The Rundown: Marathon Training Week 10

10 weeks! I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. As discussed in a previous post, social media makes it so easy to compare yourself to others. I’m announcing that I’m freaking exhausted. Marathon training is not easy. I’ve really ramped up my mileage this cycle and my body doesn’t seem to know what is happening. Only 3 more big weeks left (bring on the 20 milers) then I can finally taper.

Monday

4 miles – Run commute from home. I decided I needed more sleep and pushed my run commute back to the evening. 4 gentle recovery miles along the Thames after a stressful day sorted me right out.

Tuesday

Rest day

Wednesday

1500m swim – An early morning swim at London Fields Lido set me up for the day perfectly.

Track – In aid of International Women’s Day we held a special track session held by a tonne of inspirational ladies. The session included 1 x 800m followed by 4 x 400m repeated twice. Felt tough but good to get some speed back in the legs.

Thursday

10 miles – Intended to be a tempo run, but turned out to be a bit of a fail. Central London is too busy for tempo. I set out to do: 2 miles WU, 2 miles @ 5km pace, 2 miles recovery, 2 miles @ 10km pace and 2 miles CD. What actually happened was I dodgy tourists and commuters and stuck some faster miles in when I had the chance. The miles flew by and although I didn’t hit the session as intended I still got my body used to varying tempo’s.

Friday

Rest day – Eating all the curry with all my running babes (Thanks Polly for hosting)

Saturday

17 miles – I have such a mind block when it comes to running anything over 15 miles. Knowing it’s going to hurt and I’ll be on my feet for a long time makes me feel panicked. My lovely pal Polly offered to combine our long runs this week. Polly is an ace pacer and route planner and I can’t believe how quickly the miles flew by. I needed to have a decent long run to remind myself why I’m doing this and this was it!

Sunday 

60 minutes yoga – A full hour of yin yoga. Spending 5+ minutes in each pose felt really good after Saturdays long run. Also the perfect end to a Sunday afternoon.

Total miles – 34.1

The Rundown: Marathon Training Week 9

Another slower training week thanks to the beast from the east coming in and ruining my fun. Unfortunately I had to drop two of the planned runs from my marathon training, but all in all not a bad week. I’m at the stage of training where I’m starting to feel flat. The progress that was made in the first few weeks and the PB’s that were set seems months ago. I am trying to remind myself this is normal and to trust the process.

Next week I am aiming to hit all my sessions (and hopefully target paces) and give myself the confidence boost I so desperately need.

Monday

Rest day

Tuesday

2 miles steady – Thanks to the excessive snow, I felt it was best to hit the treadmill. I considered doing my longer run today to ensure I hit the miles.  The last time I ran on a treadmill must be years ago. Needless to say, I managed 2 miles before giving up and going home. Dreadmill’s just aren’t for me!

15 mins stretching.

Wednesday

10 miles – I sucked it up and ran in the snow and it was glorious. Setting out for Stratford (as I needed to take something back) my aim was to run and see how many miles I could achieve. I had London to myself as I smashed out 10 miles and I  haven’t enjoyed a run as much as I did this one in so long. Plus I managed to stay upright!

Thursday

Rest day – Still too much snow.

Friday

60 minutes hot yoga – Off I went to Soma to try and warm up. I had been warned by Charlie that this was the hardest yoga class they did. She was not wrong. This is the first time in hot yoga I’ve ever felt like I was going to pass out. It felt nice to warm up and stretch out though.

Saturday

14 miles – This weeks long slow run was luckily a drop down week. The ground was still full of slush and ice, so this run was super slow and steady. I really enjoyed the most part and felt strong, but it all fell apart around 10 miles. As I ended up running slower then intended thanks to the slippery conditions, I ended up running along the Southbank at peak tourist time, trying to avoid running into anyone.

Sunday

Rest day – Cheering on runners at The Big Half.

Total miles – 26

The Rundown: Marathon Training Week 8

Another week, another marathon training week ticked off the plan. I’m officially half way through my training cycle and boy does my body know it. This week ended up being a big week after my missed long run. I hit every session and pace I planned to which has given me a huge confidence boost. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 8 weeks brings!

