Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Marathon Training – Week 3

on 17 January 2016

I’ve remembered why I so rarely plan anything. Life keeps getting in the way. Another week where I have completely failed to hit even 50% of what I was going for! Last week it was a cold bug which I was just about shifting, this week it was work, which went bang rather spectacularly away from plan on the machine shut and meant I spent two days running around the blinking thing climbing up and down and over all the things. By the time we actually got the thing running (briefly) on Thursday afternoon and having slept badly the night before there was not much left in the tank by the time I got home! That put Thursday’s gym session out the window, and to be honest I’d done enough across the two days I didn’t feel I’d missed it! Early bed, disturbed by a work phonecall at 10pm so I knew things were not going well, and I was probably not much use for anything on Friday.


I had at least started the week well; N & I tried out the hill at Shotley Bridge which I’ve been thinking of adding onto the end of my new Leadgate hills route to bring it up to 6M and an extra hill; turns out it’s a savage one! I think the addition of this one will also depend on what time of day I’m doing the Leadgate one – access to the bottom of the hill is by a non-street-lit and non-pavemented road which isn’t really what you want to be doing in the dark as a pedestrian.


After that it went a bit off-piste…thanks work…Friday and Saturday were both rest days, and I really needed them both and some decent sleep. P and I were booked in to a star-gazing talk on Saturday afternoon so I was intending to swap Saturday and Sunday and do Blackhill Parkrun on Saturday morning, except I was away with the fairies! I really enjoyed the star-gazing talk and by the time we’d got home after our pub dinner and gone to bed obscenely early for a couple in their twenties on a Saturday night, I was feeling chilled out and vaguely human again. Ready to give my long run on Sunday a good shot anyway.

I’ve been getting very worried about the long runs and not hitting the distances I feel I need to be to have a decent shot at getting round in one piece in March, so I really needed a morale booster and a bit of self-confidence building back up again. I was originally going to park somewhere down the Derwent walk, run in the uphill direction towards Ebchester and Shotley Bridge to get the hills out the way while I was vaguely fresh, and then head back down again having turned around at some arbitrary point. I decided I’d give myself a bit of a break and try doing the full distance in the downhill direction and get P to pick me up wherever I ended up. I’d mapped out on MapMyRun that it was 10 miles to Blaydon, and if I wanted to hit the full half marathon as a minimum I needed to get to Newburn Leisure Centre. If possible I wanted to hit 14 miles and really put the half-marathon wall to bed. I’d only actually run a half-marathon twice, both in race conditions and not since September.

I did make it the full 14 miles – just! I was really starting to flag a bit just after 11 miles, and had to really fight for the last one, despite filling my face with protein bars and trail mix all the way round I was running really low on energy. I had been going faster than I normally would have done when setting out for a long run and this may have been a contributor. I was going more by the fact I felt ok and we’ll just see how we get on…I don’t know how much of it was the downhill start or my new playlist of ULTRA CHEESINESS which I was trying out today which helped keep me moving, but I set new pb’s for 10k, 10 miles and the half marathon distance! I also ate everything in the house when I got home. EVERYTHING.


Unsurprisingly pretty happy with that! The last mile was really hard, I really was running on empty by that point, but we’ll get past that somehow! I’m pretty pleased with the pace too – it’s not unusual on longer runs for me to be averaging 11min/miles and longer so happy being more around the 10:30 mark 🙂 Feels like I actually am making progress, even if it is with a bit of gravitational help!


I know you’re just DESPERATE to know what the playlist was that got me round, so I shall share with you as long as you’re ready for a fondue!


I need to find a few more songs (shouldn’t be hard, there’s the whole of the 80’s and 90’s to go through!) as it was repeating by the time I was nearing Newburn (Jitterbug). You are expected to sing along, hand-jiving is optional.

I was thinking when I finished this one, of seeing how much scope to re-jig my long runs I have. I know it’s 16 miles along the same route to get down to Wylam, and nearer 18-19 to get all the way down to Prudhoe and I was thinking of doing the downhill and flatter to get the long miles under my belt, and extending some of my shorter, more casual runs during the week to 10k-10 miles of hills around Consett to try and increase the terrain-trained muscles and challenge without trying to do it at the same time as I’m trying to hit new pb distances each weekend. I don’t know which way to go with it as Kielder is going to be both long and hilly. Will have to have a think about it.

I’ve given up on using my food diary app this week, I was finding for one thing that it had really varying accuracy – some foods just have calories which isn’t much help for carb/fat/protein balance, and it wasn’t good at all for micronutrients. More importantly, it wasn’t actually helping me stop eating the junk food. Like, at all. I was logging it all mostly faithfully and just going ‘meh, that was a high calorie snack!’ but still shoving it in my maw. In terms of eating healthier, I’m going back to the one thing that’s helped me stay off the junk food before – paying myself to do it. £1 in the kitty per junk food free day. See how we do.


I managed it up to the GNR for about 7-8 weeks and it worked well, but sort of fell into the ether after that as so many things do with me. I am going to be increasing my protein intake however after trying the app food tracker thing for a while. I got a bag of vanilla protein stuff recently and tried it after my run today. It’s not hugely exciting, rather bland, but not disgusting either so it will do for one a day anyway. Will see if I notice any improvement in my usually stiff legs the day after a long run tomorrow after my protein bar during the run and shake afterwards.


Maybe we’ll be a bit more according to plan NEXT week?! One of them’s got to be surely…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: