Tag Archives: marathon training

Do you to get fit to run, or run to get fit?

A question i often get asked is how were you able to run a Boston qualifying time in such a short period from beginning to run?

I guess there is no simple answer, but one that may be answered from the title of this blog post.

Whilst my level of fitness has increased during my short period of running in past 20 or so months, my fitness level must of already been at a good level to start from.

What i have used to measure my fitness improvement, are these two below:

  1. My VO2 max measurement
  2. My rest heart rate

My VO2 max has increased, which is one of the benefits of training for marathons and my rest heart rate has greatly reduced.

But both these figures can be improved without the need to run. You can swim, row or cycle. All of which would greatly improve your fitness levels without the impact to your joints caused by running.

As with all training to give you great results, you have to be consistent. Going for one long swim a week is not as beneficial as going 3 or 4 times a week and doing shorter swims. Little and often.

So for me, my running friends, you could say that i got myself fit to run and now i run to get fitter!

Below is my VLOG of Frankfurt Marathon, where i ran my first Boston Marathon qualifier time.

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Filed under 10k, General, Half Marathon, Marathon

What happens when the PB’s stop?

Personal Best (PB) or Personal Record (PR) is something that i see across social media for many runners. For some, it is all about PB’s.

But what happens when you stop achieving anymore PB’s?

For some people i see posts on social media of great disappointment. Some even stop running.

For me, whilst achieving a new PB is great, its not all about PB’s. I mainly run for fun and it helps me feel good.

Below is my latest VLOG from my first Half Marathon race of 2017, at the original Hampton Court Half Marathon.

Hope you enjoy!

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Marathon training for beginners

Having completed my first marathon this year in April at Brighton, one of my biggest worries was how much training should i do?

What kind of training should i do?

For me and what is beginning to be widely accepted, only three runs a week are needed. For some old school coaching and training, they may say you need to build up a lot of mileage each week to be able to complete the full 26.2 miles.

Why do i say only 3 runs?

The simple facts, as a beginner in particular, our bodies need time to recover.

Rather than running hundreds of miles each week and getting lots of injuries in process, why not run less and run smart?

The three runs can consist of sprint training session, hill running training and a long run.

There are a myriad of beginner marathon training plans you can download from the web. Find one that best suits your daily plans and adapt them to suit you.

For me the training has to be of top quality and intensity with a lot of rest and recovery time.

Below is the VLOG i made of my first ever marathon this year. Such great memories and all on just 3 training runs per week.


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Week Fifteen – Brighton Marathon Training

Following the joy of last weeks new PB for the Reading Half Marathon, with the icing on the cake of coming in a couple of minutes faster than Iwan Thomas, this week was mainly recovering and tapering and getting to meet one of the greatest running legends of my time, Seb Coe!

The Reading Half Marathon really did drain me both physically and mentally and the little voices in my head starting getting louder. Muscles and joints beginning to ache more than normal and the worry of what pace should I start the full marathon at.

Also, my fund raising has dampened my spirits somewhat as I thought running such an extraordinary distance by a newbie in his mid-fifties would inspire people to sponsor me….lets see how things progress, but so far was under £300 of a target of £1,000. You can Sponsor me here Just Giving.

I can’t control the fund raising, but I can control my training and running, so lets keep going!

Thankfully after seeing my Physio and also a great evening organised by Cancer Research UK, the voices are beginning to disappear and I am really believing now that I can do it. I can run a marathon! I will run a marathon!

The evening at Cancer Research, UK offices in London gave me the wonderful opportunity to meet Lord Seb Coe, who is the current President of the IAAF, who gave a packed audience some top tips on how to run a marathon, which you can see in the video below.

Also, Nick Anderson from Running With us, gave some excellent information on what to do a week before the race, on race day and after the race. Invaluable information, that will help us all.

The weeks training consisted of:

Monday: 20 minute rowing followed by 1hr 15 Ashtanga Yoga

Tuesday: 10km 52 minute run at 6am

Wednesday: 20 minute row followed by 45 minute spin class

Thursday: 15km 75 minute run at 6am

Sunday: 15km 78 minute run at 8am

This week may be tapering, but it felt tough possibly because of overdoing it on the previous Sunday and also the lack of sponsorship.