Monday

13.5 miles – As I mentioned in the last rundown, last week ended up being a bit of a failure. I decided I needed to get a decent run in to start my week off properly. My run commute ended up being 13.5 miles. I set off with the intention of running between 10-15 miles as I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. This run ended up being exactly what I wanted. I ran along the Thames to Westminster, through Green Park and half of Hyde Park, before joining the river back to St Paul’s. If we ignore the rain it was the perfect run.

Yoga 75 @ Another Space – Nothing feels better then a long stretching session after a long run. Added perk, I was given a head and neck massage at the end of class. Pretty sure I may of fallen asleep briefly.

Tuesday

Rest day

Wednesday

9 miles at MP – This week I mixed things up by doing my longer tempo run with company. Sona and I met after work and ran over to Regents Park to meet Polly. Polly’s session was 10 miles at her MP (way to fast for me), so I cracked on and aimed for 9 miles at 8.30 pace.

Thursday

30 minutes training legs @ the gym

Track East –  10 x 400m reps. I shouldn’t of been so stupid to train legs and run track on the same day. Anyway, I dug deep during this session as I wanted to keep my lap time to 1 minute 40 seconds.

Friday

Rest day

Saturday

3.1 miles @ Peterbough Parkrun

As I was home for the weekend, I decided to incorporate my steady 5k by heading down to my local Parkrun. One of my friends has recently started running, so we ran together with sub 30 in mind.

If you are yet to try Parkrun, check out my post on beginner running tips.

Sunday

17 miles –  I have a mental block when it comes to running anything over 15 miles, which I’m really trying to fix before the marathon. I’m trying to train my mind to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. I knew this run wasn’t going to be the best. I still had DOM’s from a leg session earlier in the week. I ran 4 miles solo, before joining my friend Abi for the following 13. We ran a route I used to run a lot back home, which feature heavily during my first cycle of marathon training. Although this run didn’t feel as easy as I wanted it to be. It made me realise just how far I’ve come from my first marathon.

Total miles – 45.4

The Rundown: Marathon Training Week 7

This week has been all about fighting a cold, a calf injury and feeling sorry for myself. I missed runs this week in order to try and look after myself. Although I missed my long run, I’ve been trying to not feel guilty. I’ve been ill and I know it was the right thing to do, but maranoia is settling in and I’m doubting myself. Anyone else get like this during marathon training? I would actually like  to write a more in dept blog post on this, so watch this space.

Looking back on my week. I managed to get 2 solid runs in and some cross training. Time to write it off and crack on with week 8.

Monday

3.5 miles – My week started off normally with a short and steady run commute to work. As I’ve mentioned before I really enjoying running first thing on a Monday morning as it kicks off my training for the week. Plus – look at those sunrises.

60 mins yoga – A class put on through work.

Tuesday

9 miles – I took an extended warm up run to Rep Runners from work totalling 2.8 miles. Then carried on for a following 6 miles with the gang around Hyde Park & Green Park. This run was tough, as mentioned my cold was kicking in and my body felt tired and heavy. I looped a little at the end (Thanks Mavi) to bring the total distance up to 9 miles. I’ve never been so happy to get home and eat pancakes.

Wednesday

2.5 miles – Even though I know I shouldn’t, I dragged myself to track in the pouring rain. I didn’t want to admit I was sick. My session was supposed to be 2 x 2miles @ 5 km pace with 3 minutes rest. The first 2 miles absolutely knocked me, I couldn’t get my pace under 8.30 minute miles let alone anywhere near my target pace. I quickly left, popped some warm clothes on and headed home feeling very sorry for myself.

Thursday

I have been very aware of my calf since my massage last week. So I popped back to the physio just to be sure there was nothing sinister lurking. Luckily it doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about. Just needed re-massaging out and a few days rest as the muscle was (and is) being overused. As frustrating as this is, it came at a good time. I was already battling a cold and it’s still early on in my marathon training to not make too much difference.

