Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Marathon Training Week 6

Brighton Marathon Training Week 6

Another week done, and so far all is going reasonably well! This week however brought about the thing I new I'd find toughest - dealing with the weather. I remember last year seeing people preparing for spring marathons and hearing stories of 20+ mile runs being conducted on treadmills or as laps of the garden. Something I am finding tough is hitting my planned mileage, I'm coming a few miles short every week right now. I'm still progressing and building it up, but it's a bit frustrating even if it is all down to things out of my control.

Running cross country in Oxon league at Addebury
Photo by Barry Cornelius

I began the week with something totally new for me - a hot yoga class. A Hotpod Yoga studio opened locally and having seen quite a few people talking about these sessions lately I was keen to give it a go myself. Safe to say I am completely hooked! I've never actually attended a yoga class before but have been practising with Youtube videos for a few years so at least I knew the poses. This was supposedly a rest day for me, but this was certainly a workout - albeit a nice, stretchy one that left me feeling very relaxed afterwards.

Tuesday was my first time back at the track since before Christmas and I had been really looking forward to finally getting a chance to do some speedwork again. I have been doing some intervals and hill training by myself, but there's nothing quite like doing track with other people to help motivate you. Unfortunately the weather was atrocious! I got out the car into pouring rain, "warmed up" with four laps of the track and I think was about 200m into the first of the 600m reps before the sleet began. There was absolutely nothing enjoyable about this run and I quite honestly could have cried when I pulled after each interval, except I was just too cold to be emotional. It's a shame because my running was feeling good, I was hitting a pace I was happy with and kept fairly consistent for the first 7 reps. After that though I felt myself struggling mentally and the conditions were just too bad. I stopped after 10 reps despite it being a planned session of 16. I'd also meant to do half a mile of cooling down afterwards but all I wanted to do was get in the car, get home and dry off!

Wednesday I had planned a 3 mile easy run, but was working a long day again so didn't have time to fit it in and to be honest I really fancied a bit of rest from running after the delightful weather the previous day!

Thursday I had the day off as annual leave which turned out to have been excellent planning. It was a beautiful, bright winter day and I used it to head out for an easy run. The pavements were a little icy, so I pulled on my trail shoes and went off for a tour of the woods around me. There are so many parts I've never explored before so this was such a fun run just making up the route as I went along, exploring lots of new places I'll be coming back to. I should say that I do know the roads and areas around the woods, so I wasn't just going completely in unknown territory alone! This run certainly helped lift me after Tuesday's horribleness.

Friday was another rest day, and another day off work for me. I had the evening to myself and so decided to head back to Hotpod Yoga for a nuturing flow which was delightful. I'm definitely going to be including plenty of this into my training from now on.

Saturday should have been Parkrun and I wanted to add some miles around it. However the weather had other ideas. I waited around for a decision from Harrow Parkrun before leaving, but hadn't heard by 8:15 and needed to get going so I could run there at an easy pace. Unfortunately by the time I was a mile there I saw that it was now cancelled. I knew that South Oxhey was still going ahead, but according to my phone I was 5 miles away. I did start running there at a quick-ish pace, thinking that even if I was a bit late I'd just join the end, but I soon realised I was just never going to make it soon enough. The route is quite hilly and with the snow and ice around I couldn't safely run fast enough. So I completed a solo eight miles, including a little jaunt through the woods.

Sunday I was back in Banbury for the first time in a while for my final cross country race of the season at Addebury. Temperatures were barely above freezing, the ground was solid in places and slippery with ice-cold mud in others. The run didn't feel easy, but I decided not to attack it too much - I'm not trying to be a fast XC runner right now and I wasn't really going to gain much by pushing too hard. I backed off, kept it fast but comfortable and tried to enjoy the craziness of being out on a freezing February day in a vest and shorts!

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