5 Reasons I’m Excited to Start Marathon Training

A few weeks ago I announced that in January 2019 I will be running my first ever full marathon. This announcement should have been the start of my training, but the universe had other ideas for me and I was struck with a knee injury that’s had me out ever since.

Fortunately, I gave myself over a year to train, so this little set back doesn’t bother me too much, and instead of starting now I’m just gonna rest, recover and prepare myself for taking the bull by the horns come January, and I’m actually starting to look forward to it more than I am dreading it! Here’s a few of the reasons why:

Carb loading

For the most part, I will be concentrating on eating as well as I can come the new year, but while I’m a firm believer in eating what you want and not having to justify food choices to anyone, I’m pretty excited for big bowls of pasta with the excuse of needing to carb-load.

Getting to be ‘that’ person

Marathon runners are kinda like vegans, pilots and people who do Crossfit* in that they tell as many people as they possibly can that they’re training for a marathon as if you’re the first person in the world to ever do one. I don’t care, its a huge deal for me so you’re damn right I’m gonna spread it like Love Island gossip. (this is already the second post I’ve talked about running a marathon in the space of a month, so there’s the proof)

*Dear vegans, pilots and people who Crossfit, please know that I’m making a joke and I have the utmost respect for all of you!

Running regularly again

Sometimes I feel like the most pathetic excuse for a runner because in the past year I have been the furthest thing from consistent. Sure, I’ve completed 3 half marathons and 3 10K races, but I’ll be the first to admit that I did those with practically no training and only a few intermittent 5K ParkRuns and the odd short distance run, and part of the reason for this is because I knew I could get away with not training. Well that’s not gonna be the case for this.. I’m gonna spend the next few weeks putting together a proper training schedule (which I thoroughly enjoy making) and sticking to it like an octopus on your face.

All the fun runs

I currently have no actual races planned for 2018, so I’m on the hunt for as many shorter distance races and fun runs that I can do to keep myself motivated through the coming year. A few on my list are Race for Life, Run or Dye and the Great South Run, and if you’ve got any recommendations please drop me a comment!

The satisfaction of a good run

When Dad and I started training for our first ever half marathon, there was nothing like the feeling of completing the next milestone both figuratively and literally. Back then it was 8 miles, or 10 miles or 12 miles, but now I’m looking forward to the feeling of doing my first ever 15, 20 and 25 milers.

I’m sure there’ll be a million and one reasons that I start dreading training too, but for now I’m concentrating on the positives! Wish me luck!

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26.2

Guys, I’ve got an announcement to make.

Now I’m back from WDW (waa!), its time for me to get my butt back into running, not just because I’m back from holiday but because something big is coming.

I am going to run a marathon.

Yep, yikes. I have six half marathons under my belt now from the last two years, and I set myself the goal a few years back that I would like to run a marathon before I turn 25, which will be in October 2019, so although dates have not been set and registration isn’t open yet, I will be entering the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2019.

I’m terrified. This last year I have been very relaxed with my running, and hardly trained for any of the races I’ve done, but this is double the distance and therefore a million times harder, which is why I’m giving myself over a year to train.

The distance is one thing, I mean, I’m halfway there I guess, but its the mental aspect of the marathon that’s going to take real work. Its knowing that when my GPS clocks in at the 13.1 miles that I’m used to, I then have to do the whole thing all over again. Its pushing on for hours and knowing there are still a few more hours to go.

Then comes the potential for injury. In half marathon training I faced knee problems, shin splints, and even ran a race with a stress fracture, plus all the little aches and pains that come and go. I will have to be so careful in knowing my limits and knowing when I can and can’t push further.

Basically, I’m going to be about 13.1 miles outside my comfort zone. I’ve been winging it for the last two years and have been lucky to get away with it, but now I have to be serious, do my research and be ready to push myself. Of course I’ll be documenting the good the bad and the ugly, so everyone else can get some entertainment out of me torturing myself!

Can I do it?

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Things My Personal Trainer Has Never Said

As part of my regular fitness routine, I do two 30 minute sessions with a personal trainer every week. I train with Steph not because I have to but because I enjoy it; she is as much a friend to me as she is a trainer, and she has pushed me further than I could have ever imagined.

PTs may be considered by most as paid torturers, but not only do they train hard in the gym, in order to gain their qualifications they also have to train hard and gain an incredible understanding of the human body, nutrition and training techniques, so they do really know what they’re talking about.

I’ve been training with Steph for 2 years now, and with all the wisdom she has shared with me in this time, there are some things she’s never ever said to me..