Friday

Rest day

Saturday

Rest day – Including eating and drinking with my fav running pals.

Sunday

3 miles – A steady 5km to yoga to test my calf and see how it’s feeling. I was also feeling hungover which didn’t help.

60 minutes hot yoga – I tried a class at Hot Pod Yoga Hackney,

I don’t get a chance to do hot yoga as often as I would like, but I do really enjoy it. I’m thinking about purchasing their mini membership so I can attend one class a week.

Total miles 18 miles

The Rundown: Marathon Training Week 6

Week 6 of this marathon training cycle is over. Although April still seems a long way off, it dawned on me the other day that I’m pretty much half way through this cycle of marathon training, once you remove the3 week taper. This week I’ve been trying to fight off illness with as much Vitamin C as I can get my hands on.

One thing I’m struggling with and want to work on in the coming weeks, is improving my nutrition. For the most part I eat a balanced diet (if we ignore the chocolate). I know that as my training increases I need to increase the amount of food I’m eating. My problem is, as soon as I think I need to eat more, any common sense goes out the window and I end up eating whatever I want and not making the best food decisions. I’m not one to weigh myself, but every marathon cycle I’ve gained weight and this time I want to ensure I’m fuelling my body correctly and arriving at the start line in the best condition I can. Next week I’m going to plan out my meals to see if this helps.

Monday

3.4 miles – Started the week off with my recovery commute to work. I never thought I would enjoy running to work, but it helps me clear my mind before the start of the week. I also really enjoying hitting the London streets as everyone is starting to wake up and sleepily making their way to work.

45 minutes of yoga – We have had an open week at GymBox through work so I’m trying to make the most of it. I headed to the Ashtanga yoga class at lunch for a good stretch.

Tuesday

8 miles – Joined Rep Runners to get 8 miles in tonight. 1.5 mile warm up from work and 6.5 miles along the river with the best group of people. I spent the majority of Tuesday worrying about this run, I was feeling run down and didn’t think I would feel strong. My warm up run from work was steady and felt easy. The main run with Rep Runners was punchy with most miles (bar the warm up) being sub 8m/m. I held on and actually felt great by the end. Thanks to Clem and Laura for looping with me to get my watch up to 8 miles.

Wednesday

45 mins kettle bell class – It’s been a while since I’ve included strength training into my marathon training. This session focussed on lower but slower reps and heavier weights. It felt good to be throwing some weight around again, although my legs certainly disagreed in the morning.

Track – 4 x 1km at 10km pace followed by 2 x 500m at 5km pace. Once again I chased Polly and Laura around the track and it certainly felt easier then last week. I’m actually really enjoying pushing myself harder during these track session. There is no better feeling of accomplishing a pace you never though possible.

Thursday

Much needed sports massage. Thanks George at Balance Osteopathy.

Friday

Rest day

Saturday

Long run – In previous marathon training I’ve always stuck to Sunday long runs. However I’m really enjoying getting these done on a Saturday morning and enjoying my weekend after. This week saw me run 15 miles along the Thames Path with my friend Sophie. Sophie and I have never ran a long run together so it was lovely to spend time catching up. The miles absolutely flew by. For the most part I felt strong, despite the pace being a little too fast, I’m concentrating on ensuring my long run pace is at least 1 min slower then my race pace. The last 2 miles were tough as I ran them by myself and my legs felt heavy from my sport massage.

Sunday

30 minutes foam rolling and stretching – As I’ve mentioned before I’m really trying to get into a habit of spending time stretching post long runs and generally just looking after my body. Today I spent time focussing on the weaknesses picked up in my sports massage, earlier this week. My right leg is weaker then my left, especially around the hamstrings and glute,  so I’ve really been focusing on paying close attention to this area.

Total miles – 29.8

The Rundown: Marathon Training Week 5

How are we 5 weeks into this training cycle already?!

