March is always a busy month, as it’s my birthday and somehow also seems to be everyone’s birthday too. Throw that in alongside the toughest weeks of marathon training and it just flies by! It doesn’t seem two minutes has gone by since my February review and now the marathon is just a few days away!!
Unfortunately this month has not gone smoothly. 3 weeks before marathon day I had a whole week off running. I somehow did manage a 20.5 mile run after that but then I got injured. Fantastic. Cue another week off and even now the foot isn’t feeling great. However I am remaining positive and this injury has somewhat relieved any pressure I once put on my self all those weeks ago.
My training has not been brilliant overall for this marathon for many reasons and people seem surprised when I tell them that I actually only run once or twice a week – usually one long run at the weekend and speed run mid week. It’s not ideal but this is what works for me. Those “easy” mid week runs of 6-10k seem to have no benefit personally, which is why I don’t really use them.
The month started off great with Speed run back in Stratford. Approx 150m hill sprints – the closest I have ever been to throwing up whilst running! Feeling good I went out the day after for an 8.5km run after work and kept a good pace. Friday was rest day before the QEOP 10km run on Saturday. As I was hoping to run 18 miles on Sunday I wanted to take the race easy and not push – easier said than done. I loved the race and the course around the Olympic Park and came in around 43 mins, whilst also filming a few Kms on Instagram live! It was a great event and strongly recommend @TheRaceOrganiser I then walked to Vic Park to meet up with @RunnersKnees & @BigCarlRunning at their RunThrough event.
The Long run on Sunday again went well and this built confidence. I stuck to the route of Wandsworth Park, Battersea Park and Hyde Park and felt great for most of the run, surprising on tired legs from the busy week.
After a few rest days it was back to speed/hill training this time in Holland Park. This session was a huge challenge but I felt strong after it. We tackled two hills – a long 400m + hill and a shorter more hillier hill! Brutal. This session was sandwiched between two more Ministry does fitness classes, something I will be keeping up after the marathon training.
Unfortunately this is where it started to go wrong. Knowing I was going to Rome for the weekend I had Tuesday pencilled in for my longest run. I did run once in Rome, a short 6.5km taking in some of the sights of the amazing city. But this is where I first felt the sharp pain in my foot. Walking 30,000+ steps being a full on tourist each day definitely hadn’t helped, but when in Rome….
Sidenote – I had 5 Pizzas in 3 days in Rome. Heaven!!
Back in London on the Tuesday I set off on the long run hoping for 3 hours. I managed 20.5 miles (meh) but my foot was killing (ouch)! I spent the rest of the week sulking with lots of rest. But then I wrote my blog on maranoia and decided to not dwell on the injury and just see how it goes whilst being sensible with training. I’ve done the hard work now after all, and this really helped me to not worry as much about raceday.
On Sunday I was bored of resting (sensible) so I headed out along The Thames where I managed 13km before my foot pain became too much. More sulking, more complaining on social media and more rest followed.
I decided to do the core class at Ministry after 3 days rest and this actually felt great. Following this I rejoined the gym and managed 21 miles on the bike as I needed some cardio. I decided to risk the foot again on the Sunday and finally managed a pain free run. 9 miles in the bag on a sunny Sunday was a huge relief!
Final week before the marathon and the Manchester Twitter group chat is all about maranoia, food, travel, injuries etc etc but I’m actually feeling quite relaxed. This injury really has adjusted my goals for the marathon and now I can enjoy the build up to it (until I inevitably forget something on the day).
The final week has consisted of a few gym visits with mainly bike and core work and one 7km run, thankfully pain free.
I have not completed enough miles compared to most others and most training plans. Before Barcelona I had run over 60 miles more than I have for Manchester but instead I incorporated different sessions which I have enjoyed a lot more. Core work, speed training, group classes have all helped maintain motivation and I do feel they have helped with marathon training also.
I have enjoyed this marathon training a lot more than last year, although I have struggled with long runs which I need to resolve before Berlin starts. I’m going into Sunday’s race with a positive mindset, looking forward to meeting lots of people, eating all the food and drinking those well deserved pints. I just hope the 42.195km run beforehand is a successful one!
Finally a huge thank you to everyone who’s sent their support for Sunday whether in person, online or by text. Massive thanks to the Nike pacers and Ministry coaches who have pushed me a lot more than I would do normally if training on my own!
If you want to track how I’m doing my race number is 2586
Instagram – mbodkin1
Twitter – mtbodkin
Snapchat – mtbodkin
Good luck to anyone else racing this weekend and in the upcoming weeks!