For me, the marathon was an unmitigated disaster. I’ve never been one for dwelling on shitstorms too long though – there are always lessons to be had!
The biggest lesson is that picking and choosing training plans based on hearsay, Runner’s World, twitter and the bloke down the pub is perhaps not the best strategy. I need a plan tailored to fit around my needs, what my body is capable of and the plan needs to adapt based on how busy and stressed I am at the time. I have also come to terms with the fact that I am busy and when you can’t run more it’s better to run SMARTer – with every run having a specific purpose. I shall no longer avoid intervals, threshold sessions and Farlek runs! I also need to stop thinking about what I think I should be doing and do what I want to do and what I enjoy – half marathons.
Who is better to help me with my own personal plan than a coach right? Cue my lovely new coach Ben from Full Potential who sends me weekly training plans, advice and support. Coaches aren’t just reserved for athletes – we average runners can also have a trainer. After all, running is all about self improvement and setting our own personal goals.
So my new goal is to run faster and for me that means a 23.30 minute 5k, a sub-50 minute 10k and a 1.50 half marathon.
How am I going to do this?
– Stick to the plan – there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a training plan on the wall and crossing it off as you complete each item (something I saw a friend of Facebook do)!
– Embrace interval training on my own. In the past I’ve always relied on others to pull me along at running club speed sessions, but again these are ‘one size fits all’. I’ve been making use of my marvelous TomTom multisport watch to set personalised interval sessions and it’s flippin brilliant!
– Keep my goals realistic and adaptable – sometimes my goals are completely ridiculous and I feel deflated when I then, unsurprisingly, don’t achieve them. If you keep them realistic, when you achieve them you just set new goals.
– Start focussing on running technique – it’s time to banish the niggles and run more efficiently. It’s amazing how making small changes to my running style can not only minimise injury risk but shave a few minutes off a half marathon. Over the coming weeks I have some drills to do to try and stop over striding and get my legs moving faster.
– Make stretching my friend – I’ve really missed doing yoga. I couldn’t fit it in much with marathon training and my favourite yoga teacher has moved away, but I’ve now found a yoga studio where I work and joined GloYoga so I’m planning on fitting it in at least twice a week, even if it’s only a 10-minute session.
– Make running fun again – instead of pounding the pavements around Bicester all the time, I plan on doing some more runcations, even if the race is just a training run.
– Sort out my nutrition – I need to eat more healthy snacks in the afternoon so that my evening runs are less laboured and I know I sweat a fair bit running so I’m drinking a SIS electrolyte drink before every run.
– Cross train – I’m adding swimming, cycling and runner-specific strength training to the schedule thanks to my PT.
– Be cool – if a run doesn’t go well it’s not the end of the world – it’s only running.
Have you done a marathon recently? What are you plans post-marathon craziness?