‘You can’t eat *insert here*’

Sure, a lot of personal trainers double up as nutritionalists, and many do help their clients put together meal plans and diets, but what I love about Steph is that she has never told me that there’s anything I shouldn’t be eating. Like me, she believes that treats are ok and holidays are for pigging out, and it’s so nice not having a voice in my head saying ‘you shouldn’t be eating this, what would your trainer think?’. In fact, she frequently tells me about the things that she’s eating! At the end of the day, food is fuel and if you’re still training and keeping balance, that’s all that matters.

‘You have to eat *insert here*’

As well as never restricting me, she doesn’t dictate. I get to choose what I eat, and while she’s always more than happy to offer advise when I ask for it, she lets me take the reins and learn things for myself.

‘You shouldn’t lift heavier than..’

Before I trained with Steph, I wouldn’t pick up a dumbbell heavier than about 5-6kg, and now I won’t touch anything lighter. There’s nothing she hates more than the belief that women shouldn’t lift heavy weights, and the only time she would ever stop me from going heavier is if she felt I wasn’t ready or I could risk an injury.

‘Weight gain is bad’

About every 4 weeks we do measurements. This isn’t to make me feel good/bad about myself, it’s just to track my body, and while I do get on the scales, the number doesn’t matter to her. Primarily we look at change in my actual measurements, and if the scales do go up, I’m never made to feel bad about it.

‘You shouldn’t miss a training day’

There are mornings when I wake up and I don’t feel up for training, whether it’s cos I’ve had a bad nights sleep, I’m not feeling 100% or I’m suffering from an injury. I am never told that this isn’t ok. A big part of training is understanding my body’s needs, and if it needs time off then that’s fine, and in the same way I understand that sometimes she needs days off. Missing a day or a week isn’t the be all and end all.

‘You have to get smaller’

She understands that everyone has different goals, and that not everyone goes to the gym to drastically change their body. Sure, I ultimately would like to see myself get a bit leaner, but it’s more about getting fitter and healthier, and if I don’t see any change in my body when I’m doing that then who cares?

If a professional PT has never said these things, why should anyone else?

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Putting the Running Shoes Back On

Tips for buying running shoes

After taking time off from running through October, yesterday was meant to mark the start of my next leg of training in the run up to my 2017 races. The reality of that, however, was that I caught a 24 hour bug going round my family and spent the whole day sofa-bound, oops!

My point is, its time for me to get back into the swing of things! In just 16 weeks from this weekend I’ll be taking on the Glass Slipper Challenge at the WDW Princess Half Marathon weekend, and autumn/winter is my favourite time for training so I’m actually really glad to be doing it now! I’ll be taking things nice and easy in the first few weeks as I’m still a little concerned about the problems I’ve been having with my foot, but once I start my new job at the end of the month, I’ll be spending a lot less time on my feet during the day so will definitely need to hit the roads again, and I’ll be able to get back into a proper routine.

I’m also – and you could say more importantly – starting to think about my running costumes for next year! I have four Disney races booked already, but right now I’m just concentrating on the princess races. As much as I love the Disney princesses, I don’t know if I’ll dress up as one of them or go a little more abstract or do a side-kick; I keep turning to Etsy for inspiration but I think I’ll make any outfits myself to save money!

I don’t think I’ll be posting weekly about my training for these races, but I’ll definitely do a few updates in the coming months so stay tuned!

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A Super Run Saturday

Its been ages since I wrote about running, and with 4 weeks to go until our Disneyland Paris races (and the Bournemouth half marathon the following week!), training is having to ramp back up, and today was a good run!


Super, in fact!

Bournemouth ParkRun was celebrating its 3rd birthday, and as a result there was a superhero theme to today’s run; naturally I saw it as the perfect opportunity to showcase my amazing new Captain America leggings from Poprageous. In order to get in a longer distance, Dad and I decided to run the 2.5k from our house to the park before the race, then carry on from the finish line to visit my nan, which was about another 4k.

Despite telling ourselves that we’d keep our ParkRun pace quite slow today, I went off pretty fast, but was feeling good through the whole course – although I’m back to struggling with stitches again, yuck! Slowing down a little in the second half of the timed 5K, we crossed the line in 33 minutes, paused for a slice of birthday cake, then continued on our way.

As I was timing the run in one distance, pausing MapMyRun only for when we were waiting for ParkRun to begin and our cake break, as we ran on towards our next destination and keeping a pretty fast pace as we had done throughout, it suddenly became fairly apparent that we’d hit 9K well under the hour mark, and if we could hold the pace as we were, there was a good chance that we’d manage 10K in a new PB. Unfortunately, at about 9.7K the road began a bit of an uphill, but I was determined to push on, knowing that just around the corner from the top I could coast a downhill, and that pushed me past the 10K mark in 1:02:59! Its only about 20 seconds faster than my previous PB, but its a confidence boost that I really needed; I’ve been feeling a little out of practice recently, what with recently holidays and my hatred of summer training.

