Marathon training: week 1 – run, cycle, run, gym, gym, run – and still breathing

Thursday, midday. Obviously, the locals are already in peak physical condition

It’s testimony to how hard the interval sessions on the turbo trainer are that, to avoid one, I decided to run on a windy Wednesday, dodging both snow and rain showers.

As always, the hardest part of the run was getting motivated to leave the house – once I was going I enjoyed it.

I did the week’s long slow run (target 6 miles – well, it is only the first week of the 20 week programme) but apart from the cold, the wind and the tendons the main issue was running slowly enough (that’s something I never thought I’d write).

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am a fast runner (my aim for the marathon at this stage is to do it sub-4 hours) but it’s just that I’m used to pushing reasonably hard if I’m running alone. As I understand the training plan, my long slow run should be done at somewhere around 11 minutes a mile – and that feels slower than even I’d expect to be running.

I actually ran 6.7 miles at 9min 58sec/mile (10.8km at 6.12minutes/km). I managed to get warm enough to take off my hat and one pair of gloves but I should be running another 10% slower for the future long slow runs.

The legs were in reasonable shape at the start so both Achilles’ must be improving – but I could feel the right one, a little, pretty well all the way round. It looks like I can run perhaps two or three times a week which is better than I’d been expecting.

I drove to the gym on Thursday (with the usual sore Achilles’ after running the day before) for an hour on the weights as the week’s cross training day.

My usual gym companion hadn’t been able to make it on Thursday but I saw him in the evening and he suggested going on Friday – so I went back for another hour in the gym with him.  On Saturday morning I ran (partly with Mrs O) for a gentle 5.1 miles (8.2km).

Sunday is, fittingly, going to be a day of rest to see if that helps the Achilles tendons to be in a position to run on Monday.

So, that’s week one of the marathon training programme ticked off. The three ‘normal’ runs (with an extra 2 miles), two days cross-training (one as a spare!) and one turbo trainer session to replace the interval running (because that didn’t look too sensible with the dodgy Achilles’).

Week Run Cycle (R=road) Gym
1 16.1 m  (25.9km) 9.8 m  (15.8km) 2:00
‘Running’ totals      

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