During February my marathon training officially began.
I’ve been following a training plan created for me by my PT, which has been adapted to factor in my shin injury and the fact that I’ve not been able to run the miles I would normally be able to because of it.
As a result, a lot of my training involved cross training using cardio equipment, such as the cross trainer and static bike, at the gym. I was still able to do some running and usually managed to do two runs a week. My mileage remained low with the longest run this month at just 7.5 miles.
Along with cardio, I’ve been doing quite a lot of strength training. I’ve mainly been keeping to lighter weights and focusing on exercises that will help strengthen my legs, glutes and core. I’m a typical runner in that I don’t really like strength training and I struggle to find the motivation to do it, but I also know that it will help me to recover from injury faster, help prevent future injuries and enable me to keep a good running form for longer.
Keeping all these in mind has helped to keep me on track with the strength training and I now try and do a little bit every time I’m in the gym.
It’s been really frustrating being injured as I just want to get outdoors and run. I really want to start pushing the pace and getting some long runs in, but I know I can’t as it could make my injury worse and set me back with my training even more.
The good news is that my injury does seem to be getting better. Running isn’t painful anymore, although I can still feel a slight niggle in my shin, so I know that it’s not completely healed and if I push too hard with my running I could easily make it worse again.
During the last few weeks of February my training was set back even more as I became ill.
I don’t normally get ill and, if I do, I usually bounce back quickly, but I think this time a mixture of stress, tiredness and trying to do too much resulted in me getting really ill and not being able to recover quickly.
The first week I was ill I was feeling really drained and tired, which I put down to work stress and my body fighting the colds and sickness bugs that have been going around. I skipped a few gym sessions and got some early nights. I thought this had helped but in the final week of February I came down with a really bad cold that I was unable to get rid of and left me feeling absolutely exhausted.
Fortunately I’ve still got enough time to gradually build up my miles for the marathon, so hopefully the fact that this month didn’t go to plan at all will not impact my goal of a sub-4 hour marathon. In the meantime, I’m going to focus on eating well, resting lots, meditating to de-stress and working on my strength, fitness and running to get in the best shape possible for the Edinburgh Marathon.