Best running weekend ever...

Posted on: 19 Feb 2007

I've had one of the best times ever on the Trailplus/Runners world Marathon training weekend in the Forest of Dean.

We arrived on Friday night and those of us who got there  early enough started as we meant to go on with a guided 5k run in the forest. Time for a quick shower and change and then the introductions were made by our lead coach Keith Anderson, former international athlete, commonwealth marathoner and elite coach.  As we went around the room I began to feel a little inadequate as most in the group had run marathons before, some were even in double figures!! However, the four of us who are marathon virgins bonded instantly, supporting each other all the way. Over dinner the introductions continued and everyone got to know each other a little better. The group were a great mix of abilities, age and professions from all around the Country and probably equal numbers of men and women.

 Saturday morning kicked off at 7.30 with a leisurely 5k run, again in the forest, then a hearty breakfast before our theory sessions began. We had talks on kit, endurance training and threshold training which was followed by a practice threshold session in the woods. Then another quick change of clothes before lunch. In the afternoon we discussed nutrition, hydration and the benefits of strength and hill training followed by a practical hill session in the forest. This was followed by a practical stretching session led by Dave and Jackie in the big hall, I've never heard so many oohs and ahhs from so many inflexible runners! This was followed by a chance to discuss our goals and personal training plans. Great motivation, so now I've no excuse nhaving  had my programme tweaked by an elite coach!

Not being used to three sessions in one day I took the opportunity to recover by treating myself to a sports massage from one of the  resident masseurs.  Louise had magic hands and did a great job on my slightly tense muscles............heaven!

Another quick shower and change and then dinner.  There was  wine and candles on the tables, which made us feel very special, the food was superb and we certainly did it justice with our hearty appetites.

Sunday morning began with a good breakfast then a theory session on the long run, the taper, mental games and motivation. This was followed by guided group long run through the forest trails. All paces and needs were catered for and everyone had a good time with superb views in the winter sunshine.

 After lunch it was our last session of the weekend titled "the last week and how to run the perfect marathon" I only hope that I can remember all the details.

We disbanded at 3pm after having swapped e-mail addresses with promises to keep in touch. I really did learn so much about running, marathon training and myself over the weekend and i can't recommend the experience enough. If anyone is interested, they have places available for the last training session next weekend.

 Anyway, happy training everyone.


Julie x

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