Week 1 -"A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step" – Lao Tzu

Here we are, end of week 1 and with so much going on, I thought I’d break down this week’s edition into smaller sections.
Last week I drew up a training plan for the upcoming 12 weeks.  As I explained in my last post, I wanted my training to be progressive so ensured that I drew up a plan to reflect this, increasing my weekly mileage gradually. The plan includes 3 runs per week alongside training in the gym 2-3 times a week with some strength work and additional cardio. I’ve chosen to run no more than 3 times to prevent the chance of injury. I’ve also added in core and stretch work  in the form of yoga, to ensure I stay as injury free as possible.
Today I joined the Sunday club run with the Redway Runners. The Redway Runners are a local running club within Milton Keynes that caters for all ages and abilities. I joined the club back in September 2014 after hitting a lull with training and wanting to reignite my running motivation. After months of relentless preparation for the Marathon, I’d taken a much more relaxed approach to my training, especially with not having a goal in sight. Plus it was the summer… pub gardens were more appealing at this time. That June, whilst on my holiday I read Mo Farah’s autobiography, and as soon as I had finished Chapter 1, I was hooked and inspired to run again. Since joining the club, I’ve met some incredible people and certainly made friends for life. It has such a great community spirit and has definitely had a positive impact on my running. Today I aimed for 7 miles as per my plan, however got slightly carried away, chatting and catching up with people on the way round. As we drew near to the end of the run, my watch was on a little over 7.5 miles. Most runners will know the term ‘slave to the garmin’, it’s where you see people running round the car park rounding up the next mile, and something I’m quite familiar with. This morning saw me do exactly that and I ended up finishing on 8. I was over the moon, as today I felt strong and fit. This sees me hitting 15 miles for the week, slightly over the intended target but a great beginning all the same.
Flexibility & Commitments
Despite the positive end to the week in regards to training, not everything always goes according to plan… As a Project Manager I have to constantly juggle my workload and training. Coming from an Events background previously, this is quite normal to me and something I’ve got used to. I often travel with work so my weekly routine has to be quite flexible. My current clients are based in the Isle of Wight and South London and this week I have visited both locations for various meetings. The travel takes up a fair bit of additional time on top of my working hours and I’ve had to motivate myself to fit my training in around this. Whether that be waking up an extra hour earlier to work out in the morning or mentally motivate myself after a long journey travelling back, it’s what I’ve always had to do to balance the two. This week I found one of my runs quite tough. I’d put myself through a horrible weights session a few days before and my legs felt quite heavy. I decided to go at a slower pace than what I usually would and found it difficult during my run to not see the normal pace I’d run at on my GPS watch. Once I returned home, I felt a little deflated, however, reminded myself that this is the start of a journey and not every day will be easy. I still completed 4 miles without feeling out of breath and reminded myself of what I had just achieved.
Easter also marks the end of lent. Annually, as a challenge (can you see a theme arising with me here?), I give up a number of things to signify this. I am not religious, however, always find this a good exercise to practice and get rid of some of the naughtier foods in my diet! Usually this list includes cakes, biscuits, crisps, sweets and chocolate and on Easter Sunday I bake and indulge on all of the (naughty) goodness I’ve missed. To the list this year, I added bread, wine and popcorn. You may think I’m crazy, but you find loopholes to get you by… fruit, yoghurt, ice cream and a lot of willpower. Today has seen me treat myself to chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I spent the day with my family and am now relaxing with a large glass of rose wine.
Marking the start of spring, the clocks have also gone forward, meaning mornings will be lighter and it will be getting darker later. Something I intend to take advantage of over the upcoming weeks! It will make my runs more enjoyable for sure.
I’m feeling happy and confident at the end of week 1. With the temperature increasing slightly (although Storm Katie has not been pleasant this weekend), it has certainly made it easier to don my trainers and head outdoors, rather than pounding away on the treadmill. I’m looking forward to what week 2 has in store already…