We’re coming to the end of week one of the first week of my marathon training and it has been a mixed bag so far. The training programme that I am following comes from a book that I bought back in 2005 when I trained for my first ever marathon. The book is The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer. The focus is less scientific than other plans that you might follow on sites like runnersworld.co.uk etc. It focuses on getting miles in rather than fartlek training, hill training and so on. It also gives you a chapter per week of the training plan where they introduce you slowly to the more technical aspects of running such as what to do with your breathing, concentrating on your foot strike and so on. Overall it is a good book and I found it very useful way back then.
Now I have a number of marathons under my belt and I have followed more complex training programmes as time has progressed. However that was all a long time ago. I haven’t run further than about four or five miles since I ran the Loch Leven Half Marathon on next to no training last May. I am about a stone heavier than I would like to be and have no fitness, and so I have taken the sensible approach to this and am acting as though I have never run anywhere before.
And it is just as well that I am. When I went out on Monday for my first three mile run my brain was struggling with the fact that I could barely manage a ten minute mile over that distance. Mentally I still think that I could head out right now and compete in the Marathon des Sables. My body on the other hand has got old and fat and lazy. The same thing happened on Wednesday when I went on my next run. This one was to be four miles and I dutifully set out on my four mile route along the Water of Leith only to find the footpath closed due to a landslip. I was sent on a diversion up a ridiculously steep set of stairs and had to head off and find a different route. In the end I did less that four miles but at least I had managed to get out. As with Monday the temperature was hovering around freezing and I found it difficult to breathe hard enough to get any kind of speed up.
As luck would have it, when I got home on Wednesday night I realised that I was developing yet another cold. Luckily this is just a head cold this time and so on Friday I went out again at lunchtime. I decided that it would not be the best idea to run and so I walked the three mile route that I completed on Monday. This means that I am still more or less on target for mileage this week with only Sunday’s five miler to complete. With the snow that we’ve been having since Friday I’m not sure that I will be out running on Sunday but I’ll see what it looks like in the morning and maybe walk it again.
But let’s back up a bit. I’ve got a cold again. And I have to tell you that it feels like I’ve had one constantly for the last month. Why on earth am I so ill all the time? Is it nutrition, is it lack of sleep? Well, I got a pretty good demonstration of why I’m always ill when I picked my daughter up from nursery the other day. All these pre-schoolers are running around with their noses running and whatnot, and they’re constantly licking each other, or as near as. My daughter had a cuddly toy with her and everyone was kissing it. Of course the best way to cross-infect me as well would be to rub it in my face. I’m sure you can imagine what happened next. That’s right, I got bunny rubbed in my face, and she was wet! Wet with the saliva of pre-school children.