Well here we go again! No sooner have we finished the spring marathons and enjoying a nice hot dry summer, its time to start training for those autumn marathons again. My race schedule this year gives me a little more time to prepare for my autumn marathons.
In 2017 I ran the BERLIN MARATHON in September and pretty much trained from the day after I ran my last spring marathon at ROCK n ROLL LIVERPOOL MARATHON in May right the way through to the ROCK n ROLL LAS VEGAS MARATHON in November.
Whilst the consistency of running and training hard for the entire year paid off with PB’s in 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon, I also felt tired after Las Vegas. I took two weeks off after that one, not running at all. I gave my body some rest to recover and recharge before resuming marathon training for spring 2018.
So, given how I felt after Las Vegas you would think I learned a lesson there and would give myself more rest time in 2018 right? Nah don’t be silly.
The first half of 2018 has been a busy six months for me. I ran the GREATER MANCHESTER MARATHON then two weeks later LONDON MARATHON all whilst training for a full Ironman in July. I completed IRONMAN 70.3 STAFFORDSHIRE before completing my goal and finishing IRONMAN UK after all of that you would think I should take some time off.
The week after completing Ironman UK I officially began my training plan for the 2018 Chicago Marathon & New York City Marathon. Granted, week 1 was not a high mileage, high intensity week. This week was all about recovery and having some rest before getting into the meat of it.
- Run a marathon without stopping.
- Run a marathon under 3hours 20 minutes.
For this marathon training season I am going to be working with a running coach. Since I started to run back in October 2015, I have always done my own thing. Always put together my own training plans and I feel I have done quite well. I have improved from a 4:05 marathon down to a 3:35. Yet, each of my 8 marathon distance runs all have one thing in common. I will easily run to 16 – 20 miles and then hit a barrier, something in my head or body makes me stop and walk. To date I have not run a full marathon without stopping. Each race when I have stopped and walked I have lost at least 20 minutes in those last few miles.
I decided that now is the time to push things on to the next level and run a marathon without stopping AND push my pace up. I want to run Chicago under 3:20.
I am going to be working with Matt Rees @TheWelshRunner to achieve these goals. For me, picking a running coach is a difficult decision to make and picking the right coach for you is even tougher. I chose Matt because he has achieved these goals himself, he regularly runs well under 3:20 marathons. His posts are informative and honest. He shows that things do not always go to plan and you will struggle from time to time, but that is ok, it is all part of the learning process. I want a coach who is honest and to the point. Someone who has been there and done it and knows the pain but more importantly, can give guidance on overcoming the mental barriers and urge to stop and walk. Also, having a coach watching over my running makes me accountable. I have to go out there and get it done, whereas without that accountability I might be tempted to skip a few miles here and there, not run to pace or take it easy when things get tough.
I am really looking forward to working with Matt and being pushed harder than I would push myself. We have 12 weeks of training before race day in Chicago, week 1 was a recovery week and week 11 & 12 will be taper, leaving me with 9 weeks of hard graft to come. This is going to be a tough, challenging summer which will hopefully lead to a rewarding autumn in the USA.