Overall, we ran 11.5K in 1:14:41, and it felt really great!

Bring on Disneyland Paris next month!

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#YearOfFit – 5K by Summer

If you read my post on fitness goals that everyone can achieve, you’ll have seen that one of them was running a 5K.

SONY DSC

I genuinely believe that anyone is capable of finishing this distance, and to prove it, why not give this programme a go? Its six weeks, and what do you have to lose? Get those shoe’s on and let’s go!

Week 1

Tuesday: Walk for 1 minute, run for 30 seconds, and repeat 5 times. Easy right?

Thursday: Run for 1 minute, then walk for 30 seconds, and repeat 5 times.

Saturday: Run 1km, taking walk intervals if you need to

Week 2

Tuesday and Thursday: Run for 2 minutes, then walk for 30 seconds. Do this for 10 minutes.

Saturday: Run 1km. Try and walk as little as possible

Week 3

Tuesday: Run for 3 minutes, walk for 30 seconds x4

Thursday: Run for 5 minutes, walk for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times

Saturday: Run 2km in 2 minute/30 seconds run/walk intervals

You’re halfway!

Week 4

Tuesday: Run for 10 minutes, then walk for 2 minutes x2

Thursday: Run for 5 minutes, walk for 30 seconds x3

Saturday: Run 3km. Aim for 5 min/30 second run/walk intervals

Week 5

Tuesday: Run/walk 10 minute/1 minute three times

Thursday: Just run for 15 minutes

Saturday: Run 1km, walk 0.25km x4 (hello 5k!)

Week 6

Tuesday: Run 2km

Thursday: Run/walk 10 minute/30 second intervals for 3.5km

Saturday: Run your 5k!

I read somewhere recently that an 15 min/mile is just as far as a 10 min/mile, and this is such an important thing to remember; it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you might be, you’re still getting out and doing it!

So now you’re 5k ready, why not sign up for a virtual run? The Frying Pan 5K is raising money for the Rainbow Trust, you get an awesome medal and did I mention that I’m organising it?!

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I’m Still Running!

I’m feeling particularly chatty this month, can you tell?

I really love my blog as it is right now, but there’s one thing I actually really miss from my blog this year, and that’s writing about running. Last year, posting weekly about my RunDisney training became such a huge part of my blog because running was such a huge part of my life, and with the races being all the way back in January now (doesn’t that seem forever ago?), not writing about running has kinda meant its all taken a little bit of a back burner position in my life, so I just wanna write a little update to share what I’ve been up to in the last two months, and what’s going to be happening this year.

Coming back to regular training from the races was, to be perfectly honest, a bit of a let down. Not in the sense that we weren’t doing well, but when you go from running around Orlando, Anaheim and the Disney parks then come home to regular road-running, the scenery just doesn’t quite compare.

But we did it. A day or two after we touched back down on UK soil we had to face the dreaded recovery run. There’s never anything spectacular to say about recovery running; it feels like hard work, but its that hard work you have to put in so you don’t seize up into a big ball of retired runner. Then, my body’s jetlag response kicked in. FUN FACT ABOUT ME: jet lag makes me physically ill, and that put me out of action for what should have been our first ParkRun of the year. What a start, right?

Once I got over that, we got back into our semi-regular running routine, but really, my heart wasn’t in it. If you kept up with our 2015 training updates, you may have noticed that every few months I would lose my pep and get a little frustrated, and this would really just be me going through a funk of getting wound up with anything from the weather to the routes we were running, and this was starting to descend on me again. I was getting bored of running down to the beach and back, and I was getting really fed up of the mud that was taking over our ParkRun route, not to mention being ill, and all of this was accumulating into negativity on my end. Dad also went back to working away instead of at home, so with him having less opportunity to run with me, I was finding too many excuses to not go out.

Then something happened. I remembered that running is a big part of me, and that I didn’t want to hate it, and something clicked in my head. So we decided to give our local ParkRun a little bit of time off, instead visiting our second closest course a go; its much flatter and involves no mud, yay! I also started going back to my old schedule of running in the week – Tuesdays and Thursdays – but going solo to improve my independent running.

I’m setting myself a new training plan. At the moment, we’ve not got any long races booked until September, so I’ve got time to train back up to those distances, so for now I’m going to be working a bit more on speed over shorter distances, bringing up my 5K and 10K PB. Yes, this has an advantage for races, but it does wonder for my self-esteem and motivation.

So I’m back to running 2-3 times a week, one fast pace/short distance, one longer distance and a Parkrun on Saturdays if I’m not working. I’ve also already completed three virtual runs this year, yay!

Do you wanna here more about my running?

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