Anna, Jessica, and Veronica from the LDN Brunch Club share their updates on Virgin Money London Marathon training, around work and travel commitments.
My favourite thing about training over the past month has also been the thing that’s challenged me – trying to fit in runs around travel. Fortunately, one of my favourite things to do when I go abroad is to run and explore. So, as I headed off for both a weekend in Paris and a ski trip to the Austrian mountains, the first thing I packed in my case was my running shoes.
In Paris, I set my alarm for an early Sunday morning start so I could get a 12km run in before a day of sightseeing with friends. Running down the Seine, past the Eiffel Tower and Louvre, I actually felt like I’d been on my very own run-tour of the sights – and all before breakfast!
Up in the mountains, things were a little more challenging, with snow under foot, some killer hills and altitude to contend with; but it made me dig deep and get the run done… which is always good training for the Marathon.
Next on the travel agenda is a weekend in Valencia for the Valencia Half Marathon. I’m keen to put my training to the test and remind myself what it’s like to be in a race environment. Pre-race prep, start line nerves and race pacing are all important to practice before the London Marathon itself.
The past month has been the hardest part of training for me. Work has been really busy and demanded a lot of time which meant missing out on group runs and having to run in the dark and cold, mainly alone and feeling tired from the long days. I think the biggest challenge so far was week 9 on my training plan as I had a three-day trip to Paris where the temperature was -7 degrees. Then, on my return to London, it had snowed! So running took a back seat for nearly a whole week until the Big Half.
The Big Half was a great chance to do a race as my Sunday long run and the first race of the year for me too – which really made me excited for the marathon! The sun was shining and I enjoyed the majority of the run, plus I finished with a new PB and got to see lots of friendly faces on the way!!
When I started my London Marathon training plan, I was always thinking about hitting a sub 4-hour target but now I’m focussing less on a finishing time and more on enjoying the day, running for a great charity and finishing with no injuries.
I currently have no injuries that are stopping me from training but the strain on my body is definitely starting to show and instead of feeling stronger as the weeks go on, I feel full of aches and pains and have the occasional niggle in one ankle. I’m trying to incorporate a few minutes of proper stretching and foam rolling every day and hope that when I taper down in the next few weeks my body will be back on top form.
I have my longest run next Sunday which is 20 miles so I’m going to get up early, prep with a good breakfast and make sure I’m stocked up on gels (which I forgot to do before my 19 mile run – and definitely felt it!). All in all, I’m really happy that I’ve managed to generally stick to my plan, fit in the long runs and face the weather challenges but I’m definitely looking forward to running in the lighter spring evenings. I’m also looking forward to some fun fundraising events I have coming up for that final push in the last 5 weeks!
Marathon training recently has been really difficult to fit in around a busy schedule. With long hours at work making time to run super limited. So when I’ve had the chance, I’ve been fitting in runs but I also did a HIIT and yoga session with LDN Brunch Club which was great to be able to change up the training and enjoy a class with friends.
I know this can be the same for a lot of people as the weeks go on and the distances get longer, so I’m learning that although training doesn’t always go to plan and fit in around life, the important thing is to be as prepared as you can be and then, just enjoy the day!
With several weeks to go, I’m hoping I can find some time to get in a few longer runs, whilst also remembering not to over do it and add too much distance or I know I’ll likely get injured.
My motivation for Marathon day itself is to try and have fun with my other LDN Brunch Club friends who are running, and make sure I take in every moment of the cheer squad I know will be waiting with plenty of support, cheers and streamers to get me around the course.