be doing to look after my general health and wellness.
I would be first to admit that I have turned into a complete health and fitness geek (bore) recently so it was nice to have a chat about the kind of things I find really interesting which probably mind-numbingly dull for everyone else.
Firstly, I spoke with Katrina Dunn who is a Sports Therapist and it was great to pick her brains about my training programme and get some injury prevention tips and tricks. I was relieved to hear that she thought my training plan sounded perfect for me so it’s good to know I’m on the right tracks. She suggested that I try and do some running in a pool using a woggle as it is a great workout for increasing stamina but without putting any increased pressure on my joints.
She also checked my stretching methods and techniques and suggested I try and incorporate an ice bath into my stretching routine. So, as soon as I got back from my long run on Sunday, I jumped into a cold bath (no ice was involved but it was still bloomin’ freezing!) before using my foam roller to stretch fully. My legs weren’t too bad on Monday so I’m guessing it worked.
I also spoke to a nutritional therapist, Angela MacRitchie, about my diet to make sure I’m eating the right things to fuel me adequately for running long distances. She was happy with overall diet but she would need to see a detailed seven day food diary to fully gauge if I’m eating the right foods and amount of food too. I’m definitely going to go back to see her for a full consultation to get some more detailed feedback.
She mentioned that I should have a look at the acid/alkaline food chart which I’ve heard of but never really looked into to make sure I’m not eating or drinking too may highly acidic food or drink as this can cause an imbalance in the body. Found this article on Energise for Life which has been really helpful in understanding more about the effects too much acid can have on your body. Hands up who knew mushrooms were highly acidic?
I also picked up some lotions and potions to get me through the winter.
I’m excited to get stuck into week 6 of the #RunningDiary and hopefully continue to see the distances going up and the time coming down.