Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
by Russell Turner - 16:55 on 10 January 2018
Today’s a milestone day: exactly three months since the first day of my couch to 5k training programme (or couch to 30 minutes, to be strictly accurate) in which I ran a minute and walked a minute, times ten. I’ve come on a bit since then.
To mark the milestone, as today’s task was to run for 30 minutes I attempted to cover 5k whilst doing so. The pace this demanded was a challenge, and much faster than I’ll be doing in the marathon (unless my fitness doubles overnight) but with the help of the gentle downhill finish I almost made it: 30:19 – a new best. The world record, to put this in context, is 12:37.
I should have been disappointed, only 20 seconds from smashing the half-hour barrier, but I was satisfied to get close. A month ago it took me more than six minutes longer to cover 5k.
Marathon schedules and trainers classify runs as threshold/tempo, steady and easy. I have a new system. Today’s run was a gallop (there won’t be many of them), Friday’s 40 minutes will be at a canter, Monday’s long run (80 minutes, including some walking) will be at a trot, done at a pace that feels comfortable. The Garmin will not be consulted (much).
This radical rethink follows advice I read on the interweb from A Serious Runner And Multi-marathoneer who said (paraphrased) that you should be exhausted after hard training runs (the short ones) and still fresh after easy ones, which include the long distances in which you and your legs get used to lots of miles. Of course, that implies that you’re capable of running slow enough to still be fresh. I’ll keep trying.
Another Serious Runner opined that any serious marathoneer will have made at least a 12-mile run before Christmas or they face doom and disaster on the road to London. But who believes anything they read on the interweb?
Most advice is pointless (unless it suits your point of view) because usually you don’t know if it’s aimed at the non-runner who’s three stone overweight or the whippet who’s been running for ten years and desperate to do his marathon in under three hours.
The second Serious Runner also scoffed at the thought of anyone running a marathon who’d not already run a half marathon race. He’ll have to scoff at me because there are none at the right date for me to enter. Instead, I’ll have to run to Cromarty and back while Matchgirl mans impromptu water stations and cheering points along the way. I can dream.
There’s another milestone tomorrow: 100 days until the London Marathon. So far, so good.
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