My First Few Weeks of Marathon Training

My First Few Weeks of Marathon Training

Week one of the marathon block. This was where the sessions I was introduced to were quite a bit longer than my usual sessions. Usually my 10k sessions would last anywhere from 5-7miles of intensity not including warm up and cool down. Now my marathon work will last from 13 miles to 2hours of intensity not including the warn up and cool down. So consequently this was quite a big jump in volume, however, because the intensity wasn’t as high I actually coped with the programme quite well… for the first two weeks… then the volume started to slowly chip away at me, slowly I started to feel the aching legs, back, feet and muscles try and talk me out of doing sessions because they were so tired, I would try and justify it to myself too.

“There’s no point in doing a session if you can hardly run that well in the warm up! Don’t run the session, it won’t be fast enough. Do it tomorrow.”

There’s days when your body tells you the truth for your own good but there is days where your body will lie to you just to try and not put itself through another gruelling workout. I think the top athletes really know where that line is but for others looking to try and break into that top level sometimes we don’t know and allow our emotional state to cloud our logic.

The reason I’m writing this blog is to help people who are looking to do a marathon, wanting new ideas for training, or wanting to see the good, the bad, the ugly of a human being putting themselves through their first marathon block and the emotional rollercoaster that goes with it.

You see, from the outside eye people are their biggest PR’s and portraying their “best life” but that sort of shit doesn’t register in my head because I’m a very honest, too honest at times, person. My mouth gets me into trouble sometimes because I have this “I call bullshit!” Mentality. People only give you the good side or their best side, the same with athlete’s… they want to show you the best sessions, fastest runs… never the sessions where they had to dig deep just to run average times. Well I’m here to suffocate that bullshit and really let you in on what it was like day by day facing the marathon training. Here goes!

Phase one –

So my first marathon session was 2hrs total running with a warm up and cool down – 60mins steady/30mins quicker/15mins quicker/15mins quicker

Avg pace for each was 6min mile/5.50min mile/5.40min mile/5.30min mile.

It was tough being out there on my feet for that long having to elevate the pace each phase. It felt good to be able to hit the targets even though before the workout started I was a little nervous. But I got myself into a good rhythm and kept it rolling.

Next workout was 12x1km only a few days after the 2hr progression run. This was tough, my legs were aching from start to finish. I couldn’t hit the times and I was only to run 3m10s for the 1ks i was well off the pace running 3m15s-3m18s. I felt like chucking the session after only 4 reps in. I was feeling sorry for myself and was having a little pity party in my head…

“Fuck this… this is shit… I could run these times backwards before stepping up to this marathon shit. Now I’m getting heavy and slow. I’m moving back to the…”

And as this wee strop was going on in my head a funeral car passed by on the road with a long row of cars trailing and I felt like shit. I’m here having a little self entitled pitty party about my legs being tired and someone in that casket would give anything right now to feel the pain I was in and here’s me entitled and taking what I have for granted. I feel things happen for a reason and that was a sign sent to me to regain perspective and get the job done.

After a few days easy running, I was out on the canal doing 5x3miles at marathon goal pace, 5.20min mile, that was a big session. I stayed extremely patient with this one as this was the greatest amount of tempo work I’ve ever done and wanted to make sure I was good for the last two reps. I’m guessing patience is the key for the marathon so I made sure I stuck to the goal pace and no faster and with the warm up and cool down that was a total of 21 miles for the day.

After the adrenaline wore off by god I was tired and hobbling around the flat like an old man it was like I was 28 going on 80. It’s unbelievable that someone chasing all that fitness actually looks in real bad health at certain points in training. If you had seen me after marathon session days you would have been like, “Oh god that doesn’t seem good for you if you’re hobbling around like that!”

However, it’s amazing how you quickly forget about the pain and suffering after a good nights sleep and resume to do it all over again.

Phase one of the marathon block complete, now I’ve gotta rest recover and repeat… Onto phase two!

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