Week 11 marathon blog: Lorna

She had a bad 20 miler last weekend but Lorna’s thinking positive and making the last four weeks of training count. After all, if Mo Farah can have a bad run, surely us mere mortals are allowed the odd one too.

Name: Lorna

Age: 30

Goal: To finish better than last year!

Marathon history: One marathon under belt – London 2013. Finished in 4hrs 54 mins

What I learnt this week: We’re not in it alone!

Lorna at Olympic Park

Getting inspired at the Olympic Park


There have been a huge amount of marathon emotions running high recently – no more so than over the past weekend. There were many a high mileage run planned on the spring marathon training programmes and they seem to have hit us all hard this season.

Now we all know I’m partial to a tear or two (or three), and I’ve found that my running has been the cause of many of my tears this time around  (yes, I am still trying desperately to numb the pain of Silverstone) and my supposed 20 miles (lets make that 19 actually completed shall we) were rather soul destroying. I’m sorry to say I don’t think I was alone this weekend.

What surprised me when reading about everybody’s weekend’s runs on twitter was that even those that are the most successful feel the burden of training – the one and only mighty Mo Farah tweeted an apology after coming second at the New York City Half Marathon – the race did not go as planned for him, but he battled through a fall to come second – SECOND I scream. He achieved so much, inspired so many and made so many people proud by just running that race, but still he felt the need to apologise… On another note I took one glance at my twitter feed on Sunday evening and found that there were so many others feeling the physical and emotional pain of the long run. When these runs go badly they can set you back for what seems like weeks of training. Running seems to make you think you are accountable for so much more than you are. When you feel a run or race has not gone to plan it seems it’s so easy for us to forget what our real achievements are. We feel the need to apologise, we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and it takes an amazing amount of effort, determination and bloody mindedness to get us going again.

Surely scenes like this are why we run

Surely scenes like this are why we run

Now, I’m by no means out of my mental running ‘funk’ but I am making sure that I make these last four weeks of training count. Since last week’s post I’ve decided I’ve run long enough. I’m now focusing on keeping the legs ticking over – with a minimum of 16km to be run over the coming weekends.

I’m making sure my strength training is also on course as the weeks pass. I had a weights session last Friday that made me realise why I incorporated strength training again – it HELPS – it made me feel strong, it reminded me just how much more I could give and it worked me hard – just what I needed. There was no sulking, no excuses, just pure hard work with lots of smiles, sweats and swears!

These last four weeks will be ones of focus. There’s no time now to get injured – I’ll be seeing a lot of more of the yoga mat and visiting (my oh so amazing) sports therapist to make sure the muscles are rested, stretched and ready. I’ll be stricter than ever with nutrition – there’s no cheating and definitely no giving in to the mind numbing cravings until the big day – it’s all about prep and discipline. This is also the time to adapt my strength training to be a little easier on the muscles but still challenging on the body overall, it’s time to take the weights down but the reps up, it’s time to work in some high intensity work alongside the lifting to get the heart rate up. It’s also time to remember to enjoy it all rather than be scared.


That's the Olympic pool that is!

That’s the Olympic pool that is!

Weekly training stats: 39km run this week

Friday 14 March
60 minute session with a personal trainer that had took the form of “all over” strength and conditioning circuit. A little back, a little shoulder, a little arm and a high intensity finisher made up of 4 sets of the prowler, ropes and squats. I finished ruined in body and elated in mind!

I ended the working week with a Yang & Yin class led by Choi at Good Vibes. This was a challenge but it opened up my hips and hamstrings in preparation for my long run. I had arms of jelly which isn’t always useful in yoga, but left feeling proud of the effort put in.

Saturday 15 March
30km run. This was a challenging run, but a welcome challenge. I had planned for 32km but my legs didn’t want to go any further. It was a friendly reminder of how painful a run of that distance is, and how mentally challenging it all is. I’ve decided this is the end of the long runs. I’m now concentrating on keeping the legs ticking over and working on perfecting my race day pacing.

Sunday 16 March
An active rest day – 400m covered in the Olympic Swimming pool and a glorious three mile walk through Greenwich park.

Monday 17 March
Lunchtime yoga with Choi at Good Vibes Fitzrovia. I swear Choi keeps runners in mind when putting together her classes – this was a class that stretched out the glutes, hips and gave the core a much needed challenge.

My day ended with a light 4km run with Nike as part of their training programme for We Own The Night. I took it easy as the legs didn’t want to move. This was a recovery run in its purest form!

Tuesday  18 March
60 minute session with a personal trainer. Today we gave my arms a bit of a blast with a quick set of weights and then a 40-min boxing session. Learned LOTS today and walked away with a smile on my face!

Wednesday 19 March
Rest day

Thursday 20 March
5km interval session

Follow Lorna on Twitter @shoebird
Read Lorna’s previous blogs here

1 Comment

  • James says:

    You can’t expect every run to go exactly as you had planned it, especially the long runs!

    When I’ve trained for marathons in the past, I’ve always thought that the runs that you don’t feel like doing, and don’t go according to plan that make the biggest difference. Not everything will go right on race day, but it’s those tough training runs that will stand you in good stead to work through any adversity!

    Good luck!

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