This week has been a great week for me personally... Monday I successfully passed the Viva assessment for my Masters by Research degree in Sport Development, and then Thursday I passed my driving test at the first attempt. All this whilst sticking firmly to my marathon training plan! Running has in fact offered me a perfect time over the past weeks to reflect and prepare for both these milestones, whilst running along roads I would often find myself imaging what I would do if I was driving in this situation!
What made me smile the most however was this card I received from my friend - highlighting one of my key motives for learning to drive - I can now get to more running races! I think I will stick to the train when travelling to the Marathon however, I don't fancy trusting my legs to even operate the pedals post race!!
After attempting my second ever Tempo Run this week, and finishing it feeling a little annoyed with myself that I couldn't maintain my usual fast pace on the treadmill, I spent a some time reflecting and came to the (probably blindingly obvious to you) conclusion that I am indeed training for a marathon, not a sprint.
The furthest distance I have ever trained for previously is 10k - a programme which consists of fast paced runs, and interval training. Therefore I am currently approaching my runs with the intention of running my 10k pace, and thus doing interval training at equivalent paces. But, with legs feeling tired from the ever increasing weekly mileage, I am now beginning to learn this is not at all realistic. I need to find my 'marathon pace' and do interval or tempo running sessions to suit this.
My biggest barrier with be overcoming my current approach to running, where I am preoccupied by fast times and getting my 10k runs to be quicker. I now must focus on distance and mileage - I am not aiming to break the marathon World Record after all!
My realistic goal is to finish the marathon - something I will be immensely proud of, and of course to reach my fundraising target for vInspired. I would love to run a time around the 4 hour mark, and if I am honest with you I will be disappointed if it is anything over 4hours 30minutes. But I am not going to focus on times for now and start thinking with a marathon runner’s head – not a sprinter’s!
The elite field for this year's London Marathon looks extremely competitive and we should be set for a very interesting race in both the male and female competition - shame I won't be able to watch it, think I might be slightly busy....!
I really admire the talent of elite long distance runners, the physical condition their bodies are in and the mental strength they possess. Just looking at their Personal Best times for the marathon distance makes my legs burn, feet ache and stomach go queasy. All clock in at around 2hr- 2hr 20 marathons - that is something to be very proud of!
Some top names to look out for in both the men's and women's fields are as follows:
Edna Kiplagat - last year's London Marathon champion and current World Champion
Mary Keitany - two time London Marathon winner and current New York Marathon champion
Florence Kiplagat - last year's London Marathon runner up and current half marathon World Record holder
Priscah Jeptoo - 2013 London Marathon winner and Olympic silver medallist 2012
Wilson Kipsang - last year's London Marathon champion and former World Record holder
Dennis Kimetto - current marathon World Record holder
Kenenisa Bekele - triple Olympic gold medallist
Emmanuel Mutai - 2011 London Marathon champion
Paula Radcliffe - world record holder and three-time London champion - is also using the London Marathon this year to say her farewell to marathon running. I can remember watching Paula race many a time on TV, her head nodding along as she pounded the pavements and/or track. It will feel quite special knowing she is running the same race as me, although I am pretty certain she is a safe bet to well and truly beat me!
Four days into my official Marathon training and I am struggling - with the 'Rest Day'.
I am used to doing some form of exercise 7 days a week, only having a rest if its enforced, and I literally do not have time during my day to go for a run or go to the gym. But I have promised myself I am going to stick to the training plan I am following (for a four hour finish) and one day a week is 'Rest Day'. To be honest, it should be two days a week, but I know I can't handle that, and I still want to fit in the exercise classes I enjoy attending alongside my running.
Since finishing work on my first 'Rest Day' I have been resisting the urge to go for a quick run or just do a few weights at the gym - its like an addiction! But I have stuck to it, mainly helped by the fact I attended a volunteer meeting this evening where I was talking to others about my volunteer experiences - including how vInspired has supported me personally with my voluntary achievements. I hope I can draw on similar strength in future weeks...
So its one 'Rest Day' down, fifteen to go.....! I am sure in later weeks of the training plan I will grow to love them!
Happy New Year and welcome to 2015! I am starting off the year feeling a little worse for wear but am heading out for a - gentle! - 10k run this afternoon. The training plan I am following for the Marathon officially begins on 5th January so it feels like I am treading water a bit before then - although I should probably use these few days to rebuild any fitness I have lost during the festive season!
I am also going to be shopping for my new pair of running shoes over the next few days - a feat I am both looking forward to and dreading. I'll admit I am a bit of a snob when it comes to running/exercise wear - I like to look good, be colour coordinated (mainly on a black and purple theme), choose items with nice designs and which have well known labels. I don't know why I am like this, aside from running/exercise clothes, in my everyday wardrobe I couldn't care less what make of clothing I buy! So choosing running shoes can be quite stressful as I have to get the aesthetic and practical balance correct. Wish me luck.... I will let you know how I get on!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...