Training for a second marathon

There are upsides and downsides to training for your second marathon, compared to your first.

One the upside, you know what to expect.

On the downside … You know what to expect.

I’m only into week 3 of my marathon training plan, and it’s already had all manner of ups and downs. Week 1 – Christmas week – was spent fighting off a nasty cold, with all of the Lemsip, Strepsils, ‘hot toddys’ (port, hot water, brown sugar and cloves – genius!) and cups of tea I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, the cold lasted the best part of 2 weeks – so with Week 1 written off completely, Week 2 started off with a 4.5 mile walk along the Devon coast:

devon1

.. Which was followed by an unpromising 2 miler on the Tuesday with my Uncle. It was icy and freezing cold, even in the number of layers I had on, but luckily the cough held off until I got home, and I managed the 2 miles (with a steep hill thrown in) without walking breaks.

Did I really run a marathon less than a year ago? What happened!?

On Sunday, I gave the long run a go. Having missed the first one (and having slacked on the base building), I aimed for 9. I managed 9.4 – they were slow, uncomfortable and miserable, but they were better than nothing.

run1

I was quite pleased with myself, given the lack of training over the weeks beforehand!

Then I heard that my friend (running her first marathon in Paris with me) had managed a 12 mile run at my 10k PB pace. Suddenly, all of my insecurities and worries came back.

Has missing the first 2 weeks of training set me back too far? Will I still be able to reach my goals for Paris? What if my speed doesn’t come back?…

Having run Brighton last year, I know how much training I need. I didn’t do enough last time round, and I found the marathon much harder than I should have. I know that if I don’t knuckle down and start ticking off my training sessions, I’m going to struggle in Paris. I can already feel myself slipping into the same pattern as last year, and I need to snap out of it and push just a little bit harder. After all, it’s more than worth it – there’s no better feeling than training hard, and having it pay off on the day. Surrey half was that race for me in 2014 (SO excited to run it again this year!) – and I really want Paris to be even better.

Last summer, another friend and I started running to work again once a week, after a 2 month break. The first week was awful, and we averaged over 12 minute miles; but by week five, we were consistently under the 11:00/mile mark, and the love for running was starting to come back. I think that’s what I miss, more than anything – the joy I used to find in lacing up my shoes and heading out for a few miles. But then my friend’s words came back to me:

But our fitness .. We’re chasing it down right now! And each run we do, we’re catching it up!

At the end of the day, I know I’ve got it in me. I just need to get on with it – and leave the panic for the taper!

Are you training for anything at the moment? How’s it going?

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