And so it begins….

It’s here, finally, after some time waiting for it to be here. It being of course Marathon Training!

It is about a month and a half now since I knew I was going to be doing the TCS New York Marathon in November, and there have been a series of weeks whereby I’ve effectively been biding time for it to start. ‘Biding time’ of course, still has to involve doing around 20 miles a week, on the simple basis that you can’t (or really really shouldn’t!) go from nothing to 27 miles in your first week of a training programme. I know that from very bitter experience having overtrained for the Great North Run a few years ago with very unfortunate consequences…..

My Great North Run injury….

But now, as of this very day (15th July 2019) begins Day One of a 16 Week Training Programme which culminates on the 3rd November in the New York Marathon. Week One, of ‘just’ 27 miles, is the shortest week of the whole programme, and it goes up to around 50 miles by Week 11. It will also be up to 40 miles by Week 4, so there is a steep ramp in fact. The programme was recommended to me by a five time marathon runner, and is from Runner’s World, so it is a tried and tested routine.

I am intending on sticking to it to the absolute letter if I can, injuries and unforeseen circumstances notwithstanding. There is for me otherwise no excuse, as I simply wouldn’t forgive myself if I got to the starting line or half way round in New York and couldn’t run the race because I hadn’t completed the programme. This remember is unchartered territory for me, and I didn’t (and in fact still don’t) know if my body will carry me around 26.2 miles. It is getting therefore my full attention.

My Training Programme (downloaded from Runner’s World):

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Week 1 Rest or 4M easy 4M steady with a few strides 4M easy 5M – run to a hill, then 8 x 30 secs uphill, jog down Rest 5M steady, cross-country or parkrun 9M slow
(27-31M)
Week 2 (31-35M) Rest or 4M easy 5M – warm up, then 3M at a brisk pace, timed. Warm down. 5M steady 5M – warm up, then 8 x 90 secs fast, 90 secs slow Rest 5M steady, cross-country or parkrun 11M slow
Week 3 (34-38M) Rest or 4M easy 5M – run to a hill, then 8 x 30 secs uphill, jogging back down 6M easy 5M – warm up, then 5 x 3 mins fast, 2 mins slow (or 5 x 800m on track, with 400m jog recoveries) Rest 5M steady, cross-country or parkrun 13M slow
Week 4 (39-43M) Rest or 4M easy 6M – warm up, then 3M at a brisk pace, timed. Warm down. 7M steady. 6M – warm up, then 3 x 6 mins (or mile on track) with 2 min recoveries. Rest 5M easy 15M slow with 5M in middle at marathon pace
Week 5 (38-42M) Rest or 4M easy 6M – run to a hill, then 10 x 30 secs uphill, jogging back down 8M easy 6M – warm up, then 9 x 90 secs fast (or 400m) with 90 secs (or 200m) slow Rest 4M jog with strides Half-marathon or 10k race or timetrial
Week 6 (43-47M) Rest or 4M easy 6M easy 9M steady 6M – warm up, then 6 x 3 mins fast, 2 mins slow (or 6 x 800m on track, with 400m jog recoveries) Rest 5M easy 17M slow with 5M in middle at marathon pace
Week 7 (43-47M) Rest or 4M easy 6M – hill running: 11 x 30 secs, or fartlek with 12-15 30-sec bursts 6M easy 7M – warm up, then 4 x 6 mins (or mile) with 2 mins rest between each. Time them. Rest 4M slow 20M slow
Week 8 (37-41M) Rest or 4M easy 6M easy 7M steady 6M fartlek, inc bursts of 200-400m Rest 4M jog with strides Half-marathon race or timetrial
Week 9 (44-48M) Rest or 4M easy 6M fartlek, inc sustained bursts of up to 400m 8M steady – start slowly, finish fast 6M – warm up, then 10 x 90 secs fast (or 400m) with 90 secs (or 200m) slow Rest 4M easy with strides or parkrun 20M slow
Week 10 (42-46M) Rest or 4M easy 7M steady, starting slowly 9M steady 7M – warm up, then 7 x 3 mins fast, 2 mins slow (or 7 x 800m on track, with 400m jog recoveries) Rest 4M easy 15M steady, including 5M at marathon pace
Week 11 (47-51M) Rest or 4M easy 6M – hill running, 12 x 30 secs 10M steady – start slowly, finish fast 7M – warm up, then 5 x 6 mins (or mile) with 2 mins rest between each. Rest 4M easy, with a few strides or parkrun 20M slow
Week 12 (43-47M) Rest or 4M easy 6M fartlek, inc sustained bursts of up to 400m 9M steady 7M – warm up, then 18 x 45 secs fast (or 200m), with 60 secs (or 200m) slow Rest 4M easy, with a few strides or parkrun 17M easy with 5M at marathon pace
Week 13 (46-50M) Rest or 4M easy 6M – hill running, 12 x 30 secs 8M steady 6M – warm up, then 12 x 90 secs fast (or 400m), with 90 secs (or 200m) slow) Rest 4M easy 21M slow
Week 14 (38-42M) Rest or 4M easy 6M fartlek, inc sustained bursts of up to 400m 7M easy 6M – warm up, then 5 x 3 mins fast, 2 mins slow (or 5 x 800m on track, with 400m jog recoveries) Rest 4M easy, with a few strides or parkrun 15M steady, or half-marathon race
Week 15 (30-34M) Rest or 4M easy 5M – hill running, 10 x 30 secs 6M steady 5M with middle 3M at marathon pace Rest 4M easy, with a few strides or parkrun 10M steady
Week 16 (39M) Rest 4M – warm up, then 1M at race pace plus 5 x 200m. Warm down 4M easy, with a few strides 3M easy Rest 2M easy, with easy strides RACE DAY

