If consistency is key, I suck.

Considering I have run a grand total of one excruciating, poorly executed, full marathon, I am hardly what anyone would consider to be an expert.  I am fine with that.  I have, however, done a lot of reading up on the best ways to train for a marathon, and the thing that seems to be common in all training programs, from ‘I just want to finish with my legs still attached’ to ‘5 minute miles?  No problem, sucker!’, is consistency.  Well, shit.

After Loch Ness, I had a few more races in 2012, but from about mid-November my weekly mileage dropped.  Significantly.  Part of this was down to the fact that I felt like I had earned a break, and part of it was down to my very, very, very painful calf/shin combo.  A pain that was bad enough that every time I even considered going for a run, my shins would speak up:


This pain stayed with me through December, and while it is still lingering, the rest has made a big difference.  I’m no longer wincing every time my left foot makes contact with the ground, but it isn’t perfect – that’s why I’m getting regular sports massage where my leg is turned into mincemeat, and I cry, and I squirm, and I shout obscenities, for £38 an hour.  Bargain.

While the rest has obviously benefited me in the sense that I have less pain, I am acutely aware that I am running a little bit behind in my training, highlighted by the fact that the two lovely ladies I will be going to Paris with are currently doing some monster long runs.

Plagued with guilt, and ignoring all sensible advice, I have opted to ramp up my long runs, despite doing little more than zero miles throughout the week.  My last 3 long runs were 10.5, 15.35, and 17.5 miles.


Now, before you throw a side eye in my direction, I’m not doing nothing throughout the week.  I do spin twice, weights 2-3 times, and plenty on the elliptical machine to keep fitness up.  However, it isn’t running, so I’m going to start sneaking a few extra runs in here and there to stop my training from looking like this:

Mon: gym stuff
Tues: gym stuff
Wed: gym stuff and half-assed 2 miles on a treadmill
Thurs: gym stuff
Fri: gym stuff
Sat: gym stuff

I mean, what I am doing just now has consistency, of sorts, but not the kind I want – running consistency.  Hopefully, as spring gets closer, I will be worried less about a spectacularly catastrophic, ass-over-head fall on the ice, and can enjoy being blinded by the early morning sun, risking a head on collision with a bus instead.


This weekend will be the Forfar multi-terrain half marathon, and I’ll be running with a group of myself and three others at a relatively non-killer pace.  Our aim is to get some miles in and demolish the ‘gigantic feast’ that we are promised will be presented for hungry runners upon finishing.  A ‘drop-down’ week, if you will.

“Thank fuck.” – my legs.

21 thoughts on “If consistency is key, I suck.

  1. Don’t forget it’s a 50 miler i’m training for, not a marathon. Please ignore my silly long training runs!
    Just…be careful. Listen to your body and all that. It’s better to get to the start line undertrained than overtrained (and injured or in pain!). Maybe substitute what would be a 45min run for a 45min elliptical or step during the week? I hate ellipticals though so I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
    See you Sunday!

    • Well, if I can substitute the elliptical for a run, then I guess I’m still potentially on track. And even though I know you’re mentally unhinged and training for a 50 miler, and that Paris will be part of your taper [insert maniacal laughter here], I guess it’s kind of natural for me to mentally freak a bit when I see just how many miles you’ve logged.

      But yes, Sunday indeed. Laminator, HOOOOOOOOO!

  2. Good luck this weekend and hope the shins continue to make their progress to betterment 🙂

    Maybe you could send positive thoughts to them to balance their chakras? 😛

  3. While consistency is definitely good to have in your training arsenal, I’d say the one thing you definitely should NOT go without is the long run. So if you have those, then you’re doing something right. I know several people who have run marathons relying solely (as in 100%) on one long run per week.

    So yeah, keep that. My boss is running Paris so I hear about her training leading up to it all the time. Needless to say, my jealousy gets worse every week.

    • What? You mean there is a marathon you aren’t running?! I know it wouldn’t allow you to tick any states off your list, so I get that. Still, airport security is relatively lax these days, so you could probably get away with being a stealthy stowaway. If you aren’t claustrophobic and are OK with probably soiling yourself.

      As always, thanks for the input! I’ll gladly chill out a bit and hope my long runs have been enough to get me through training so far. 🙂

      • I actually had “Paris Marathon” on my race program for 2012 (didn’t happen) and this year (not happening). I really REALLY want to do it but don’t want to drop that much cash on a race that won’t get me any closer to my original goal. Alas.

      • So your goal…. Is that staying at a half in every state? Or a half or a full? Or and half AND a full? Because, see, you’re kind of going wild.

      • The base goal is at least a half in every state. Lately though, I’ve developed a close intimacy with the full distance that I doubt I’ll be able to shake. I know that once I finish the base goal, I’ll want to return to all my green (half marathon) states and turn them red by adding a marathon to them. But first, I should work on becoming irresponsibly rich … about that …

      • Clearly all you need to do is start winning all these races. I hear there’s some sweet prize money.

        Solution: get faster.

  4. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. I am literally having to bribe myself to run (and all of the Boston bound running blogs I’m starting to follow talk about “low mileage” 70 miler weeks….um, HUH?). But it kind of sounds like you’ve needed a massive break in order to get better. Running less trained through Paris is probably better than hobbling through Paris. Good luck this weekend!

    • Thanks – yeah, I’ve had a good look around and the consensus seems to be undertrained > overtrained. This is good, since my weekly mileage is, like, in the 20’s just now.

  5. I’m sorry, but my only takeaway from this post is where can I find a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream like the one in the upper left of your Garmin picture?

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