In the first couple of weeks post-marathon – brimming with renewed enthusiasm for running and training ‘properly’ this time – I kept my runs to short distances of 3-4 miles and focused on going out regularly and consistently. I also took the opportunity to do some non-running sessions to give me some different movements to play with. Getting to another instructor’s class has is also helpful in giving my brain a break and allowing me to concentrate more on what my body is doing. In the first week I went to a yoga class where, happily, the instructor was in need of some de-stressing so it was a lovely gentle stretchy twisty class that really helped revive the legs.
Something I noticed during excessive Instagram browsing was that a lot of other runners seemed to be running marathons really close together or ramping the milage back up again much more quickly than I was. My competitive streak is almost non-existent but it is there and was triggered by this so that I started looking at whether an autumn marathon this year would be possible. New Forest being a particularly appealing option for location and not overlapping too closely with the already booked Oxford Half Marathon. On reflection I decided against. Races are not that cheap to enter, especially the longer distances and factoring in travel times and taking time off work (yep, Sunday classes). This gives me loads of time to focus on building up the intensity and distance of my training sessions gradually without the pressure aiming to be at a certain level in a short amount of time. Also, for me, I think the excitement of a race might fade with frequency so spacing them out gives me something to really look forward to.
May’s training went really, really well. I ticked all the planned sessions off as scheduled. This included 7.5 mile ‘pace’ session, a steady but fast tempo run to increase speed and endurance, and a 10 mile ‘comfortable’ session also for endurance but at an easier sustainable pace. The pace session was on such a hot, humid day and I was determined to challenge myself with it and ended up feeling really queasy for a few hours afterwards which has never really happened before. Based on that I’ll aim to get future runs done earlier in the day when possible. The 10 miler felt great, there is a magic moment in the longer runs where I zone out and running feels endless but in a weirdly good way. Then stopping feels disruptive somehow. Really looking forward to more of those and pleased to find that now, at the end of the month, I am still as excited and motivated to train as at the start.
Hello, June! Let’s see what you’ve got for me…