There have been a few 'London Marathon Training Week One's' in my life across the past years; of which I am really grateful for. This latest 'Week 1' did feel a little different though with the remnants of a four weeks worth of illness in my body, as well as painful ribs on the right side of my body brought on from relentlessly coughing. I was therefore not going into Week One of training feeling physically at my most prepared. This has meant what normally has been seen by me as quite a 'light' week of training has felt a little more challenging than normal as I fight my way back to full fitness. I know I am not far from it though and I just need to be prepared to work that little bit harder, endure a bit more discomfort and keep my goals fresh in my mind over the next few weeks. If anyone has a cure for a cough though please also let me know - my ribs would certainly appreciate it!
MONDAY: Rest Day - I wanted to go back to Body Pump this week, but I knew it was not wise with my ribs. I did not feel assured in my physical ability and also was scared of making myself worse.
TUESDAY: an easy paced 4 miles to kick start the running element of training - it was not hard for me to run easy for once, as this pace has formed the majority of my running the last few weeks!
WEDNESDAY: this run felt a little more like marathon training; 7 steady miles. I wanted to run sub 8:30 min/mile pace, but at first I struggled to hit this, which worried me. I did find my stride though, averaging 8.22 min/mile overall, although it took more effort than I would like. Reflecting I think it was a combination of my recent pattern of just running easy pace, and also the fact 7 miles is the longest I have ran early morning for a while - so the run was a little bit of a shock to my system.
THURSDAY: back at Run Club and back at the track. As many members were beginning to restart their running after a bit of a Christmas break, we had opted for a slightly lighter session on the track, focusing on form and with some repeated reps at the end. This was good news as I am not sure my body would have coped with all out track efforts! I had 3 miles on my plan, and almost to perfection, logged just over this throughout the session averaging around 7 min/mile pace.
FRIDAY: Rest Day and an opportunity to visit my Sport Therapist to look at my ribs. As I had correctly guessed, the muscles on my right hand side were strained and in a state of spasm from my cough, and she worked her magic (in a fairly painful way!) to help relieve this and restore a little bit of postural correctness. The area is still sore, and the fact I cannot rid myself of this cough doesn't help it recover, but its improved.
SATURDAY: a struggle of a run around Lincoln parkrun. It was a blustery day and I just did not have the strength to fight the wind; each time we met it on the course I just felt it push me back - I could barely even muster a sprint finish which I usually am able to find from somewhere even when I think I am dying! I ran over 22 minutes, which for me is far from my best. The run emphasised to me the strength/power I have lost in the past weeks; not enough for running to be impossibly hard, but enough to mean when met with challenges like this I am not quite back to top form yet.
SUNDAY: after yesterday's hard run I kept my expectations for today's longer run realistic. I would also be taking on 12 miles; my longest run for weeks. I got off to a tough start; my rib area hurt badly, stabbing into me as I breathed - it really was quite awful. My muscles needed to warm up so I knew I just had to try and override the pain and allow the muscles to relax a little and then I would be ok. Easier said than done! It did work though, as well as me massaging the area (and trying to hide the pain on my face) as I stopped at traffic lights. I have to say the run really exceeded my expectations; I ran along comfortably (ignoring my ribs!) and didn't look at my watch much, and was therefore surprised that the odd glance I did take saw a few sub 8:20 min/mile splits being logged. I maintained this consistency throughout the run, and whilst passing ten miles my legs did feel a little heavier as I asked that bit more from them for the first time in a while, I was really happy overall with how the run went. I finished with an average pace of 8:20 min/mile - which felt natural, despite being much quicker than I imagined and probably should have ran!
Next week the mileage picks up a little more - lets hope my ribs do too!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...