After an on/off year of running, partly linked to the pandemic but predominantly linked to a lack of motivation, I needed something to get me back on track. What better than a spring marathon. In April 2021 I’m taking part in the Southampton Marathon. Will it go ahead? Who knows… but I’m determined to be ready. On the 25th April 2021, I’m running a marathon PB!
I might be mad starting marathon training in Christmas week but I am following the Ben Parkes marathon improver plan and it’s 18 weeks, so it couldn’t be helped.
The week started with an Easy 5km run. While this might sound like nothing big to report, it was important for me to get used to running at the prescribed paces on the plan. In order to hit my goal (read more about that here) I need to run my “easy” runs at between 6:44-7:12 Mins/KM (10:50-11:35 Mins/Mile). I find running slowly for short runs surprisingly difficult. It’s harder than it might sound. The want is always to pick up the pace and push but if I’m going to hit my marathon goal, I need to stick to the plan as closely as possible.
Next was a 5km run at Marathon Pace (5:56-6:10 Mins/KM). I had a busy day so I started bright and early. I love running in the morning and taking advantage of the quiet routes.
Unsurprisingly, I set off too quickly and it took me the majority of the 1st KM to settle down to the right pace. When I finally managed it, I felt strong and it seemed comfortable. I know that is largely because it was only a short distance and I’m most certainly not underestimating what it will take to manage to keep up that pace for an additional 37kms.
My third session of the week was a 5km Tempo run (5:10 – 5:17/km). I found this one a real toughy. It coincided with boxing day which meant I was doing the run fueled on Chrsitmas day’s over indulgences. Not ideal for a session where I was supposed to push hard. I needed to walk a couple of times to catch my breath and found the pace tricky to maintain. I was either too fast or too slow. My average pace was 5:16/km so pretty much bang on but my splits weren’t great.
I know how important these sessions are to building my base fitness and to make sure that the marathon pace is achievable over a much greater distance. This session didn’t do much for my confidence but it is another ticked off the list. Onwards and upwards.
Finishing off my first week was supposed to be a 13km easy run. One way or another I haven’t covered much distance recently. This would have been the longest distance I have run since early November (at best). The abysmal weather of the last few days hasn’t helped this run happen. So despite my best efforts, it ended up as a hard-fought 10km. Not what I wanted, but glad to have ticked off the first week.
Roll on Week 2