As I have written a few times, in April 2020 I will be taking on my first (and then second) marathon. I’ve done plenty of halfs, but now is the time to make the leap to the full 26. Unlike when I have trained for shorter events, this time I felt I really should follow a proper plan. That way on April 5th when I am on the Manchester start line, I know I’m ready.

Having signed up, I started to look around for an easy to follow plan. There are loads out there and I needed something I could adapt to fit in with my work and family commitments. I’m also tight so I wanted something free. In the end I settled on this one from Runners World to form my base.

One of the first things I have observed this week that running slow is actually quite hard. Usually, as I can only get out 2-3 times a week, I have run everything at tempo or faster. Deep down I know I need to slow down as if it is good enough for the great marathon runners, it has to be good for me. However, something mentally stops me and I have plateaued. My real hope is that being strict with this training plan will teach me to run slow more often, and hopefully speed up as a result. That said, it is still difficult to slow that pace down and I have been so grateful for the pace training mode on my Garmin to beep at me every time I dare to speed up!

The other thing I have noticed is that rather than do the same old routes, the different mileage means I can go into route design mode. Day one called for 4 miles and none of my existing routes met the brief so I was on Ploataroute making something new. The paths were all ones I had run before, just not in that order. Wednesday and Friday I ran regular routes backwards which I always find fascinating as it can feel so different. At the weekend we were away at family and after much playing, I was able to create my 8m route to get home after kids did junior parkrun on the Sunday, after a bit of parkrun tourism of my own at Rothwell parkrun on the Saturday.

Overall for the week I have ended up logging 39km which is a good start. Next week could be tougher what with Christmas falling in the middle. However, one week down, fifteen to go until Manchester!

  • Monday – 6.28km @ 5:47 pace
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – 7.72km @ 5:49 pace
  • Thursday – Strength & Conditioning Session
  • Friday – 5.35km @ 5:23 pace
  • Saturday – Rothwell parkrun – 5km @ 4:27 pace
  • Sunday – Junior parkrun (2km) followed by 13.02km @ 5:46 pace

Week One Total – 39.37km

By Mike

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