This first cycle of training is all about endurance and building it up…… and as expected, and as per my previous step ups in training i found there first three weeks quite tough as my weekly mileage reached a peak of 78 miles and I started running seven days a week. Both firsts for me and both challenging physically and mentally, in fact by the time i got towards the end of this cycle i picked up a shin splint injury.
This is an injury i have had before, so i knew it could mean up to two weeks without running. So i acted quickly, i instantly stopped running, i got some ibuprofen tables, some deep relief gel and for the first time ever i applied compression to a shin splint injury. Now i wasn’t popping pills constantly, i would take a couple in the morning and again in the evening, before removing the strapping and applying the gel at night. The result, five days later i was back running, i had only missed four days of running the last two days of this cycle or training and the first two of mesocycle 2. By far the fastest i have ever recovered from a shin splint and i suspect it was all down to my rapid response to the injury and the compression. That said, i am still not 100% but i am pain free which is a good sign.
Out of the 30 runs i was scheduled to run over this first phase i completed 26 despite the injury and Christmas commitments. Covering a total of 374 miles out of 422, around 89% of all the planned miles. The minimum target being to complete 85% of your training. So a good, but not perfect start, however i still have my 14 days in hand so i am sitting pretty.
The biggest downside is that i did not manage to fit in as much speed work as i should of and wanted too and i also got slack with my core work. However of late i have made up for that, fitting in at several core sessions each week, i just need to get back on to the speed work.
Although ending on a positive note, i have booked two pre-marathon prep races. The village bakery half marathon, in Wrexham, in February, were i will aim to go sub 1:25 for the distance, a key marker for someone wanting to go sub3 for the marathon. Then in March i am off to Lancaster for my third outing at the Trempell 20 which sits four weeks before the Manchester marathon thus making it the perfect preparation race in which i can test out the sub3 pace of 6:50.
So its onto Mesocycle 2 – Lactate Threshold + Endurance