With Christmas and New Year over for another year, back at work and busy as ever my social media timeline was awash last Thursday with posts reminding us that there was now only 100 days to go until us runners line up at the start of the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon. It’s really now starting to feel real and time is ticking by very fast.
Since my last blog I’ve now officially started training, after much deliberation I’ve chosen to follow an ASICS training plan. So far so good, have found the app easy to use and I’m now three weeks and nine runs in. As a relative novice to running I had never really understood the difference between a jog, comfortable, tempo or fast run, whilst I would attempt to adjust my pace depending on the distance I intended to run, all my runs tended to end with me averaging between 5 – 5:20 min per km. The app sets your training schedule based on a target marathon time and the number of days you wish to run per week, I plumped for a four hour target based on my last half marathon time if 1:52:26. The training starts slow, builds pace and then distance before tapering down as the big day approaches. My first training run in my plan was a 5 km jog, pace 6:45 per km, for me this felt like I was barely moving faster than I walk, I really struggled to go so slow and missed my time finishing significantly quicker than the target time, however three runs in and a lot of checking pace on my watch I was hitting my marks…. and feeling better for it. Training for my first half marathon last summer I would often have lots of aches and pains, in hindsight I was pushing too hard.
I’m now nine runs in, well into the ‘going faster’ phase which consists of two 9km fast runs and a longer comfortable run per week, target fast pace 5:05 per km, over a variety of terrain and trails I’ve done 5:07, 5:01 and a 4:54 pace with consistent time splits so pleased with my progress. After my last run the ASICS app has re-profiled my target times, quickening each slightly with a new Marathon target time of 3:40 but there’s a long way to go and I will be more than happy with getting close to 4 hours.
So, training is on plan, fundraising still work to do but making good progress towards my target. December and January are particularly poignant months for me and my family, Christmas obviously, but December were also mum and dads birthdays, mum on 28th and dad on 22nd. I lost both parents to cancer, mum breast cancer in 2014 and my dad to a brain tumour in 2002 and this year would have been his 75th birthday, the anniversary of his death is 26th January, I really can’t believe it’s 16 years. I’m running the marathon in his honour and to others that have suffered from a brain tumour. I am raising money for the fabulous Brain Tumour Research who are undertaking vital research into finding new treatments and ultimately a cure for this horrible disease. If you have enjoyed this blog please donate whatever you can to help the fight against this cancer by following the link to my JustGiving page below.
If you’re in and around the Cambridgeshire countryside over the next few months you may spot me on a training run, possibly with my training partner Wilbur, me kitted our in my new training shirt I received for Christmas, Wilbur is still a youngster so only comes on my short runs, he also likes to chew everything as such a had to buy myself a new running jacket last week, just hope he doesn’t get my new running shoes!