Marathon Training Starts Monday

Monday, June 18th, 2012, will mark the official beginning of my marathon training.  I’m using Hal Higdon’s intermediate plan, meshed with my own routine at the gym (I refuse flat out to give up my spin and weights sessions), peppered with races throughout (medals and motivation).

After my longest ever training run last Sunday (14 miles!), the reality of what I have signed up for began to sink in.  I was ready for a siesta on the sofa and a meaty pizza after that long run, so the thought of having to do it again – twice – is a crushing blow to my personal view that I am, in fact, badass on a Chuck Norris scale.

With two half marathons under my belt this year (so far), and 3 training runs of the same distance, I can consistently crack out sub 2 hour halfs, which is good to know.  My main concern, however, is being able to keep up with this pace for double the distance.  I understand that to get an idea of your full marathon time, you should double your half time, and then add 30 minutes.

1:53 + 1:53 + :30 = predicted marathon time

This would have me gasping for beer over the finish line at a respectable 4:14:00.  I am not aiming for a Boston Qualifier like Amy, and I am certainly not deluded enough to think I could crack out a sub 4 hour marathon on my first attempt without dedication that is, in all honesty, beyond me at the moment.  I just want to finish the whole ordeal injury-free, and suffer through the Monday at work without too much pain.

Thankfully, a few of you fellow bloggers (I actually hate the word ‘blog’ and all of its bastard children) are starting marathon training now as well, so it’s nice that I’ll have people in a similar situation to follow, especially those with a bit more experience!  A friend from the gym, Ronnie/Connie (depending on his mood), has recently signed up for the Loch Ness Marathon as well, so I wont be so alone!

Now for the crappy bit.  The night before my marathon debut, I will be in Edinburgh at a friend’s wedding.  I will be watching all of these people I know drinking champagne and cold beer, and I will be guzzling Powerade.  They will be sitting down to enjoy a delicious meal, and I will be cramming pasta into my mouth as I say my goodbyes and get on the last train to Inverness.  My boyfriend will be staying in Edinburgh to drink, eat, dance and celebrate with friends, and I will spend the entire train journey panicking about injury, proper fuelling, pacing, and suppressing thought of collapsing at mile 25, alone.

C’est la vie.

There are, however, more pressing matters.  This Sunday is the Ythan Challenge, which I signed up for in an attempt to prepare myself for Tough Mudder, which is only 4 weeks away!  This Sunday will be another of our team’s training sessions, and hopefully I won’t be the main attraction for the midges.  These little suckers are the UK equivalent of mosquitoes, except they’re tiny: we’re talking large grain of salt size.  And yet, the havoc these pests can wreak, especially on an unseasoned victim, is ridiculous.  I am covered in bites, and cannot stop itching my arms, legs, chest, and –worst of all – my neck!  At least I got mild revenge by inhaling about a thousand of them during my run…


They even got the tiny space between the bottom of my tights and my socks!


Anyway, for all you non-UK readers, here’s a photo taken by a friend from the gym (my phone’s battery had given up, so I asked her to step up), of the Olympic Torch coming down Union Street in Aberdeen.  I can’t say it was a particularly momentous event (at least for me), but at least I can say ‘I was there!’ to people.



[PS I apologize for the frequency of gross body part photos.]

16 thoughts on “Marathon Training Starts Monday

  1. We’re not bloggers we run websites. 🙂 My goal for the marathon was the same as yours – get round in one piece. Unfortunately, I picked up an injury (piriformis syndrome), which only reared its ugly head on the 17+ mile runs so I had no hope of a good time (I was about 30 mins behind the time I should have got), but I really, really enjoyed it. Honestly – one of the best days of my life. I had fun running it I really did!

    • Congrats on getting round it! How many marathons have you run, fellow website runner (that works on two levels!)? I entered a second half marathon before I’d even run my first, but I’m not jumping the gun on the big 2-6 (.2)!

      • Thanks just the one, but doing Brighton again next year. I’d love to do the NY one some time. 🙂 I did the Brighton half end of Feb, signed up for Eastbourne half 2 weeks after and then signed up for the marathon early March (marathon was week before London!). 🙂

      • I really like the half distance, but I feel pretty spent afterwards, so we’ll see how this goes! Have you entered the London ballot for 2013? I figured it’s more of a ‘fun’ marathon (ie no pressure for time), unless you’re one of those crazy elite runners!

      • No I’m doing Brighton again. It annoys me how expensive London is. Brighton is £50 and I can get the train there (10 mins) in the morning of the race so no stress. 🙂

  2. Sensible target – you’ll be fine. I heard double the half plus 20 minutes or 10%. Loads of shorter races helped me and nearer the time a couple of 20 mile races for confidence. Practise your fueling strategy as often as you can and don’t go off too fast. Each second you’re under your target pace in the first half can translate to a minute in those last six miles. Good luck!

    • Thanks for the advice! I hate feeling weighed down by fuel/water on my longer runs, so that’s definitely something I’ll need to get used to.
      I’ve entered a good few races as motivation, including a hilly 17.5 mile run about 5 weeks before, which I’ll use as a test run for my ‘don’t shoot off at the start’ strategy (which I suck at, by the way)!

    • Thank you! As long as my calves (or is it calfs?) stop screaming at me by Monday, I’ll be full of enthusiasm. But 5 days after my ‘mega run’, and jogging still hurts too much for anything over a couple of miles. I guess my race tomorrow will sort me out? 😛

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