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Friday, 22 November 2013

My first winter of marathon training...

OK so I've gone on about it enough here and on Twitter, Facebook, at work, home and basically anywhere and everywhere I go. If you've been following my blog or social media profiles you'll no doubt have heard me banging on about this winter being my first one of training for next April's Brighton Marathon.

marathon training meme
This is probably how my friends and family feel right now...

Getting through it alive...


I've never ran a marathon before; the furthest I've ever ran is 13.1 miles; a distance that I've dragged myself through somewhat painfully twice before, but now I'm getting better at running I want to do it well. (When I say 'well', I mean I want to come out the other side alive and under five hours, still able to walk the next day). That's realistic, right?

Asics Gel Cumulus 15 womens
Look how pretty they are!!! 
Anyway, I'm really good at talking about it, and reading about it, and buying new trainers for it, and thinking about it, but not very good, it seems, at pulling my finger out and training for it. Yet.

I've had a couple of 10k's to run this month (last week's Brooks Brighton 10k and this Sunday's Running Show 10k as part of the Write This Run conference), so have been telling myself that I'll get down to it properly once these are out of the way.

I've been to physio to get my knees/ankles looked at, and have targeted exercises to be getting on with for the next few months to improve my balance, control and strength in my muscles to support my knees. At the moment I'm running 2-3 times a week (to be increased Monday after this last 10k) during the lead-in period to proper training, which starts on 16th December.

Getting stuck in


I'm really excited to get stuck in to proper training, but need to make sure my base running-fitness is at a good level before plunging into the deep end. I've got the Women's Running Marathon Training Guide and there's a beginner's marathon plan in there but it doesn't quite work for me so I'll adapt it alongside another more time-focused plan that Sian tweeted me. (I'm keeping the time goal of this one under my hat for the moment as I'm not sure if it's realistic yet).

winter marathon training
Gimme what you got, winter... 

I'm signed up to the Run Brighton long training runs on Sundays which is meant to start this Sunday but I'm running the 10k with the WTR crew so will miss the first one. I'm really glad I've signed up to these though as it means I don't have to either plan my long runs or do them on my own, and also as they're at a set time (8.30am!!) I have no excuse to not be bothered and bail out. I always run better with a group and push myself harder than I would alone so I'm hoping to continue improving as I have been this past few months.

The Garmin is ready, the running playlist is updated, and Christmas wishlist features essentials such as a foam roller, running socks and winter running gear. I've even bought myself a really cute little diary for 2014 which I'm gonna write all my runs and fuelling down in to see what works and what doesn't.

So, boys and girls, the groundwork is all laid out and prepared, all I've gotta do now is start training. I'll do it just as soon as I've had a WICKED WEEKEND at the Write This Run conference and Running Show. (If you're going and have previously ran a marathon, be prepared for lots of harassment and repeated questions on training, nutrition etc.)

Are you training for a marathon, and if so which one? First time or second/third/1000th?? (Looking at Cat there...) Send me your marathon tips!! 


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