February 2017 – A month in review

This month has been tough! I have felt drained, tired, exhausted and completely run down which lead to taking nearly a week off – not ideal 7 weeks before a marathon. But it’s worked (hopefully), I feel so much better and have pushed myself with new fitness classes @MinistryDoesFitness , Nike Speed, Football & LSR.

I finish the month feeling strong and excited for Manchester but at the same time still apprehensive about these longer runs. I have 3 Long runs left, working my way up to 21 miles. But I have struggled on every 15 mile or above run thus far. Why? I honestly have no idea. Fuelling pre and during runs is something I need to try work out ASAP though.

Perfectly sums up Marathon training


Here was my plan;


Weeks 1-2 What better way to start February than Nike Speed Run – favourite session of the week! We were at Mile End Stadium for 12 x 400m and I loved it. Really pushed myself and even managed a 66 second last lap… chuffed! Feeling strong I went for a recovery 7.5km on Thursday before resting Friday and completing a very tough 28km on Saturday morning.


@Amritpalghatora – Nike Pacer


It absolutely bounced it down for my long run in Hyde Park. However as I finished I bumped into the crazy bunch – Run Rogue group and joined them for a 2 mile final lap and stretch. Big thanks to Atlanta for that, much needed after 28km! It was great to finally meet up with some familiar faces & I’ll definitely join them again.

Week 2 and another Nike speed – pyramid session. We did 200m – 400m – 600m – 400m – 200m repeated for around 15 reps. The pacers really pushed me in this, it’s amazing how much a little motivation can help. I then rested for 2 days before my 30km LSR on Saturday.


30km was ahead of schedule but I was confident before this run… however; Running around in the snow = not ideal. Running 4km loops = not ideal. Having to stop 3 times to stretch aching muscles = not ideal. Having a weak mindset = not ideal. The latter is something I can really suffer with. I am confident that I am fit enough to complete a marathon in a respectable time. However my mentality isn’t as strong and never has been. I’ll save this for another blog because I strongly believe mentality is as important as physicality when it comes to running, yet I struggle to improve in this area.

Week 3 The “rest” week. Here I didn’t follow plan. I played football Tuesday, ran hills with Nike on Wednesday around Wembley, but then I rested for 3 days and ran 14.5km as my long run. :\ not ideal.

Week 4- Thankfully the rest week helped and I was motivated for a tough last week in Feb. Speaking to @IanRunsLDN and @Soph.fit.London on Instagram they had signed up at the new Ministry Does Fitness. I’ve never been one for classes but this seemed different so I joined these two as well as @redfaced_runner @sophitnessuk & @melissa_runninglife

I took part in Monday, Wednesday and Thursday classes – Cardio, Endurance & Core respectively. All were so tough but so much fun. It’s a great concept and the coaches along with these guys above all pushed me and I’ll definitely be back. Check them out at http://www.Ministrydoesfitness.co.uk I do recommend The Whey You Make Me Feel shake 😉

As well as these classes I also had football on Tuesday, Nike hill Wednesday – 8 reps of a lovely 600m long hill… and a 16 mile run Friday morning. I finished February with a visit from the parents to London – touristy weekend!

Hill reps!

March Plan This will be even harder and a bigger test physically and mentally. I need 3 strong long runs and then finally its taper and carb time (Pizzza!). I also have a race this weekend – QEOP 10km – I will be taking this steady… promise!

Summary This month reminded me of my Barcelona plan. Marathon training is not easy, it takes a lot of dedication and it will push you both physically and mentally.

Implementing new sessions and working with other people have had huge impacts this time round. Other people will push and motivate you along the way, but there’s too many to thank on here!


What do you find hardest whilst marathon training?

Any tips for being mentally strong?

What keeps you motivated?

Follow and join Run Rogue Instagram – @run_rogue  https://www.instagram.com/run_rogue/

Ministry Does Fitness offer – http://www.ministrydoesfitness.com/packages/








  1. Great post! For me the hardest thing about marathon training is dealing with a bad run when even a mile seems tough! And I’m not great on recovery from long runs so need to work on that. I hope the rest of your training goes brilliantly and have a great race day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Matt!

    Fantastic blog! Rarely do you find a detailed account of ones training experience.

    It’s amazing that you’ve been able to experiment and push yourself by trying new things!

    I have and will alway be an advocate of training with others. It makes a gruelling task much more exciting and goals much achievable.

    You are doing such an epic job right now, you should be uber proud my friend!! What a PHENOMENAL month of training you’ve done 😀

    In regards to being mentally strong there are a few tips I have for you. If you reach a mental crash mid run/race…try your best to zone out! I find that a distracted mind makes for a better result!

    Music is another great way of zoning out too.

    Might I recommend practicing affirmations and mantras? If you’ve noticed your thoughts during running/training aren’t helpful, practice saying things such as “I can do this”, “I’ve got this”, “I’m strong” in your easy runs so that you may build a habit for your longer ones.

    Just a few bits here, but these really helped me when i first started running 10K’s!!

    The hardest bit about training for my first marathon will have to be my over competitiveness, which I believe is a mental thing too!

    Having only 80 days to train for a marathon, I have been stressing myself out about being behind the training plan! Also, I am aiming for a time! The athlete in me can’t help it!

    Will be sharing this with many people Matt. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

    Happy running x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for this! Really helpful, training with others this time round has definitely helped keep motivation and I’ll continue to do so.
      I’ll try my best to zone out on a 19 miles run this weekend then 😉 might take music for a change as well and just not worry about pace.
      You’ll smash your marathon! I also had a time goal for my first… I’m too competitive as well!
      Thanks again x


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