Monday

8 miles – Elongated my run commute to get 8 miles in before 8.15am (cue me feeling smug and tired all day at work). This week I headed east along the river and joined the canal at Limehouse, following it up to Victoria Park before cutting off towards Bethanal Green and eventually arriving at work. Running 8 miles on a Monday morning is super tough, especially after a race at the weekend. But it felt good to get this finished so early on in the week.

60 mins yoga and stretching

Tuesday

Spin – 45 mins of heated cycling at Soma House ,each week focuses on a different training technique. This week was endurance, so it was all about keeping the RPM high and steady with a few sprints thrown in for good measure.

Recovery run – This was supposed to be my easy recovery run, and although I dropped the pace down I ended up doing 7 miles with Rep Runners. I ran there from work as a small warm up and joined the third group for 5 extra miles. I won’t be making a habit of running medium distance runs back to back but it does help getting used to running on tired legs.

Wednesday

45 min strength session – Finally made a return to the gym after 8 months to hit up an arm session. I’m sorry bi’s & tri’s.

Track session – I went to Paddington Rec to run with The Wild Bunch. I joined my friend Polly for a session consisting on 10 x 800m at 10 km pace. Now her 10 km pace is A LOT faster than mine, but I decided you get faster by running faster right, so hung on for as long as I could. Due to train delays I missed the first 2 reps, probably for the best as not sure I could of done 10. I managed to stay with Polly and Laura for 5 of the 8 reps, before dropping a couple of seconds behind them for the remaining 3. Totalled 4.2 miles in 28 minutes. It’s easy to believe we can’t do something which seems hard or out of our grasp, but sometimes we have to give something a go even if there is the option to fail. Thanks girls for pulling me around with you.

Thursday

60 minutes yoga – I went along to Another Space for 60 minutes of stretching. This class felt super hard after working my arms in the gym yesterday and confirms that I am in desperate need of a rest day.

Friday

Rest day

Saturday

Long slow run – 14 miles along the Thames and Battersea Park with two friends, Sona and Michelle. We ended the route at Doughnut Time UK, apparently we will run far if we know food is involved. We kept the pace super steady and the miles flew by. A great run with pals and a great doughnut, whats not to love!

20 mins of stretching.

Sunday

Rest – Cheering on my pals at the Winter Run 10km.

Total miles – 34.5

How To Start As A Runner

Often when people meet me (or admittedly, see my Instagram) they assume I have always been a runner. This is not the case and as much as I now love running, it’s taken a fair few years to get to this point.

One day, approx 5 years I randomly decided I wanted to run a half marathon. I was overweight and hadn’t ran since I was at school (I’m still reppin’ my county athletics jumper now), my own mother laughed at me when I told her my plan and most people I knew never thought I would achieve it. The first time I went out for a run, I was wearing a pair of trainers I still had from school, I’m sure I was carrying my phone in my hand and gave up after getting a horrendous stitch after running about 500m. I felt defeated, like a failure. But I stuck with it and I can honestly say it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

5 years, 4 marathons, 2 half ironman’s and a stupid amount of miles later, I now feel like I’m a ‘runner’. Running really is a significant part of my life now and it’s helped me become the person I am today. It’s taken me to different places in the world for races, most of my important life decisions have been made during a long run with friends and to top it off I’ve met some incredible people through this shared hobby.

If you’ve been thinking about giving running a go, but don’t know where to start. I’ve popped together a few tips to help you lace up those trainers and get you out the door…

 

 

Take it slow.

Most people think they can’t run because they start out too quickly. It’s important to start running at a pace that feels comfortable for you. If you start too quickly it’s likely you won’t be able to run for more than a few minutes and this is likely to affect you mentally. If you can’t comfortably hold a conversation while running, you are going to fast, this is fine during a race or speed session but as a beginner it’s unlikely you will be doing either of these.

It’s also important to not to put too much pressure on yourself. Start by building up gradually, this could be only running once a week, or running to one extra lamp post on your next run. As a beginner it’s unlikely you will fall in love with running right away and committing to run 5km 3 times a week and not succeeding is only going to make you feel like a failure.

Parkruns & Couch to 5 km app.

