19th June 2017
Three weeks have passed since my marathon misery, enough time to be (kind of) philosophical about it and move on. Marathons are hard, that’s the point. The first week afterwards was a full blown week off; no running, no exercise. It was great, but by the end of it I was keen to get back out. The next week was a three run week, no structured training or anything, just easing myself back in and topped off with a 7-miler on the Sunday. Then it was back to running club last week, fielding questions about the marathon and taking some comfort from the fact that almost everyone there had a similar tale to tell. They didn’t tell me that beforehand though! Other than a Saturday run which included a beck crossing to try (and fail) to dodge a herd of bemused looking cows (no, I couldn’t figure out what I was doing there either) it’s been a good couple of weeks of running.
Unfortunately the passing of three weeks also marks another milestone, the start of my next marathon training plan. Eurgh. I’ve ditched the plan I followed for Edinburgh, that was too much. I ended up injuring myself and let’s face it, it didn’t do me much good on the day. That plan was 6 runs a week, based around running a set distance each time save for one session a week which was varying efforts. This new one is 5 runs a week, based around running for a set period of time (again with one efforts session) with a strength training workout built in mid-week. This feels kinder, and the strength training should help. That was my undoing last time, in terms of injury, I didn’t do enough to strengthen my body to cope with all the extra mileage. The strength training is going to take some practice, I currently have no idea what a “Scorpian” is but that’s what YouTube is for I guess. And it’s going to take some extra discipline, we have a set of weights at home that have been used twice since purchase a few months ago. Ever since the gym membership got dropped I’ve quite happily neglected any strength training, such are the perils of not having a summer holiday booked for this year. I need to get back in to it.
The other difference is the time over distance factor. It’s purely psychological but seeing “3 hours steady” on the training plan feels a lot nicer than seeing “20 miles”. I suppose the danger is that once the runs get longer it’ll be tempting to drop the pace as it gets harder and not push on as much, but that’s a battle for another day. For now, this feels like the way forward. I don’t think I could face trudging through that other training plan again. The main thing I’m curious about is how you plan a 3 hour run to finish near home without knowing how far you’re going to run.
I’ll be honest, I did fall out of love with running again immediately after Edinburgh but a steady reintroduction over the last couple of weeks has worked wonders. I’m still significantly slower than when I started on the marathon training but that’s something I’m going to have to live with for this year. This was my year to conquer the marathon and I’ve still got one go left. That go starts tonight and thankfully is limited to an easy, albeit sweltering, 15 minute run.