Till next week, hope you enjoy the below video of Lord Seb Coe giving some top tips on How to Run a marathon.


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Filed under Half Marathon, Marathon

Week Fourteen – Brighton Marathon Training

After last weeks longest training run on Saturday of 35km through the Malvern Hills in gusting wind and rain, it is with great relief that the tapering now begins.

For those who don’t know what tapering is, this is where the length of the training runs start to reduce prior to the main race. there is a science behind why this is done, but that will be for another blog post, or maybe even a YouTube video!

Still in Easter holiday mode, i was still in Ledbury till Tuesday after bank holiday, so my 10km training run was in Ledbury town itself. I wasn’t feeling it at all and felt very slow and cumbersome. I think the long run had really taken it out of me. The pace for the 10km was almost same as pace for 35km on Saturday before. What happened, what went wrong? Nothing. That’s just how it is sometimes. We accept it and move on.

Was it because i also missed my normal yoga class on a Monday evening or trip to my physio?

Wednesday back at work i felt so exhausted, i was advised to rest. So i skipped my usual spin class and rowing session and went home for an early nights sleep.

When i ran my route on Thursday morning, the pace was almost back to race pace and i felt good. Most of time it’s all psychological, not physical.

As i missed yoga on Monday evening i decided to goto Yoga class on Thursday lunchtime.

Sunday saw me do my last race before the BIG one at Brighton. This was the Reading Half Marathon and it was brilliant.

For me it was very hot, but a nice route and i goto meet British Athletics legend Iwan Thomas, which you can see it all on video below….. am soon enjoying the tapering!


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Filed under Half Marathon, Marathon

Week Thirteen – Brighton Marathon Training

Having completed this training week and with only 3 more weeks till my maiden marathon at Brighton, i can now say I AM READY!

Apologies for the lateness in posting this. But what with easter weekend and a few set-back this week, it took me a while to catch up. More about what happened this week in my next post.

For week 13, it was lucky for me!

I had a great two ‘short’ run training days early morning before work and still bright daylight before the clocks went forward on Easter Sunday and the weekend away at Ledbury with the kids, so i had to plan my 3 hour long run from Ledbury.

Using the Garmin route planner, it estimated approximately 35km at a steady pace of 5km per minute, which i thought would be an achievable pace for the route. Little did i know how hilly the Malvern Hills would be!

I managed the route with a light detour in 3 hours and 8 minutes and it was just over 35 km. It was very tough with the hills and added gusting wing and rain in many parts, but i did it! That’s when i really felt inside i was ready. Whilst i may of been aching all over from the tough hills, the fuelling strategy worked a dream and i felt no loss in energy as i had in previous long runs. included Porridge an hour or so before run stared and banana half hour before.

You can see the video of my training run below where the Malvern Hills were alive with the sound of my singing and includes a selfie with a statues of Elgar in Great Malvern!

My weeks training consisted of:

Monday: 1hr15min of Ashtanga Yoga in evening

Tuesday: 10km run at 6am ish

Wednesday: 30 minute rowing followed by 45 minute spin class in evening

Thursday: 12km run at 6am ish

Saturday: 35km run at 7.30am

Till next week, onwards and upwards!

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Week Twelve – London Marathon Training

This week our fundraising group raised an incredible £10,293.11 for Cardiac Risk in the Young!

We had over 400 guests at the stunning Grand Station in Wolverhampton. The four course dinner was kindly supplied by Jolly Catering and the Mayor even presented our volunteers with their awards. It was a special evening and I’m so proud of all our volunteers and guests.

We had a grand old time! But it did put a hold on my training which is so not good. Also, the day after I came down with sinus congestion, sickness and headaches. Mixed with fatigue and general exhaustion my mind and body were just not up to well, anything! It’s frustrating as I’m still not 100% and I’ve not ran in two weeks.
But, I did learn your body can overrule any training plan and it’s important to love and repeat the whispers. Here’s hoping to a better next week!

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Meet The Experts – London Marathon Training

I was fortunate to attend the ‘Meet The Experts’ event in London a few weeks ago where I learned loads of amazing facts to support my marathon training and I ended up with loads of LDN marathon merchandise (which I spent a small fortune on but I justified each item!)