Parkrun tends to become a huge part of most runners weekends. For those that don’t know, Parkruns are timed 5 km/3.1 mile runs every Saturday starting at 9am held in most locations around the UK and the world. It is important to stress these are not races, but a community where every ability is able to run. Yes you will always get super speedy runners, but you will also get people who walk the course, Parkrun is about getting out there and doing what you can. It might not be possible for you to run the whole course the first time you go, this is not a problem. But perhaps each week set yourself a target to run a little further each time. Parkrun is also a great way to make friends and connect with people who have similar interests.

As mentioned above a lot of people think they can’t run because they start off to quickly. If you are unsure where to start, downloading the couch to 5 km app is a great place to start. The app is designed to get you running 30 minutes solidly within 9 weeks. Each week follows a similar pattern of running mixed with walking for certain time frames. The app talks you through this and tells you when you run or walk. Each week the time running increases and the walk time decreases until you can run 30 minutes continuously.

I originally started by using the couch to 5 km app. I actually never completed this as I joined a running club, but the first 3 weeks I really enjoyed and it gave me the confidence to try running with other people.

Tell people.

I’m not saying you have to tell everyone you know. But in my experience if you tell people what you are doing or that you want to achieve something, it helps you progress. Making something ‘official’ by saying it out loud to friends and family or even popping something on your social media profiles means it is more likely to happen. Even now, 5 years later my Mum asks me how every single one of my runs has gone. Try finding someone who will celebrate your success no matter how small a victory.

Talking about your hobby may even inspire someone you know to also give it a go. As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved, finding a friend or family member who is up for trying something new like you, will help to keep motivation levels high and will hopefully ensure you don’t switch that early morning alarm off or cancel your run to sit on the sofa drinking wine.

Invest in the right trainers.

Running is the cheapest form of exercise going. I don’t want anyone to feel put off by thinking you need to drop money on expensive kit and equipment, but investing in the correct trainers really does wonders for helping you you to both enjoy running and prevent injury. There are hundreds of different styles and structures to chose from, as a beginner this can be overwhelming, so I would suggest checking out your local running shop. Not only will they be able to suggest a suitable pair they will also be able to carry out a gait test, which involves filming you running on a treadmill to gauge your running technique.

I currently swear by the Adidas UltraBoost ST’s and normally buy from Sweatshop.

Remember to rest.

Undertaking any new challenge or exercise can put strain on the body. It is important to ensure you rest and look after yourself. You’ll never enjoying running if you force yourself to run everyday, or run faster every time. It’s also a great idea to get into the habit of stretching after each run to help prevent injury.

Also, don’t forgot to enjoy yourself! There will be times when running feels hard and like the worst thing in the world, but it’s also fun. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

 

The Rundown: Marathon Training Week 4

4 weeks of the marathon training plan are complete. This week I’ve ran faster than I ever thought my legs could carry me and that’s all there really is to say!

Monday

3.7 miles – My week always feels like it’s off to a good start when I run to work on a Monday. Although I do feel I get a bit carried away trying to get to work quickly and need to try and slow these down going forward.

Tuesday

Rest day – I’m trying to keep my rest days as rest days and give my body time to recover from everything it’s currently being put through.

Wednesday

30 minutes yoga & stretching

Track session – 2 x 1.5 miles with 3 minutes recovery. Took myself to see The Wild Bunch but ran my own session. I did this session 2 weeks previously and managed to finish in an average time of 7.19 minute miles, this week,  this had come down to 6.50 minute miles. I’m not entirely sure where that speed has come from as I wasn’t feeling particularly energetic before hand and thought it would be a tough slog, but I’ll take it.

Thursday

8 miles – I decided to run this in the morning as an elongated run commute. I’ve been really busy this week and wanted one night at home without having to do any training. I plotted the perfect 8 mile route, along the south side of the river up to Lambeth, crossed the bridge and came back down to St Paul’s before working my way up to work. It felt hard after the track session the previous evening, but I was so happy to have this done before 8.30am. There is something really nice about being on the streets of London at dawn, while everyone else is still sleeping.

