Our 2013 marathon blogger Lorna is back – and she’s already training hard to beat last year’s time
Goal: To finish better than last year!
Marathon history:One marathon under belt – London 2013. Finished in 4hrs 54 mins
What training has taught me thus far:I shouldn’t view training as a short term activity – it’s a lifestyle (that sometimes hits a few bumps in the road!)
So I’m back. I’m back to the marathon training plan, I’m back to trying to eat the healthiest I can and I’m back to worrying that I don’t have enough kit to get me through the next few weeks.
As last year’s blog readers will know, running the London Marathon in 2013 was possibly the most life changing thing that had ever happened to me. I describe that day as the best day of my life. I didn’t have a ‘never again moment’ and I look back at that day with a heavy heart because I LOVED those experiences. Some may say I’m mad, but I just cannot wait to do it all again!
Since the 2013 Marathon
So let’s start where we finished in 2013 – Marathon day. If I’m honest, and let’s face it when am I ever not, I let myself go immediately after the marathon. I ate whatever it was I wanted, I ran ‘junk miles’ pretending to maintain a level of fitness and I lifted weights that quite frankly were not worth lifting. I was tired, I was probably in shock and I kidded myself I didn’t need a rest. Well boy did I. Rest I did during the summer – and for the first time in years I had a summer break – not much running, no gym, lots of food, lots of sleep! Sounds great doesn’t it – but not when you have another race to run in just a few months….
To keep myself ticking over I ran a half marathon – the Royal Parks Half – in October, and it was a great run despite not really getting out of ‘holiday mode’ with my training! I shaved 14mins off of my personal best, I found a new lease of life in my running and I felt like I could have gone on and on and on! It was since that race that I decided to get back on track with my marathon goals, and while not everything is in place I feel confident I’m getting there.
Deciding to concentrate on marathon planning during the winter/party season raised a few eyebrows. Why cut out the boozing and the junk eating at the ‘best time of year’? Why put yourself through all those cold runs when you could be in bed? Well let me tell you why – BECAUSE I WANTED TO! I couldn’t afford to let my fitness levels drop any lower, I want to maintain (and better) my level of fitness from now on, and going out in the cold just gives me an excuse to break out the new kit!! I wanted to start 2014 feeling as focused and excited as I did this time last year, and I want to beat that damn race time.
Working on strength
I know what I have to do in order to push myself enough to reach my goal and my master plan is in motion. First and foremost I have a brand new strength training programme that’s trying my patience in the best possible way. I’m concentrating on improving my core strength more this time around, as well as working in plyometric exercise for the very first time (if you need a giggle come watch me attempt box jumps in the gym)… the new challenges are helping me keep my focus in the gym which was definitely going more than a little stale immediately after the marathon.
A change of environment is a key theme to the new plan – I’ve switched gyms (still at Gymbox but training at Holborn now), I’ve adapted running routes to surprise me a little and I’ve worked in a few new classes and enlisted the help of some new experts to help me along my way. Adapting to new styles of training, hearing new advice and putting it into practice and training alongside a brand new bunch of people is a challenge in itself but is also breathing new life into an old me!
Not everything has changed though – I’m sticking to the same running plan that got me through my first marathon and I’m noticing decent improvements in my time vs distance records. I’m also trying desperately to stick to the same diet plan that got me through the distance – I know what I should and shouldn’t be eating but this time around it’s proving very difficult to break some bad habits (chocolate anyone???) … And I’ve not lost my love for Lycra. That’ll never change.
As I tick the weeks off my training plan I can’t wait to share experiences with you all again. I can’t wait to share kit purchases with you again, and most of all I can’t wait for another marathon experience. Bring it on!
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