Training schedule with 3 weeks to go until the biggest race of my life so far –
Sunday – 14 miles of trails
Monday – 6000m rowed plus chest and back weight session (been told I have weak rhomboids – must improve this!) & core work.
Tuesday – fast paced 10k
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 20×1 minute sprints at club training
Friday – swim
Saturday – planned 20-22 mile good paced run.
At this point in my training schedule I’m feeling both apprehensive and excited. I had a good run on Sunday right at this moment in time I still hadn’t felt 100% since I got back from my holidays. Not really a good thing seeing as my first marathon is in 3 weeks! To be honest, I’m not really sure how I’m meant to be feeling at this stage – more nervous than excited? Scared? Terrified?! I read somewhere that most runners will pick up an injury or two in the course of their training, and I know I’m clumsier than your average person, but I just seem to be beating myself self up week in, week out! I know it doesn’t help that I spend the majority of my day crouching or walking about on my knees in the baby pool at work, or if not that then lifting small children out of the pool who can’t manage it themselves, which always results in a kick in the leg/stomach/face. During my last few long runs my shoulders and upper back have been in absolute agony, so I eventually got myself booked in for a sports massage where I was poked and prodded for a good half hour where knots were squished out of me and muscles were pulled back into position. I was told at the end that due to my years of swim training and concentrating mostly on butterfly and front crawl that my pecs and lats were over developed whereas my rhomboids were under developed, which is most likely why I hunch forward when I run and what’s causing the pain. Looking back at race photos of myself I can see the further into a race I am, the more hunched I am, and several times I have crossed the line staring at my feet. This will be worked on! I started the process of rectification by rowing 6000m on my lunch break on Monday, and by home time on Monday I had lovely fluid filled blisters on my hands. Nice. I take it these things don’t come easily then!
On Tuesday morning I was a bit stiff, (good sign these muscles don’t get worked so often then!) and ready to rejoin my club mates at training that evening. But once again, getting held up speaking to parents on my way out of work meant getting home late again and missing training. So I took it upon myself to beat the sunset and try and run my 10k loop before it got dark. My legs felt a bit stiff for the first few miles, but a nice downhill section got me back on track and I felt refreshed when I got home. I’m definitely going to push for a PB in the Stirling 10k next weekend. If it doesn’t begin with 47:xx it’s not worth knowing. The Stirling 10k is an out and back route, very flat (except for a little dip in the last mile) and very fast. I didn’t feel too great running it last year and came home with a very disappointing 53:xx time, so a course PB is expected, but an overall PB would really give me the push I need just now.
Wednesday saw a much appreciated rest day. I watched rubbish tv and caught up with my blog reading.
On Thursday I finally made my return to club training after weeks of missing it due to work. And I was met with a wonderful set of 20x 1 minute sprints with 1 minute recovery in between each. And it was awesome. I felt strong and pushed with everything I had for the first 30-40 seconds of each minute and then pulled back slightly so as not to burn out. Every time the whistle blew for the next sprint I had power in my legs to push me off quickly and I was out in front for the majority of the session. This gave me exactly the boost I needed to know I still had it. It has been missed and I was getting fed up of feeling awful pre, during and post run, which is exactly how I had felt about most of my running since I got back from holiday. Before we went away my coach said it was probably exactly what I needed – I feel completely the opposite. I think it sucked all my training out of me and all my accumulated miles had been for nothing. However I feel back on track now. Just in time.
Friday – I had a quick swim after work as I was in teaching pre schools up until I finished anyway so added in a few lengths to stretch out.
Saturday – tomorrow will be my last big run before Loch Ness. I had scheduled in one more for next weekend, but it clashes with the Stirling 10k, so it will need to be a 3 week taper instead of 2. Oh well….
I think I’ll need to do quite a bit of psyching myself up before the marathon. I know I am capable of it. I know my fitness and strength are the best they have been in a long time but I still don’t feel like a runner. I know that a silly thing to say when I spend a huge chunk of my life running (or moving faster than a walk anyway!) but when I compare myself to others, I feel like I have a lot more to do before I can call myself that. I guess that may change after I push myself to my limit for 26.2 miles….
Oh yeah, and I treated myself to these. Just cause….
er.. and these too…