30 minutes yoga & stretching – Tried to include headstand practice, fell over and bruised my shoulder!

Friday

Rest day – Including excessive amounts of pizza and gelato.

Saturday

Velo Park half marathon – Friends from a previous running club back home decided to come down to London for the Velo Park race series, put on by Runthrough UK. The day consists of a half marathon, 10 mile, 10k, 5k and 1 mile race. There is a point when 4 race distances are on the course at the same time, which makes for a really interesting race experience.  As my plan said 13 miles I thought it would be silly not to book in for the half marathon. This race tends to be a love/hate course, consisting of 13 x 1 mile laps around the outside race track. I was worried this set up would mess with my head and 13 laps seemed a bloody long way.

My friend Danny offered to pace me, the plan was to hit my target marathon pace for 8 miles and if feeling good try to push on for the last 5 laps. My doubts over the 13 laps soon subsided when 6 laps went by in what felt like 10 minutes. The course actually has a lot of interest, it’s undulating, but not enough to jeopardize your pace, or really sap away your energy (until approx. the 10th lap), there are nice descents, there are up and downhill bends and flat straights that go on just long enough.

Danny and I got carried away and settled into a comfortable pace far faster then my marathon target pace. I was waiting to hit the wall and have to slow and it just never happened. Official chip time of 01.45.49 . If you read my blog post on aiming and failing to hit 01.45 at Stockholm Halvmarathon you will know how much this time means to me.

Question – How the hell did I drop 3 sub 8 m/m between miles 9 and 11?!

60 minutes House of Voga – I was invited to a class as part of the Fresh & Fit festival at The Hoxton.

Sunday

30 minutes yoga and stretching – Today should of included a 5k recovery miles. My legs haven’t been used to running fast since last summer, so I’m being kind to them and using that time to stretch out instead.

Total miles 27.9

Are You Stuck In A Comparison Trap?

This week I posted an image on Instagram, explaining in the caption that I’ve been finding it hard not to compare myself to others. Everyone’s training plan is different and everybody handles training differently. I wanted to expand on this slightly further as the amount of comments received showed that I wasn’t the only one.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned numerous times on both this blog and across my social media platforms, I am currently following my first ever marathon training plan.  Although I’ve already ran 4 marathons (the former fat girl in me is always surprised when I say this out loud), my training has always been haphazard and I’ve bumbled along hoping for the best.

I see myself a social runner.

In the last few years, as I’ve joined numerous running clubs and groups its rare that I end up running by myself. I enjoy the social aspect of meeting up with friends to run or cheer each other on in races. But due to my training plan, I’m having to run more and more on my own and sacrifice some of my favourite sessions in favour of my plan. Luckily all of my pals love running, so there is normally someone who wants to run the same distance or pace as me.

For the most part I’m an extrovert so I enjoy company, especially on long runs. I’ve met some amazing people through all my training over the years and I now count these people that I have met as some of my closest friends. I really enjoy seeing them make progress and smash their own goals and if I can help along the way, that makes it all the more enjoyable, but…

I’m fairly competitive.

Not against other people, but more so against myself. I always strive to be the best possible version of myself and I think that is why I enjoy the running/fitness culture so much. No matter how hard you train and how well you perform there is always room for improvement, room to become better.

But this can be detrimental to mental health. I’m surround by incredibly talented runners/cyclist/swimmers, you name it! And 90% of the time I feel so empowered and inspired seeing their online progress and content. But every now and again the 10% takes over and I can’t help but compare my progress against theirs. This could be anything from race times to body hang ups. Mostly this makes me unhappy and unsatisfied with the incredible amount of training I’ve put in over the years and the achievements I have to show for it. It’s easy to forget how hard we have worked for something and to be honest just how downright amazing we all are!

It’s important to remember that social media ‘life’ is always presented in the best possible way. When I’ve had a terrible run or training session, I don’t post it on social media, so why do I expect that others are  perfect when their feed is a constant stream of smashing every run or race on their plan.

