Paris Marathon: 7 (!) weeks to go

Training so far has been a bit of a mixed bag. It started with a nasty cold that set me back over a week, and then about a month ago I developed a foot niggle (I’m refusing to call it an injury!!! Don’t make me!!!)

All in all, it’s been a bit of a struggle.

But despite the setbacks, I’ve worked my way up to 16 miles for the long run, which I’m very pleased about! I’m averaging a slower pace than last year, but I think all of the extra strength and conditioning work I’m doing will make me a much stronger runner this time round.

Last year, despite all of my good intentions, my weekly training was generally a 5k or two + a few cycle commutes + a long run, and a few half-assed gym sessions. This year, I generally manage 3 runs (a lunchtime 5k, a 7m run commute, and the long run); a 1-hour pilates session; a swim session (1 hour, which is usually 1600-2000m, depending on how energetic I’m feeling!); a 1-hour PT or gym session (which often includes sets of 200m sprint intervals at 12.5kph), and a cycle commute or two.

I was quite worried about cutting back on the cycling, as I found that my legs initially felt much weaker. Turns out that once I started working the muscles that I’d ignored for years (hello, hamstrings!) everything kind of balanced out, and I started to hold a better posture and even increased my cadence! Win! (Still working on the speed…) I’d still like my quads back, though.

For Sunday’s 16 miler I tried a new route, taking the canal path from Woking out towards Weybridge. It was cold, sunny and crisp – perfect running weather! 🙂 And the views were gorgeous, which along with some Maroon 5 helped to take my mind off the distance.

16mtrack

16swans

I took a gel every 4 miles, which worked great; my energy seemed really consistent over the whole run. The last 1.5 miles were extremely tough (as expected) and I really had to grit my teeth to keep going, but I averaged 11:09/mile which is only 9 seconds off my pace in the Cranleigh 15 last year! I’m getting there!

This weekend I’ve got Brighton Half, which I’m running with my parents and uncle. It’s an event I’ve not done before, but after Brighton Marathon last year I have high hopes!

If someone had told me a few years ago that I’d be excited about a half marathon, I’d have said they were mad…

Are you training for anything? How’s it going? 🙂

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