Dublin Marathon Training: Week 1

Hot 5k Run

Me and my smug lovely¬†pacer ūüėÄ

How’s your summer going, you lovely lot? Are you training for anything, or just enjoying the sunshine? I can’t believe the events that people have been doing recently! Such a motivation! ūüôā

As for me, today marks the end of¬†the first week on my Dublin Marathon training plan. I think I’d gotten so used to NOT following a plan – running where and when I fancied, cross training here and there, hiking a bit – I’d let myself slip a little when it came to keeping a routine (or any kind of structure or discipline, whatsoever).

Luckily, I’ve been able to rope James in to join me on a couple of my sessions. I say luckily, as I probably wouldn’t have pushed myself so hard if I’d been alone, but I’ll admit that I was naive enough to think¬†that¬†he might just take it easy on me.

HAHA nope.

We set off for my third 5k of the week yesterday (it was meant to be 10k, but heat + humidity = nah), and I managed to persuade him to start slowly Рby his standards, at least. Unfortunately, this meant that he then ramped things up for miles 2 and 3, taking the pace from 9:39 to 9:13 by the end. Ouch.

No pain no gain, right!?

Dublin Marathon Week 1 Training

Highs and lows: Enjoying a mocha frappe after Sunday’s cycle, and ready to keel over¬†on Saturday’s 5k…

As I cut Saturday’s run short, I decided to get some miles in¬†on the bike today to make up for it a bit. We found a new route along¬†a trail we’d never heard of before (the ‘Christmas Pie’ trail, apparently!) and followed it to Farnham.

This only gave us 14 miles, but after fighting our way through brambles and nettles and hugely overgrown wooded bits (parts of which we had to walk our bikes through), we decided against an out-and-back, and got on the train instead.

We weren’t complete cop-outs, though! We jumped off at Woking, and cycled the last 6 miles home¬†on a lovely smooth stretch of road, rounding us up to 20. Not too bad!

Surrey Cycle Finish

Enjoying the sunshine after 20 tough miles.

Overall, I’m just glad that my legs seemed fairly happy with 3 runs and some cross-training! And I’m looking forward to adding on some miles next week. Though looking at the weather forecast, I think I’m going to have to force myself out of bed a little earlier. The heat isn’t my friend!

– – –

Week 1 summary (weeks to Dublin: 15)

Planned sessions: 3 miles easy + strides / 3 miles steady / 6 miles easy

Sessions completed: 3 miles easy + strides / 3 miles steady / 3 miles progression

Cross training: 20 mile cycle

Advertisements

Barcelona Marathon Training: Week 2/16

I’ve decided to document my marathon training properly this time round, both for accountability and as an easy way to track my progress (or lack thereof, as the case may sometimes be…)¬†And¬†2 weeks into my Barcelona Marathon training plan, I’m starting to remember why I don’t enter them more often!

Nah, I’m kidding. Sort of.

I’ll tell you what, though – the weather¬†hasn’t helped! I’ve pretty much had a¬†choice of either gale force winds or heavy rain (or yknow, both).

But at least it hasn’t been cold, right?¬†With the exception of Thursday evening, I’ve been out in capris and short sleeves every run! What’s going on, December!?

Barcelona Marathon Training Week 2

Looking like a drowned rat after Thursday’s blustery, rainy gym trip.

For my last 2 marathons, I’ve followed a plan that had me running 3x a week, and it suited me pretty well. But this time round I really want to focus on improving my speed, strength and running efficiency – which means running more often.¬†So this time round, I’m running 4x a week, and one of them is a 5k speed session. Ouch, but effective!

My week 2 looked like this:

Tuesday: 5k @ 9:37. Windy, hard work, heavy legs! Quite a bit slower than planned.

Wednesday: 7 miles @ 9:50, with a strong last mile @ 9:11!

Thursday: 1 mile to the gym, 1 mile on the treadmill, 1hr weights session, 1 mile run home. Windy, wet, and horrible! But I left the Garmin at home, which was quite nice.

Sunday: 12 miles @ 9:55. My Garmin had a bit of a meltdown at mile 10 and made me run an extra .3 (ish) after deleting part of my route, so I’m taking this with a pinch of salt!

Bring it on, week 3!

– – –

How’s your running going? Any events on the horizon?

Bushy Park 10k: The sub-60 attempt

I’ve been working on improving my running pace since the summer. Back in August, my 5k PB was 29:59 (9:40/mile), and had been exactly that for nearly 2 years. A couple of weeks ago I finally got myself into the 28s, and decided that it was now¬†time to work on my 10k. Gulp.

My last 10k race was at Bushy Park back in 2013, where I crossed the line in 1:01:59. My goal was to average sub-10:00 – nailed it! But I decided that I really wanted to get down to sub-60. This would mean running at an average pace of 9:39/mile, which was a pretty daunting thought.

I have a very understanding boyfriend. (Also, I might have paid for his place and then bribed him with stew). Whatever the reason, I managed to persuade him out of bed at stupid o’clock on a Sunday morning, to run 5k in the freezing cold, and then wait another half hour for me to finish the 10k (at which point it was STILL freezing cold). He got a medal, a protein shake, and a lot of cheers for his sprint finish, so I think it did him some good ūüėÄ

Bushy Park 10k Final Stretch

The final .2 was SO hard. I couldn’t even muster a smile – all James got was a half-hearted thumbs up. But it waaas an 8:17 sprint finish, so I’m sure he’ll let me off!

As usual, I set off too fast at the start, but managed to slow myself down and hit 9:38 for the first mile. I then accidentally stayed at the slower pace, clocking 9:45 for mile 2, so I had to get a bit of a move on for mile 3! This hurt, and keeping it up through slippery mud and a thick layer of leaves was pretty hard work. I think I did the first 5k in over 30:00 (at which point a lot of the people around me headed off to the finish – not that I was jealous, or anything!)

Mile 4 was my favourite, and I settled into a comfy pace that I managed to keep up until about 8k. This was when I hit the muddy leafy bit again, at which point I wanted to cry and/or walk/sit down on the floor and strop. But instead, I channelled my inner adult, and got the f*** on with it. And then I nearly ran into a gorgeous stag, who chose that moment to wander into the path about 2 feet away. Pretty good time for a distraction, to be fair!

Bushy Park 10k Sprint Finish

The elusive mid-foot strike! It exists!

My inner adult got me through mile 6 in 9:26, which made me glad that I hadn’t walked or stropped, after all. But then I discovered¬†that pushing yourself through 10k at what was recently your 5k PB pace can REALLY hurt. When I saw the finish line I¬†pushed a little bit harder (I think I stopped breathing for a second or two), crossing it with a sprint finish of 8:17. Result!

Bushy Park 10k Medals

D’aw, isn’t he lovely? And the medals have Christmas puddings¬†on!

After I caught my breath a little, and decided that I wasn’t going to throw up (it was a close call), my smile came back. And then a few happy tears, because 59:23, you are (provisionally but I’ll take it) MINE! (Edit: The official results are in, and I did it! 59:23!)

I wangled a 2:36 PB. Yes, I did.

Bushy Park 10k Bobble Hat

And then I broke out the bobble hat. Because, bobble hats. And it was still freezing.

– – –

Did you run this weekend? How did it go? ūüôā