Posted on: 26 Jan 2015
Now things start to get either tough, scary, interesting or exciting depending on your outlook in life. I’m crossing a threshold this week, all part of parcel of training towards a new distance (in this case, of course, a full marathon). Because this will be the first week I’ve ever ran more than a total of 26 miles.
It has to be done – it won’t be that long before I’m attempting 26 in a single run, never mind spread over four days! My plan this week takes me to 28 miles, with a 14 miler as my long run.
Then the week after it’s 31 and the week after that 34. And that week will represent another key landmark – taking my long run to beyond 15 miles for the first time.
So which emotion is it then? If I’m being honest, a combination of all four! Obviously it’s going to be tough in the physical sense. It means pushing my body to new limits and keeping up long distances for a more sustained period of time than I’m used to.
Scary too, a little bit. There is always a bit of fear surrounding the unknown, and the further I go the closer I get to finding out whether or not this challenge is achievable.
I’m definitely interested in what’s happening with my training. I have a sneaky feeling friends and family are less interested (not more running stories / status updates / tweets and anecdotes!) but personally I’m finding it fascinating to see how my stamina is improving.
I’m finding my average mile times are dropping and my recovery time is getting quicker. The first time I ran 26 miles during a week (back in August last year as a little personal challenge having entered the VLM ballot) it took me just under 3h 59m across four runs, averaging 9 minute miles.
Last week the same collective distance took me 3h 37m, which included a 10k PB of 48m 42s and a half marathon PB of 1hr 51 flat. That’s a rough average of 8:14 minute miles. Very happy days!
And so above all, the word ‘excitement’ is particularly apt. I always get a buzz around clocking up new achievements – a PB in training or an event, conquering a particular hill without slowing or reaching a new maximum distance.
Not only is the marathon a first and something to be excited about – all the experiences along the way are ones I’m going to relish too.
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