Running A Marathon. Training Plan Week 3. Like A Bat Out Of Hell.
Running A Marathon. Training Plan: Week 3:Like A Bat Out Of Hell…
Running Do’s: Eating pretzels on your long runs are a good way of keeping your salt levels up.
Running Don’ts: Running dead miles i.e. extra miles than those on your training plan will not improve your running but will most likely end in you becoming injured through overuse.
Background: I have signed up to the London Marathon 2015, having never run before and recently having undergone major knee surgery (twice). This diary captures the highs and lows of my attempts to get fit enough to run the marathon in April 2015.
I am running for the mental health charity Mind. Please donate on my Virgin Just Giving page – every single penny I raise goes directly to Mind and helping people with their mental health – thank you.
I am following a 30 week marathon training schedule defined by Jeff Galloway the US Olympic Marathon runner. Jeff espouses the run – walk – run method which enables you to gradually build up your strength and endurance.
Week 3 Schedule: 6 Miles (15 sec run/45 sec walk), 2 X 60 min cadence and track sessions
Weekly Diary: I was very excited at the start of week 3. Ok so I hadn’t quite got the hang of the Cadence Drills (CD’s) yet but I was up and running! Despite this I was feeling confident after all I was 3 weeks in and was starting to feel that I knew all there was to know. I had spent hours studying my training plan as if somehow the more I stared the fitter I would get. I was so confident in my detailed knowledge of the training plan that I didn’t even bother checking it. On top of my drills I had to walk/run 8 miles. This number was starting to feel a real distance – none of this 5k or even 10k distance I was up with the big boys and girls now.
So off I went – like a bat out of hell – chasing down my miles with a vengeance. Ahem, well actually I had to walk the first 4 and walk run the final 4. This may seem bizarre but Jeff’s mantra is start slowly, not get overtired and finish string. In his experience – once your legs get tired its very difficult for them to recover during in the race – its better not to allow them to tire too fast. So I set out a quick walking pace. Again, choosing to walk down a disused railway track which had been converted into a foot path – ideal – flat and safe. The only thing I would say about walking in all my lycra and high viz gear was that people look at me like I should at least be making more effort or perhaps dress down a bit. I am renowned for being a slow walker (I was once dubbed the “slowest walking” graduate in my first job) and was being overtaken by pregnant women pushing triple buggies and rambling societies looking for King Alfred’s true resting place.
With my 4 miles walk under my belt. I came off the track and hit the road. The run/walk ratio of 15/45 felt comfortable – if anything I felt I could perhaps have pushed harder. I resisted knowing that this would likely lead to tiredness and worse injury. So I plodded on. Really trying to focus on my technique. The idea is to try and relax and let the muscles relax and the blood flow freely. The tighter the muscles the greater the effort. You also need to imagine that you have a string tried to the top of your head to help ensure that you keep your body upright. Breathe deep and keep your stomach in (easier said than done!).
I finished strongly and sat down and wrote my report for Jeff – telling him all about my conquest of the 8 mile monster. I provided Jeff with all the detail I could remember (and more) which must of made his eyes glaze over. I sent it off and eagerly awaited his response – I could sense it would be full of praise for my endurance and hard work. When the email dropped into my inbox I opened it and it simply read – “Dear Andrew, thank you for your report. I am glad you are applying yourself with such energy. Please be patient and don’t run the dead miles. 6 would’ve been just fine.”. I scratched my head and though perhaps there had been some deep misunderstanding on the other side of the Atlantic. I eventually decided to check on my schedule only to find out that I miss-read/miss-remembered my plan and was running the wrong month’s plan!
Sorry Jeff – I will try and do better next time.