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Archive for the tag “marathon training schedule”

No Matter How Slow…..

Oh my goodness! Why do all my short easy runs feel so hard? I have no problem doing the longer, or should I say mid distance runs, those 11 to 16km distances. But put me in front of an 8km or 6km and I falter. It’s really strange.

Today was an 8km easy day. It took me just over 50mins and felt like a bad day at the dentist.

I guess the upside of all of this is I have no niggles or sniffles, so all is well with my training. It must just be one of those mind things again….


My Adventure With Yasso 800’s

I don’t normally post two days in a row but today’s experience warranted a write up!

Today’s training session called for 14km with 4 x Yasso 800’s. The training plan I am following came out of the Runner’s World magazine, and has instructions for each type of run. I have never done Yasso 800’s before, or any kind of Yasso anything, so this was all new to me. I realised I would have to go to a track, luckily we have a very nice one, thank you, here in Tauranga.

tauranga track


I realised as well that doing 4 of these Yasso 800’s meant I had to run 4.8km around and around the track. Given my boredom scale of repetitive running, I was a bit worried. The second thing that worried me was that I had to complete 2 loops of said track in 4.30 mins, as I had to run at my marathon time (I am planning a 4 1/2 hr marathon). Regardless, I am the sort of person who will complete a training programme almost to the letter, and it is only severe illness or perhaps loss of a limb that would stop me from doing what I have to. So I set out to do the biggest part of the run around the Waikareao Estuary (you can see the water in the photo of the track). As I trotted around I continued to feel a bit worried about my ability to complete these Yasso 800’s after running for about 8km first…at least my foot was feeling okay.

And so I reached the track. I stopped my watch and stopped running and had a look at the task ahead of me. Okay, no point wasting time, get on a marker and go, get running. And so I set off a t a colossal pace and was winded by 300m. I looked at my watch and realised I was  going way too fast and had to try for the rest of the 500m to get into a rhythm that would be sustainable and on time target. What came to my rescue was the new breathing technique, and I found that by doing the 2 in and one out breath sequence on the 800m faster loops and the 3 in and 2 out on the 400m recovery, I pretty much nailed it. I was running a little fast, but hey, I might run the marathon a bit faster that 4hr30min too! My foot did start hurting on the second 800, but after getting worse to the point I thought I would have to stop, the pain abated quite a bit and I was able to carry on. (Like I said, it would probably have to fall off!)

The best part about today’s training session was that I really enjoyed running around the track, it was something different. As I jogged back to my car I felt happy and satisfied with a job well done. The cherry on top was bumping into my hubby and going to the cafe for a coffee and a bite to eat. So even though today was one of those grey, cold days, I didn’t even notice! How fantastic is that!

Pat on the Back

Last week I clocked 47kms. I have a programme I am following for The Gold Coast Marathon so I did the mileage I was supposed to do. By the time I reached Sunday after having my mid week grump session, I was in a better frame of mind which made the second half of the week feel much easier. I set off for my long run on Sunday morning feeling quite alive and ready to tackle some hills. I had chosen a route that is hilly (some quite steep) for the first bit and then a flat return journey. All in all the 16km took me 1:45 and felt like a bad session at the dentist by the time I was nearing home!


As I finished I started to think of reasons why I would be feeling like this. Too little sleep…not that. Didn’t eat well the day before…..wasn’t that either. Bad mood….no, that had all cleared up. I have no idea why I flagged so badly towards the end, and there you have it! Sometimes these things happen.

It got me thinking that the point is not to let it get you down. Some days you will feel strong all the way through and have left over energy at the end of your run. Some days you will start like I did, and finish up feeling like you went 10 rounds in the boxing ring. And some days you won’t feel like doing it at all and the whole run feels like hell, but you do it anyway because you know at the end you can pat yourself on the back for getting out there and sticking to your plan.


I have done just that….patted myself on the back!

Locked and Loaded!

Well it is definitely happening! The accommodation is booked, the flights are booked and the entry fee is paid! Gold Coast Marathon here we come! I even have a new pair of running shoes set aside to pay for as soon as I can. Training has started and tomorrow is my longest run since the Colville race. I am heading out for 14km in the morning and have already done 2 10km runs this week plus 2 shorter ones. So my weekly mileage is ramping up rather quickly.

In my last post I was worried whether I would be ready, worried too which training schedule to follow. My solution was to sleep on it, which always helps, and the conclusion was there in the morning when I woke up. The more traditional programme has space in it to be a bit flexible as the easy run days can be used as rest or cross training days should I wish. So I will be running more in the beginning while the kilometers are lower and as they ramp up I am going to bring some cross training into the mix, plus extra rest days if I need them. Also I am going to continue strength training twice a week and may follow a schedule set out in IronFit (which I just treated myself to).

Maybe I can end up looking like her too!

