Tag Archives: marathon training

Monday Morning Motivation – Marathon Training

10 Nov

If you’re starting to think ahead and are running a marathon in Spring 2015, then this infographic may help you out

How To Train For A Marathon

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Trying something new

4 Apr

I responded to a tweet from where I was offered help with my marathon training and was delighted to be sent some products to try out: Actipatch and Litozin.

Actipatch is a product that is new to the UK. It’s described as a ‘comfortable knee wrap’ that is ‘clinically proven’ to provide ‘long-lasting relief’ using Electromagentic Pulse Therapy. It is the perfect alternative to pain medication for me to use before or after training to ensure my knees will allow me to perform to the best of my ability! I’m a little creaky at the moment, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong, so it’ll be packed in my bag ready for use as soon as I’ve finished on Sunday! I had real problems with my knees after my first marathon, so hopefully this will help to prevent similar problems this year.



The second product that I’m trying is Litozin+, which is a ‘unique natural food supplement, made from specially processed rose hip berries. Long-standing Scandinavian research projects, together with 7 published scientific studies have established that rose hip powder may play an important role in maintaining healthy, flexible joints and joint mobility’. I’ve really noticed how stiff I’ve been recently, so I’m willing to give them a go. I need to take three a day with food, so I’ll be trying them with meals and will let you know how I get on.



Do you rely on any health or fitness products to help you get through your training?

“I came across a fallen tree…”

5 Jan

Today was my second long run of my marathon training. I had originally planned to incorporate it with a CC6 (cross-country race), but the weather here has been horrendous, so I thought it might be very hard to force myself to run 9 or so miles home from a race whilst wet and muddy (and I would have had to take a change of shoes as my trail shoes would not be comfortable on the road). Instead, I agreed to meet Teri and Justin at 7:45am. Teri is training for her first marathon – she is doing the London Marathon the week after I do Brighton and she’s raising money for Friends of PICU (Southampton’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit)

We decided to run through some parks in town, across the Itchen Bridge and along to coastal path to Royal Victoria Country Park and back as I knew that would be around 20km. I also made an effort to take more photos than usual on our run, as I rarely take a phone/camera out on my runs.

We took the first 5km at a steady pace, before pausing on the top of the Itchen Bridge for some photos.

Teri, Justin and I at the top of the Itchen Bridge

Teri, Justin and I at the top of the Itchen Bridge

I’m not really a fan of selfies – I always manage to give myself multiple chins in them! My lovely sister also pointed out that I look bald, but I really do have hair!!! Anyway, the running conditions were perfect. After weeks of rain and strong winds, it remained dry for our entire run and even on top of the bridge there wasn’t even a gentle breeze. Also, despite the industrial surroundings, it was quite a beautiful run.

The sky over Woolston

The sky over Woolston

View from the Itchen Bridge

Skies like this make the early morning starts feel worthwhile

We carried on over the bridge, down the steps and into Weston, before following the footpath along Weston Shore.

Beautiful view of the sky from Weston Shore

Beautiful view of the sky from Weston Shore

Beautiful view of the sky from Weston Shore

It was a beautiful morning to be running.

There were quite a few dog-walkers out enjoying the break in the weather, and one older chap with Wellington boots on warned us that it was wet underfoot ahead. We thanked him and carried on, assuming that the ground might be a little bit muddy… how wrong we were! Water was flowing down the adjacent road and then right across the path and onto the beach. There was no way that we could vault the river, so we had to go through it. It was a little disappointing that we had covered 8km with dry feet and had to squelch from this point onwards, but as we were moving quickly and the air was still, we quickly dried out and warmed up again.

Further on, we found that the path was indeed quite muddy and there were some obstacles to negotiate. I let Teri and Justin run on, whilst I got out my phone to take some pictures of them traversing the fallen tree.

Teri, Justin and a fallen tree

“I came across a fallen tree…” © Keane

It was a surprisingly large tree with a distinct fork, so that there were two large branches – one that they went under and another that they climbed over.

Teri and Justin climbing over a tree

Which way now? Under then over!

Teri and Justin climbing over a tree

Teri showing off her talent as an outdoor sports model

I then put my phone away and caught up with them for the last part of the run to Royal Victoria Country Park. It is a particularly scenic park, but I forgot to get my camera out again, so unfortunately, I don’t have any photos to share. I’ve run there a few times before as it’s the setting for Netley Abbey parkrun and also an RR10 (cross-country race for local clubs). After looping around the park, we headed back towards the Itchen Bridge the same way we came.

Teri had been joking with Justin that whenever she runs with me, we always see someone who I know. I think this is probably because I’ve been quite visible at parkrun for the last few years and also know quite a few people through my running club. Anyway, true to form, as we were running through Woolston on the way back to the bridge, we saw John (one of my fellow parkrun Run Directors) running towards us. I think he’s training for another marathon and it looked like he was going pretty fast.

I started tiring as we got to the bridge, so although Teri was able to motivate me to run up the steps, I had to walk for a little bit. We then ran back over the bridge and then took a slightly different route back to the start through another park.

Overall, I did 22km, so I fulfilled my distance goal, but I think my recent cold and sinusitis has really taken it out of me as I felt exhausted and I failed to run at my long slow run pace (I was 30s/km too slow). For full details of my run, look on Garmin Connect: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/424857264 or Strava: http://www.strava.com/activities/104152032

Marathon training long run

11 Aug

Today’s run was 26.31km long – that’s about 16.5 miles. I left home at 8am and jogged to meet Pete at 8:15am. We then ran up to the top of The Common to meet Irene before heading over to Lordswood. The original plan was to meet Kirsty, but she had consumed a little too much ‘pink wine’ at a wedding reception and was unable to join us. We met Alice and journeyed into Lordswood. From there the route was a little convoluted, as Alice wanted to do a 10 mile training run and none of us wanted to do too many hills.

