London Marathon 2019 - Andy's Diary!

Bulletin 5: 18th March
Another week, another update...
After last Sunday's run where I felt very low on energy I had thought it was just one of those days but on Monday I was feeling fairly under the weather so skipped Monday and Tuesday's runs to make sure I got some proper rest was able to fully recover.
A Piece of advice I read a while ago was that if you miss a run on a training plan then it's missed. Don't try to make it back up, just accept you missed it and move forward with the training plan. If you try to "catch up" by slotting in more runs then you'll just end up getting over tired and probably do more harm than good. So I was happy to let the interval session I missed on Tuesday go but didn't really want to leap straight into Thursday's tempo session in case I was still not completely recovered. Therefore I added a short, gentle run into the schedule on Wednesday, just to make sure that the activity wasn't going to knock me back to feeling rough again.
Thankfully I felt fine during and after the run, so did Thursday's 9 miles at tempo effort as planned. These tempo runs are starting to feel like proper training now. Keeping the effort going, running alone, often in the dark requires a lot mentally as well as physically. The good news is they really do pay dividends in terms of fitness! And I saw a barn owl :)
The rest of the week went without hitch with runs of 6, 10 and 10 miles planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I was glad of the company of several Hares on Sunday's run, although we did end up going a little further than planned it was nice to be running in the sun again!
Next week offers a real gem of an interval session - 3x2miles... Having done long intervals like that in the past I can't say I'm necessarily looking forward to them, but I'll be glad when they'er over. Don't expect me to be haring (geddit?) off the front of the pack on Tuesday's Froxfield run!
Bulletin 4: 10th March
There are only 7 weeks to go until London Marathon, here is the update on how things are going...
This week's training was going to be a bit of an unknown quantity, what with running the Imber Ultra (33 miles around Salisbury plain in incredibly windy conditions) with Moshe on Sunday I knew I'd be in need of a little rest. Normally after a run of that distance I'd take it very easy for the week following, with very little, if any running in the first few days. I took Monday off as I was feeling very stiff. However the training plan called for intervals on Tuesday and a tempo session on Thursday...
Still feeling stiff on Tuesday I set off to attempt the intervals (6x1mile) but had told myself I'd just see how it felt and call it a day if I was too tired. Well, I started my first interval and held back a little on the pace but felt fine once I got going, so continued through the set feeling pretty strong and ended up feeling loads better that afternoon than I had been in the morning. Very reassuring to see the body adapt to the training!
Thursday's tempo run was a loop that Simon, Moshe and I had run back in January so I was (again) pleasantly suprised to see how my fitness has improved. There is one climb I got up a full 2 minutes faster than the first time around (both run in the dark in wintery conditions).
Just when you think everything's going swimmingly you go and have a run like today when I just felt like I was running on fumes. The crazy wind (two weekends in a row now) didn't help, but I felt hungry after a few miles despite having eaten a good breakfast which is always a sure sign for me that something's up. Thankfully I had good running company in Cat and Moshe to keep me going. I still cut 3 miles off the target for the day but I felt 13 miles in wind and rain was enough for today. Thankfully runs like this don't happen too often, and I normally bounce back after a decent meal and making sure to stay well hydrated (something we should all be doing anyway).
Overall this week has been a mixed bag. I've seen the benefits of the training and the negative impact trying to do too much too soon. But I've never before run a 45 mile week following an ultra on the Sunday! I'm definately seeing more of the good stuff than the bad, and I'm feeling more confident that this year's running goals are in reach.


Bulletin 3: 3rd March
Another update on from the road to Marathon greatness:
This week I took a slight detour from the training plan by following Monday to Thursday as normal then attempting a mini-taper before running the Imber Ultra with Moshe on Sunday. However, I ended up moving rocks most of the day on Saturday to build a new pond. Not the best prep for a 33 miler the following day!
I have been feeling pretty tired so tried to take this week little easier whilst still getting some good training sessions in my Something of Substance workouts. However after the tempo session on Thursday my legs were aching like mad and I was getting worried that Sunday's run might finish me off.
Thankfully I felt fresh on Sunday morning and was pleased to find I still had plenty left in the tank over the last 5 or so miles when I started to pass more and more people, and the last couple of miles were my fastest. Very reassuring to see the legs were still happy after so many miles and hours of running.
This coming week my training changes slightly. Tuesday's speed work becomes strength work - longer intervals at a slower (but still faster than marathon goal) pace. The first session is six(!) intervals of 1 mile, with a quarter mile recovery. If I make it out on Tuesday evening after that then don't expect me to be leading the way!
Bulletin 2: 25th February
Another scintillating update from me below...
This week started with an easy eight miles which felt pretty horrible for the first six! There must be something about Mondays that makes running so much harder... Somehow I ended up with a slight niggle in my knee - a sure sign I've been over reaching - so I've been trying to take it slightly easier, especially for the interval and tempo sessions which, if I'm honest, I've been running a bit too hard anyway. It's gotten a little better but still there making itself known. Need to keep on taking it a little easier for next week I think!
The speed and tempo work I've been doing are definitely making a difference, having run several sub-20 minute 5k's within the interval sessions over the past several weeks (so no new PBs as there are gaps for recovery between the fast bits - I'll explain on a Tuesday if anyone is confused). But its encouraging to see that a pace that is normally too fast for my legs is starting to feel manageable. Tempo runs are also getting easier to hold paces that I've never really run at before.
I skipped Saturday's easy 8 miler, and "replaced" it with a 17 mile cycle today... after the 15 mile long run. Needless to say stairs are hard work this evening.
I've run 55.5 miles this week, a rather pleasing number I'm sure you'll agree! and so far this year I'm up to 320 miles run, pretty much all of them coming from my marathon training plan!
Bulletin 1: 18th February
There's 10 weeks to go until London Marathon, which is not a lot of quality training time left! So far training has been going mostly to plan, however I am remembering what it's like to have aching legs all the time - the downside to running five or six days a week is very little R&R time.
My running week generally looks like:
Monday - easy 6-8 miles (not always so easy after the long run on the weekend)
Tuesday - Intervals (plus, of course the Hares session)
Wednesday - Rest day (and well needed by this point)
Thursday - Tempo run
Friday - easy 6-8 miles (not always so easy)
Saturday - easy 6-10 miles
Sunday - Long run (though often not quite as long as you might think)
Often the weekend runs are switched around, merged, extended, or the easy run gets dropped due to having a family and other things that get in the way of running, but I've stuck to the plan pretty well so far I think.


If anyone's interested I'm following the Hanson's Marathon Method which I'm happy to talk about if you grab me on a Tuesday evening.