The full programme is around 625 miles over the period, so around 40 miles a week on average. The schedule is up on the wall of my kitchen as a daily reminder of what is in front of me. And today being Day One it is actually a Rest Day (as although there is an option above of Rest or 4 miles, I’m taking the former every time!).

My partner in crime (or partner in running!), Melanie, who I’m doing the run with, is doing the exact same programme as me too. More on her, and my, progress as we go along, and a weekly update will appear right here – watch this space……..

It’s real, it really is!!

So I don’t even know how to begin putting this news down in print, but, in simple terms, the best way to sum it up is in this phrase: ‘She said yes!!’. Now before anyone gets carried away with the permutations or connotations of that statement, we are talking marathons here, and specifically the TCS New York Marathon 2019!

As per two posts ago, I have had this burning (in fact it was in flames 100 feet high!!) desire to do the New York Marathon later this year. This in turn was prompted by me being inspired by a certain someone who has done a few marathons herself, and also my belief that I could perhaps do one too. So, having asked her if she would join me in New York in November, and you now knowing the answer to the question like I do, then it is on!!

Image result for snoopy happy pictures

So this is how it made me feel 🙂

So having got the nod :), I’ve been in touch with (the so far amazingly great) 209 Events, who hold an ITO (International Tour Operator) licence to get people into the run. The condition of this is that you buy (as a minimum) flights through them too. The actual entry for the run itself is a pretty hefty £420 per person, but at this point I’m really not focussed on the cost at all. This is after all a trip of a lifetime, an adventure perhaps to top them all, and that means I just want it to happen really badly.

209 Events are run by a guy called Mike Gratton, who it turns out won the London Marathon in 1983, in a then British record of 2 hours and 9 minutes. They’ve been really helpful, responsive and informative so far, and so they got my vote when it came to booking. So yesterday was a day of booking flights and hotels and getting entries done etc. The result of all that is that we are in! Whilst the 3rd November feels still a long way away (168 days away in fact :O) I know it will fly by. I intend to make the most of the whole thing from start to finish.

More to follow in due course, but I needed to record this for posterity and for all time, so I can remember this time and this day!!