After some serious train issues (I basically caught the wrong one!) I only ended up catching the afternoon which I was gutted about but I still took away loads of information.

Guest Speaker Sam Murphy:

If you have a break due to injury or illness, don’t play catch up. Just start where you left off

Schedule rest days. Don’t leave it up to chance. This will give your body time to rest and recover which will allow it to get stronger.

Strength training is a must as it will help your body get stronger and withstand extra stress.

Minimise injury by running on a variety of terrain.

Run with a good posture. Imagine a helium balloon over your head! Keep shoulder straight, hands relaxed and be light and quick on your feet.

The warm up is super important. (Oh man. I never do this!) it lubricates joints and gets the heart pumping.

Nutrition by Anita Bean

Hydration. Prevents dehydration. Won’t get headache or fatigue. Dehydration can cause stress on heart and lungs – makes them work harder. Throughout the day – drink 1.5l of water. Little and often a day. 500ml – 4hrs before you run.

What to do after the training. Rehydrate. Refuel carbs and protein (3:1) within 2 hour recovery window if twice a day. Rebuild. 20g of protein. What to have? 20h protein. 500ml of milk. Chocolate milk. Milk and banana. 50g of nuts and 250g yoghurt.

Pre run meal 2-4 hours before. Increases endurance. Delays fatigue. Make it a carb and protein one. Rice and chicken. Or pre run snack 30-60 min before hand. Porridge. Banana. If you do a pre breakfast run keep it sub 1hour.

Match energy intake and output. Inadequate energy will result in muscle loss, fatigue and poor performance. The longer and harder you train the more carbs you need to fuel muscles. 5-7g per kg of your body weight a day. That’s if you train for one/two hours a day. What does that look like? Low carbs will mean low glycogen and slow recovery with early fatigue. Eat 72g-108g of protein a day. After training to recover. Drink more water. A lot more.

Race day prep. Taper training. Increase carbs (7-10g) for final three days. Plain food. Keep well hydrated. Cut down on high fats. Don’t try anything new.

RACE DAY! Wake up three or four hrs before hand. Drink 500ml water 4h before. Eat high carb breakfast. Porridge with milk and bananas. Toast milk and yoghurt. Eggs on toast. One hour before have a banana. Eat proton and carbs. Sustainable energy. Make a home made oat bar.

During the race. Stick with what you’ve trained with. After an hour have 30-60g carb. Jelly babies. Drink to your thirst.

After the race. Rehydrate little and often. Refuel. Rebuild.

I am yet to put most these tips into practise. However the hydration, warming up and refuel tips were the most beneficial!

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Week Eleven – London Marathon Training

It has been a busy, busy week! We are hosting a fundraising event for cardiac risk in the young on Friday for 450+ guests.

So training has been a challenge whilst getting raffle gifts, tickets and auctions together. As well as organise seating arrangements and table settings! But the money we raise will go towards testing hearts for defects so it’ll all be worth it.

I’m so happy I managed to run 15 miles! A little slower than my intended marathon pace but at least it’s done.

I learned from my 12 mile run two weeks ago and bought a seamless running bra (bye bye chafing!), a smaller water bottle which has an easy to hold handle and instead of running around the same old block, I did a tour of the city which I filmed to make the run slightly more fun.

My thighs were seriously sore the next day though.

I also learned why you should avoid alcohol whilst training over the weekend when we went to see the UFC.

My husband thought tequila would be a great idea (not for someone who hasn’t drank since last September)! It seriously destroyed me and wrote two days of my training plan off. But it highlighted how toxic alcohol actually is for the body!

Sticking to my water for hydration going forward.

Another 15 miles planned for next week! Bring it.

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Week Ten – 60 Days To Go To London Marathon

60 days until the London marathon and I am a little freaked out!
My training plan didn’t consist of too many long runs this week (8 miles being the longest) which was good as our main focus was swimming!

The CRYWolves team got together and hosted an incredible Swimathon. We raised £1200 for cardiac risk in the young and swam 850 metres in memory of my husbands late brother Dips. Not only was it an emotional event but it also showed me how incredible the work we do is.

If we can stop another family from losing a loved one then all the aches, pains, stitches and blisters are totally worth it.

Moreover, I had my first deep tissue massage which was sensational and stopped me from walking around like an old lady.


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