I am rapidly approaching the half way point on my first Marathon training journey, and will soon be into race season. I have a 10k in two weeks and a Half Marathon 4 weeks after that. Those will be increasingly at the front of mind as I bash out the miles dictated by the Brighton plan. Week 8 has been a good week, with all runs and training sessions completed per the spec without incident. Spectrum is Green, as Captain Scarlet might have said.

wk8 training

Here is how the week shaped up, with some pictures from the trails.

Monday – Rest day, much needed after the long run the previous day.

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Tuesday – Planned 6x800s duly executed at the required 5-10k pace. After last week’s treadmill disaster I decided to do these outside. It was a cold crisp evening but so much more enjoyable than in the gym. I nailed these intervals, bang on required pace for all six intervals. I do my 800s on a section of the Thames towpath that is exactly 800m long, makes it nice and easy, I don’t need to be glued to the watch to spot distances. I really enjoyed these intervals, inasmuch as one can. Later I popped to the gym for a quick leg and core session.

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Wednesday – 8km on the plan, an equivalent 47 minutes on the cross-trainer. Dull, but easier on my weary legs.

Thursday – 11.2 on the plan, 11.2km run. A lunchtime loosener along the Thames at Richmond. In a radical change to the usual programming, we ran in the opposite direction along the river, towards Teddington lock. The surface is a little better than the other direction and anyhow, a new route always makes a nice change. I hit the gym later for the obligatory gym and core sesh.

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Friday – 11.2km on the plan, 11.2km run. I’m back! This is the first Friday run outdoors for a good few months, fully restored to the weekly schedule after a couple of weeks easing it in during gym sessions. It was nice to be outdoors, and I got to try out my new head torch again. I remain impressed by its brightness.

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Saturday – 6.4km on the plan, equivalent 37 minutes on the cross-trainer, followed by the usual strength sesh. I’m beginning to think I need to mix that up a bit, throw in some compound moves, I’m getting a bit bored with the machines.

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Sunday – 14.4km on the pan, 15km run. I had big plans for this run, intending to run west along the Ridgeway from Mongewell to Nuffield, picking up the Chiltern Way to head back east and eventually rejoin the Ridgeway for the last few km back to the car.

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All went according to plan until I lost the path around Nuffield. I ended up on a lesser path which didn’t meet the Chiltern Way. I decided to cut my losses at roughly half distance and just retrace my steps. I enjoyed running this section of the path for the first time, running parallel to Grim’s Ditch, a landscape feature the origin of which is unclear. The path is undulating and there are a lot of tree roots to navigate – I’m pleased to have negotiated it twice and avoided ankle injury. I tried out my new trail shoes, Inov8 Trailtalon 290s. They were very comfortable and in all but the muddiest sections coped well with the terrain. They might be my forever shoes for trail running, we’ll see.

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Thinking ahead to the longer runs I need to do over the next few months, I reckon I can incorporate this section into a bigger trail loop, or possibly just run from Nuffield home using the Ridgeway and the Thames Path, roughly 40k in total.

I feel like I’m pretty on track, although the hamstring tendinopathy is still an ever-present limiting factor. I can run with it, but running fast gives me grief for a couple of days. I have a stretching regime from the physio and the foam roller and lacrosse ball help too. It could be several months before it is sorted, strengthening the surrounding muscles will be key, yet more gym work for me.

wk8 chart

How was your training week?

I’ll be back next week for another update.