An article that really got me thinking about this is ‘my weight has nothing to do with how good a runner I am’ by Allie Kieffer. 

Allie is a fantastic runner, who was the 2nd American female finisher in last years New York Marathon, coming home in 02:29:39, what a bad-ass. Throughout her running career she has been subjected to comments about how she ‘doesn’t look like a runner’ or she’s ‘too big to be a runner’. Previously Kieffer let this affect her confidence and started comparing herself against the other runners she was up against. Once Kieffer accepted herself and stopped comparing herself to others she smashed her goals.

 

Going forward I want to make more of an effort to stop comparing myself to others, but instead utilise their knowledge, their wins and their failures to help aid my progress.

The Rundown: Marathon Training Week 3

This week I’ve managed to include more cross training with numerous yoga sessions and a swim, I’ve also taken time this week to really look after my body and stretch out whenever I can. The weeks are flying by and I can’t believe we are nearly at the end of Jan and therefore the base weeks of my plan. I’m already feeling stronger and can’t wait to get stuck into some longer runs (remind me of this when the runs creep up to 15 miles +).

Monday

3 miles recovery – Run commuted to work to start off the week, 3.7 steady miles along the river to stretch out my legs post Sundays long run. I’ve really started to enjoy the run commute and want to start trying out some different routes in the next few weeks.

Yoga – 30 minute video & stretching

Tuesday

8 miles – Warm up consisted of 2 miles from work to Rep Runners with my friend Danny. I stuck with the middle group at Rep Runners as I wanted to try and push myself. The pace felt comfortable but I knew I was working. Once finished my watch had only clocked 7 miles. Luckily I managed to persuade Danny to run with me to Chancery Lane to help me tick over to 8 miles. Not my finest idea as it meant the last 2 miles were far faster then any others!

Wednesday

Yoga -30 minutes followed by stretching.

Thursday

8 x 100m sprints with 90 sec rest – I had planned to get out on my bike Thursday morning and run with Track East in the evening. I had completely forgotten I had work commitments in the evening ( also known as pizza making and free bar, sorry coach), which meant cycling had to be ditched, not the worst idea in 40mph winds. I dragged myself out the door at 6.30am to head to Victoria Park for some sprints. Sprints and cool down done, I ended up hitting a nice 5k and was home and showered by 7.15am feeling smug.

Friday

Yoga – 60 minutes at the Another Space new Bank location.

Saturday

5km fast – The plan said run 5km fast so thats what I did. I took myself over to Hackney Marshes as I’ve been told it’s the perfect place for a PB thanks to it’s flat out and back route. I ran on my own, which is risky when aiming for a PB as I’m terrible at pacing (I am learning though). I took 1 min 10 seconds of my current time coming in at 22.31 – Very happy with that.

2km swim – From Hackney I walked over to the Olympic pool at Stratford and met my pal Anna for a swim. This has been my first swim in approx. 2 or 3 months, but I got stuck in and managed 2km before having to get out the water in search of food.

30 minutes stretching – I always used Cat Meffan’s videos when I’m at home, this is the one I used. Click here.

Sunday

13 miles – Everyone spends their Sunday mornings running a half marathon in the snow/rain right? No?! Well that’s exactly what I did. The plan said 13 miles and luckily Polly was also planning to run 13, Polly planned a great route for us all starting at Marble Arch and finishing in Shoreditch so we could have brunch at The Bike Shed. The first 5km we battled sleet and snow during a lap of Hyde Park, before crossing Westminster Bridge to come down the Southbank to Tower Bridge. From here we kept to the river before joining the canal at Limehouse and working our way up to Shoreditch. We were lucky the snow stopped after 5km until it made a well known appearance with 5km left to run. We arrived at The Bike Shed wet and very very hungry, nothing a bowl of apricot and cranberry granola can’t fix!

Although after 10 miles I could feel the tiredness in my legs from yesterday, this run was a huge confidence booster. Polly and Avi helped me to push the pace and it didn’t feel too uncomfortable. Great news.

Total miles – 31.3