How Plans Change

So I need a little feedback here…it’s not often I ask for help, so this is a biggie for me.

In light of my hubby’s injuries he will not be running with me as planned on The Gold Coast in July. We have our accommodation booked so we are going anyway, and I had my training schedule all sorted for the half marathon. Then the other day while running I had a light bulb moment and thought I may as well do the marathon as he isn’t running and we are going all the way there and what an experience it will be.

Now the dilemma hits! I have to start tomorrow with my training. I will only have 15 weeks to train for it and my mileage has to ramp up hugely and immediately. I know I was training for the Colville Connection and so my base is still there, so that doesn’t worry me too much. What I am having a dilemma about is what training programme to follow. I have one I got from Runner’s World magazine which has me running 5 times a week, and then there is the First to the Finish programme which has me running 3 days a week with 2 days of cross training added. So now I have to decide by tomorrow which one I am doing, as tomorrow is running day.

This also means my weight loss month is out of the window! I am not one who can change direction quickly when I have planned something so this is in itself quite a challenge. While I ponder which programme to follow, maybe someone out there may have some advice for me to help me come to a decision before I do my head in!

Thoughts on a marathon journey

I think I have a slight cold…

This is not unusual following a race like a marathon. Apparently your immunity is lowered from excess physical exercise. While moderate exercise has been proven to help your immunity, more prolonged vigorous bouts actually lower it. This is because any exercise places your body under stress, and stress increases your levels of cortisol – not a good thing.

This last week has been interesting, I have felt quite tired and when I finally did go for a (very short) run, it felt like I was lugging around a sack of potatoes. Interestingly, over the weekend which we spent relaxing in Colville, I went for a short bike ride and that felt okay. My running muscles are obviously tired.

Anyway, I thought today I would make a list of the top 10 things that helped me on this marathon journey.

1)      Good support from family and friends – without this I would not have been able to complete the hours of training, and calmed my panicked mind, nor able to physically do the long runs.

2)      A well planned training schedule – I can’t stress the importance of getting those hours on your legs. Also you need a good running base before attempting such a long run. Your tendons and ligaments take about a year to become strong enough to handle the stresses of such a race. Sure, you can do the distance with less training, but your chances of getting injured are far greater. This becomes even more of an issue as you get older.

3)      Good nutrition and hydration throughout the whole process. During your training, during the race. Practice how you will do this during your training runs so on race day you have it all sorted.

4)      Get enough sleep.

5)      Self motivation and mind control. You need to be able to talk yourself through those last 10K of the race, and you need to be able to get yourself through your training runs. This means getting up early if needed, running in the rain and wind, even when you don’t feel like it.

6)      Good running shoes – a vitally important factor. Get your gait checked by a specialist running shop. And buy two pairs and rotate them.

7)      Get regular massages, they help to iron out any niggly bits before they grow into full blown problems. I also got regular chiropractic adjustments so do something like that as well.

8)      Don’t just run, especially if you are older. I do strength training as well to help with all the running muscles and build balance. Luckily for me, I am a personal trainer so I can set my own program, but I would highly recommend getting someone to draw up a proper program so you target the correct areas.

9)      Towards the end of your training journey, in the final four weeks, supplement your diet with anitoxidants like Vit C. I took 1000mg a day, and still got sick, but the severity was far less and I recovered a lot quicker. While I was ill, I took it three times a day!

10)   When race day comes, remember this is your race and enjoy it. Just do it the way you want, don’t get hung up on time if it is your first race. There are so many interesting things to see while running for such a long time, take time to look around and have fun. The spectators can really give you a boost along the way, and interacting with them helps to take your mind off the task at hand.

I have one final thing to add that I believe is very important. Have your post race plan in place a few weeks before, and plan your next challenge. It doesn’t have to be another marathon. So saying, I have mine and here it is:


A Momentary Hiccup

For the past three days I have been feeling yucky. Sort of like the flu, but not quite. No fever, just a few aches in my throat and tummy. Consequently, this morning I have not done my long run. I was supposed to do 29K today, it is not going to happen.

There is nothing fantastically momentous about being ill, but the mind games ones head plays are very interesting. My logical brain was saying “You need to rest” and my training brain was saying “You’re missing an important training run”. The battle was on….and luckily my logical brain won. I did do some research though, on good ol” Google, to clam myself down and make myself realise that missing one long run was not going to hijack my entire training block. After 2-3 days of rest, you are not going to lose your fitness, and your body does not forget how to run long. It has been a good learning experience for me in scaling back and allowing the body to rest when it is screaming at you for exactly that! And I have also learnt that in any marathon training schedule, you are bound to have hiccups along the way, simply due to the massive stress you put your body under each week.

Time to relax now, enjoy the day…it is raining quite hard, so this is a blessing in disguise as I will not get soaked plodding along doing 29K in the wind and rain today!

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