Today felt like the proper start of the marathon training run-in. It’s 1st March, which means the Edinburgh marathon is the month after next. No time for procrastinating now, this is where the hard yards start.
I’ve had a fun week training-wise. I got in a few miles before and during the Tuesday night Green Heart Runners session, and then again on Thursday evening before doing some hill-sprints at the University with a friend. On Saturday morning I continued the speed theme with a sub 20 minute 5k run on the treadmill (I never thought I’d manage that!), and a few more sprint drills, inspired my Run Brum Crew friends, Phil and Sophie. I then followed that up with a high intensity interval session directly afterwards.
All the high-impact and sprint training is really good fun, but probably not ideal the day before a 14 mile run. Oh well!
I didn’t get to bed until just before midnight, which is very late for me. Nevertheless, when a big run looms something comes over me and I have a combination of desire and fear to get out running long distances. I’m a morning person but even so it’s been a while since I hit the road at just after 6am. But this is what I felt I had to do today.
Due to the sprints and high impact exercise, my quads and glutes were pretty sore. This meant I set off a bit slower than I normally would, but this wasn’t a bad thing as I usually run too fast at the beginning my long runs and taper off at the end. This morning there was less than a minute between my fastest and slowest mile which is much more consistent than normal.
My route took me down the Weeford Road in Sutton Coldfield, past Good Hope Hospital, and into the town centre before then running a good stretch of the perimeter of Sutton Park. It was dark when I set off and the roads were quiet.
I then adapted a usual route I do by taking a different exit from the roundabout near the Sutton Park Streetly Gate and continued to a point on the Lichfield Road, roughly equidistant between Sutton and a little village called Shenstone. By this point I was running in bright sunshine and the roads were still quiet, perfect running conditions!
From there I ran back towards Sutton before veering off onto some hilly country roads and lanes before returning to a main road just near my house to complete the run.
On my long runs I stop to stretch every few miles. I don’t know if this is good practice but I think you have to listen to your body and if something is bothering you, stop and give it some attention.
Overall I ran 14 miles just over 2 hours at 8:42 minutes per mile. I was fairly pleased with that and felt I could’ve probably kept going another 2 or 3 miles at the pace I was running at the end, which bodes well for future training runs.
I couldn’t tell you what thoughts were going through my mind during my run. I don’t listen to music on long runs these days so just allow my mind to wander wherever it wants, this is something I look forward on my long runs.
I will need to manage my training runs a little better next week to avoid feeling quite so sore the day of the big run. Having said that, I’m really enjoying my speed and interval training so I think I’ll keep it in my training schedule even though it doesn’t appear in any of the ‘expert’ guides. As ever, each to their own – you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do!
Until next time 🙂