After a couple of hours, Irene had to head home, and Pete’s foot injury started to play up, so I went back towards Lordswood with Alice before running home.

There was just enough time after getting home to shower and prepare food before friends arrived for a bbq. However, I had to leave part way through the bbq for my swimming lesson.

Stock image of a barbeque

Today’s swimming lesson focussed on backstroke (without and with arms), front crawl and a tiny bit of breaststroke. There were only three of us in the group: one of the older ladies from last week and a young guy who was new. He seems quite good; the older lady is less good. Chris didn’t suggest many amendments to my strokes today, so I think I will definitely move to swimfit at the end of this course.

So, how’s it going?

6 Aug

It’s been a long time since I last blogged, which means that I feel guilty… And when I feel guilty, I tend to put off blogging, and so the spiral continues 😦

As penance, I’m going to try to post something every day for the next week, so that you can catch up with what I’m doing.

This morning, I crawled out of bed – reluctantly – at 6am, so that I could get to the lake for a swim. Yesterday, the weather was miserable, with lots of rain, so the clear skies this morning were a bit of a relief. I was quite organised last night, so all of my clothes were out ready and my bags were packed.

Pearl Izumi Women's TrisuitLakeside - EastleighI decided to brave my pearl izumi trisuit… I bought it from Sport Pursuit and had intended to blog about it, but failed. It looks great on the hanger, but less good on me. The never-ending diet should help that!!! However, it was also chilly, so I topped it off with a lovely fluorescent yellow cycling jacket.

My lethargy and inclination to cycle at a pace equivalent to strolling, mean that it was nearly 7am when I arrived at the lake. Roelie was already there, but there weren’t many other people… And no-one appeared to be wearing just a trisuit. I had dithered about whether to wear a wetsuit or not, but my lazy side won as I couldn’t be bothered to carry it. Fortunately, the lake was quite warm and after I managed to get my shoulders in, it felt ok.

Shark swimming hatIt was also my third opportunity to show off the ‘glamorous’ new hat that Stu bought for me. He thought the sight of sharks would intimidate Kev in our swimming lessons. I’m not sure whether it has worked – Kev has decided not to return to swimming lessons, but that’s probably because he has chosen to upgrade to swimfit. (I’ve signed up for one more set of lessons – this time with Gary as an accomplice – and then the RR10 season will be over, so I’ll persuade Stu to join me in swimfit classes).

My first lap wasn’t great, because my breathing felt wrong, and the second lap wasn’t much better. The third lap felt great and I really wanted to carry on, but I had to get out to go to work 😦 If only there were more opportunities for open water swimming in the evening. Leaving on a high was also probably good as I’ve now swum for four consecutive days and my arms are a little tired – I did a lake swim on Saturday, swimming lesson on Sunday and pool swim before work. I’ve also come to the conclusion that it feels much easier swimming in the lake than swimming in the pool. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel as much pressure to get to the end of a length, whilst trying to beat other swimmers. It’s also much more peaceful at the lake – I hate noisy locations. The downside is that I exited the lake looking like a bogmonster with mud all over my face. Fortunately, there is no mirror at Lakeside, so I couldn’t worry about my appearance and just gathered up my stuff to cycle to work, still wearing my trisuit (the showers are much better at work than at the lake!)

My marathon training schedule said that I needed to run after cycling home from work, but I was feeling lethargic and was tempted not to do it. However, I knew that once I had started, I would complete the workout. I also decided that after the success I had with setting intervals on my watch last time, that I would do that again. There are so many great functions on my Garmin that I’m not sure I’ll ever use them all!

8x800mAccording to the schedule, I was meant to do 8x800m at 4:52/km… however, my schedule did not state how long my rests should be, and I’m well aware that the pace was calculated using my 10k PB and I’m nowhere near that level of fitness. I decided to give myself some lee-way, so the watch was set with a pace band of 4:52-5:00/km. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to stay at that pace, but I’m glad that I pushed myself to try and think that having the beep on my watch to nag me to speed up helped. I’ve also been out running in shorts most  days in the last couple of months. This might not sound significant, but after all of the leg issues I had last year, I started using my skins tights as a crutch and started to believe that if I didn’t wear them I would be unable to run. I even wore them in Portugal, despite being worried about over-heating! My cellulite is on show for everyone to see, but at least I’m getting a tan!!!

Tomorrow’s training was meant to be a swim at lunchtime, but I’ve got a lunch with work colleagues planned and will be marshalling at my club’s RR10 (a local league race), so I won’t be exercising in the evening. I need to decide whether to swim first thing or not.

At some stage I also need to blog about the amazing machine that is my new bike. It is amazing… but I’m not going to spill the beans in this post about what it is and how beautiful it looks. I will also write about how incompetent I am with my “clipless pedals” and how nervous I am on my speed demon!

My final bit of news is that I am desperately trying to stick to my diet. I’ve been good for a whole week, so am hoping that I will be able to find a salad at the pub for lunch tomorrow… although I think a cheese ploughmans may be my only option. I have also made the tough decision not to socialise after the RR10, as there is not a single healthy vegetarian option on the menu and I just don’t want to be tempted by other food. Fingers crossed my weigh in result will show how hard I’ve tried this week!