A good couple of months of training.
I took a rest week after returning from the Eastbourne training weekend, then went back into marathon training for the Robin Hood full marathon in September and further marathons in 2016.
I’m not following a strict marathon training plan because I’m pretty comfortable with medium-to-long distances, and prior to Eastbourne had already run twenty miles or further more than once. What I really need to work on is avoiding hitting the wall, which happened to me during my first marathon (London 2014) and continues on some of my long runs.
At the same time I also want to keep up some speed, as I have the Great Birmingham Run (half-marathon) in October and the Rockingham 10K in November. In particular, I’m PB-hunting at Rockingham. (We’re also hoping to get as many UKRunChat folk to Rockingham as possible, for a big ‘end-of-season’ meet-up!)
So during June and July I’ve visited both ends of the running spectrum. For speedwork I ran mile (06:06) and 5K (20:30 or 20:31, depending on timing system) PBs at Cannon Hill ParkRun.
At distance, I’ve had some ups and downs. To help with hitting the wall by training to burn bodyfat for fuel instead of glycogen – over the years I think I’ve been way too dependent on eating before running – I’ve been doing fasted/glycogen-depletion weekend long runs every other week or two since bonking at London (my early-morning 10Ks are always fasted; I fuel for intervals though). I’ve gradually worked these up in distance and at the start of July ran my longest fasted run at twenty miles. However the week before, during a fuelled run, I well and truly detonated around the same distance, struggling on but eventually stopping at 21.5 miles.
That 21.5 mile run was actually an attempt at full marathon distance. Running full-distance during training isn’t generally recommended; popular wisdom seems to be that there’s nothing to be gained (except injury) from running further than twenty or twenty-one miles. But given that I’m pretty comfortable up to that distance, and my acute problem area is the six miles that follow, I feel that the best way to train for those miles is to either simulate them with long fasted runs or actually go ahead and run them. Plus, having run full-distance in training will be a great psychological comfort and boost on the starting line. So I was very pleased (smug?) to get up to full-distance at the end of the month – albeit on a nice, easy, flat route mostly along canal towpaths.
I’ve also co-hosted two UKRunChat Wednesday evenings on Twitter – which is not to be missed, even if it’s just to experience the sheer explosion of notifications! – done two hat-tricks of 5K, 10K and HM for Virtual Running UK; have bought my first zero-drop shoes and LUNA sandals; and tried a little barefoot running. I’ve been high-fiving other runners, which came about from one of the UKRunChat Wednesdays, and I’ve unexpectedly signed up for a (short) ultramarathon in 2016.
So feeling great at the moment, hope everyone else is too.