I’ve learnt that the 16-week program should ideally be started so that you complete it just before your marathon event. As the London Marathon isn’t until 21st April I’d finish the training programme months too early. At the moment I’m not sure how I’ll adjust the programme, I might follow it until I get to a point at which I struggle and then repeat it, or I may take some time out and concentrate on overall fitness training, fartlek and other exercise regimes that improve my cardio and pace.
I’ve also learnt that running on roads/pavements is a lot easier than running on trails. Until my first long run this week I had been running around a local nature reserve/forest which is a mix of muddy paths, rutted tracks and pot holes.
But my first long run, a 5-miler, necessitated taking a different route. Unless I started running laps, 4-miles was as much as I could squeeze out of the local trails. I also thought it was time I tried running on pavements and roads, that is after all what the marathon route will entail. To my surprise, running on pavement felt a lot easier. I’d assumed the forest trails would be easier on my legs but it seems that the extra effort involved in looking out for the many hazards such as pot holes, tree roots, muddy puddles etc makes trail running the much harder option. I returned home having completed my first long run of 5-miles feeling exhilarated. That was a few minutes over an hour of running. It’s been a very long time since I ran that far and not only did I enjoy it, but it felt good and for the first time I felt like I could achieve this.
So week 1 is over. With 3, 4, 3 and a long 5-mile run that’s 15 miles clocked this week. Next week it’s 3, 4, 3 and then a 6-miler. The full 16-week programme is copied below for anyone that is interested.
I’m running the 2013 London Marathon in support of the National Autistic Society. See my fundraising page here.