Our blog today is from three LDN Brunch Club runners who are running in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon. Anna and Veronica have each completed the Marathon once, whereas this is Jessica’s first Marathon.
So far, Marathon training has been a bit mixed. Weekend long runs with the LDN Brunch Club gang have made getting up on cold Sunday mornings (and swerving late Saturday nights out!) a lot more appealing. On the other hand, finding time to fit in midweek runs has been a challenge.
Even with the best will in the world, running solo on a cold, dark and rainy evening isn’t much fun. So I’ve tried to tie my training runs into my daily routine and make the routes as interesting as possible – commuting to work, running home from meeting friends or just planning a route that takes in some of the London sights for Marathon.
Running past Tower Bridge and through the City is great inspiration and gets me excited for the Marathon. Running over Tower Bridge and hearing the wall of noise from the spectators lining the sides is definitely the part that I’m most looking forward to on the course.
Marathon training officially kicked off about three weeks ago. It was a slow start since I was sick for the last two weeks, which put a damper on training. Now that I’m fully recovered, my training mileage has ramped up and it has been great to get in more runs during the week.
My favourite part of marathon training so far has been all the runs I’ve done with friends. In the past, I found it challenging to feel inspired to run in the cold, dark, and often rainy London winter. Solo long runs were especially tough – mentally and physically. Whereas, the miles seem to fly by while run-chatting with friends, especially at events like the Wednesday evening LDN Brunch Club X Holiday Inn run around Hyde Park. Sunday marked my first official marathon long run and I was initially anxious to tackle the 15 miles on my training plan. I ran the first 7 miles with LDN Brunch Club, which helped to get me motivated to tackle the remaining mileage. London has some great running routes and it was a great day to run along the river and through central London, finishing with a loop of Victoria Park, and ending at the Olympic Park. This weekend, I’m looking forward to running the Dorney Lake Winter Half Marathon with a classmate and a few work colleagues, for my 13-mile long run.
I’ve found marathon training really enjoyable, so far! There’s only been a handful of times that I didn’t actually feel like going out for a run, plus I always know once I get out there I’ll never regret it. I think the long runs have shocked me the most, in that I’ve been loving them which I didn’t expect to at all. The furthest I’d ever run was just over 13 miles and I’ve now completed up to 17 miles – which feels like a great accomplishment!
Since my first run with LDN Brunch Club, I’ve been motivated by every member. They’re always taking on new challenges and that encourages me to do the same. I love watching other people’s progress, especially my LDN Brunch Club gang!
The biggest motivation is knowing I’m running for such a worthy cause. I personally picked my charity because it supports a hugely important cause, mental health has affected a handful of the people that mean the most to me and I want to give back to Mind so they can keep on doing amazing things.
The only real challenge was my most recent long run and it was solely a mental challenge. As I mentioned, long runs have become my favourite part of training but I made the mistake of starting my 17 mile run at 3pm just before it started raining, hailing and dropping to sub zero temperatures – that was a tough one to get through!
My favourite part of training is the community of runners I’ve found on Instagram who are all so supportive and going through different journeys. It’s great to chat to new people and hear what they’re training for, how it’s going and seeing their progress. I’ve also been loving track sessions which are still pretty new to me but I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my running since joining.