Last week my body felt tired. I did some maths and worked out that so far this year I have ran 1,077 miles, which is definitely a lot more than my car has managed this year! Usually after a marathon training cycle I would have a bit of a break, people who know me will know this is definitely an ‘Alice version’ of a break, but I do tend to drop my mileage for a least a few weeks as my legs recover. This year I have gone straight from full on training for a marathon, to a consistent period of lockdown mileage of around 35 miles a week, and now into the start of marathon training again. I feel fit, there is no denying that, but at the end of last week my body also felt a little knackered.
Thankfully this week was a bit of a ‘cut back’ week in my training plan and I was also able to finally see my Sport Therapist, who confirmed what I already thought may be the case – my legs are struggling under my high mileage without any strength training. Yes, I have been doing weekly home exercise with body weight and resistance bands, but it doesn’t quite match up to the gym work I normally ensure I incorporate into my training. The gyms reopening gives me a chance to build some of this back up at least – I will need to make sure this is done steadily though, else I won’t be able to walk for weeks let alone run!
MONDAY: some adapted home exercise; my quads were still so sore from my long run on Sunday I tried to give them a bit of a break.
TUESDAY: a steady 5 miles – the first mile my legs felt really stiff still, but I loosened up with each mile, unintentionally getting quicker.
WEDNESDAY: although yesterday showed some promise, today my legs were stiff again, and an easy 8 miles definitely had to be taken easily. I was now practically counting down the hours until my Sports Therapy appointment on Friday!
THURSDAY: speed work this week was a little less demanding, with 8 miles of fartlek on my plan. This fitted well with the Run Club session we had planned, and I was able to incorporate my own miles with some leading my ‘running bubble’. For once working from home proved useful as I made myself close my laptop at 5:30pm and was out running within a few minutes. I ran four miles solo, with some quicker sub 8 min/miles, and then met my Run Club friends for another 4 miles including 5 x 1k reps. Running with others is a joy at the moment anyway, but it also really helped take my mind off my legs!
FRIDAY: Rest Day – and ending my five month wait for a sports massage!
SATURDAY: although my legs felt much improved after some treatment, I did not want to instantly push them, so kept this week’s ‘not Lincoln parkrun’ attempt ‘confortably hard’ and with a couple of gradual hills thrown in.
SUNDAY: this week’s long run was a refreshing change which saw me run with someone else, leave Lincoln, and also run on trails! I ran as part of an organised trail run through my friend’s business Remarkable Running, and he had plotted out a 30k route starting in Woodhall Spa and venturing out into the Lincolnshire countryside. I loved getting out exploring, and the route had lots of different elements from tracks, to fields and woodlands, which were all cleverly mapped together. I switched off from pace and distance and simple enjoyed being outside. I would never be able to plan a route like this on my own, and part of the enjoyment was the fact I didn’t have to think about where I was running and could simple enjoy the experience. We finished back in Woodhall Spa around lunchtime, and on what was now a gloriously sunny day, enjoyed post refreshments in the town centre. It was a great day and adventure, and something I highly recommend others try if they find themselves a little lost or lacking with running focus at the moment what with everything going on in the world!
Next week should be the final full week of training before the next announcement from the London Marathon is due. I will approach it with focus, but I am very open about the fact I hope this is my last week of marathon training for 2020.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...