Now This was a tough run. It was cold, wet and windy. The toughest part was getting the motivation to get out the door with the running shoes on; winter training is just physically and mentally challenging.
This particular session is the foundation of any marathon run as it is generally long and steady. The idea is you gradually build your distance allowing your body to adapt both physically and mentally. As you push the boundaries, your body will pick up micro-damage that will heal stronger than before. The energy systems and blood flow to specific areas improve and repaired tissue will be stronger. This will allow you to take on the increased load of the marathon distance without breaking down into injury. The rule of thumb is not to increase your long runs by more than 10% per week, with a slightly easier week after three.
During this run I ran a half marathon at a slightly faster pace than I should have, but I was running to feel. I have to hit a marathon pace faster than ever before and the idea is to be fit and strong enough to run faster, comfortably. It sounds logical but if you throw in good old Yorkshire hills it can be a bit more challenging. A strong consideration is the type of course; London Marathon will be flat. Late in the training I need to find similar routes to run at my target pace. This is called a tempo run. Running hills is great for building leg strength and will massively help on the day, but you do need to train ‘like for like.’
The training is going well and the early signs are encouraging. Crosstraining with swimming and cycling maintains fitness and allows you to rest areas that have been worked hard by running training.
I am aiming for a marathon pace faster than I have ever run. This is going to be tough!