Monday, 19 November 2012

34% Done!

I realised that even though I trained for a year to do the marathon in 2007, I didn’t do enough long runs to fully prepare myself, so this time round I've done some research and decided on a training plan following the advice in this book: I looked for a running plan that meant I could keep swimming since I had up until April 2012 spent a year doing a combination of swimming and running to lose weight and get fitter and I just don’t like running enough to do it full time. This time around I was already competent up to 10K to start with so I’m planning to do the ‘FIRST’ method plan for half marathon distance followed immediately by their plan for marathon distance. 

As I write this, I am on week 13 of my 34-week quest to become an averagely competent marathon runner. That's 34% completed!  As prescribed, I run three times a week and cross-train (swim) twice a week and so far I’ve found the plan pretty challenging but just about do-able. I hope it works as my predicted marathon time based on the reality of my pre-training fitness should be around 4.5 hours and that would be a dramatic improvement on 2007 (5:52:34!).  

I've been training since late August and using Iain's Garmin watch with the aid of a post-it note (I didn't understand how to program the watch) to time and run the very specific paces that FIRST stipulates. Iain surprised me with a gift of my very own Garmin Forerunner a few weeks ago so you can now see here the crazy number of times so far, even only since October, I've run round the local parks. 
Both Iain and my run archives are always up to date and can be accessed through the permanent link on the right of the site.
Also, Iain and I can now go out running at the same time of day although not physically together as he's quicker than me!

On an emotional level I've found the training to be helpful in having a goal to work towards when everything else feels it's in disarray and my fundamental belief structure has been turned on its head. Time out running, particularly early in the day when it's just me, the wildlife and the dog-walkers/twitchers feels uncomplicated and allows reflection that brings some tears, but the ducks don't seem to mind :)

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