Training Weekly: Chicago week 1/16

Time is a fickle beast, isn’t it? When you want it to go fast, it slows down, and when you want it to slow down, it speeds up. In the blink of an eye, 9 weeks have passed since the London marathon at the end of April, and the time has come to start the build up to what will hopefully be my first international race. The Chicago marathon. Eeeeek!

If you follow my instagram, you’ll know that I’ve spent much of the last 9 weeks out injured. Not ideal. But, in a stroke of luck, my body seems to have turned a corner just at the right time (Definitely a de ja vu to my previous two cycles!) So, having only been able to string together a maximum of 3 miles so far, I really have no idea how this week, and exponentially, this training cycle are going to pan out. But, with less pressure, I’m actually more excited to see how much I can get out of myself. Does that mean that I’ll be targeting that illusive, sub 3.30 Boston qualifying time? I honestly have no idea. My only aim at the moment is to run hard, healthy and happy and let my goals take care of themselves.

So, with all that said, we’d probably best get going.


3 mile ‘recovery run’ (3.16 miles in 27 mins 52. Average 8.49mm pace)

30 mins stretching

And, we’re off! 16 weeks starts here. To be honest, I’m not really sure that ‘recovery run’ is the best thing to call my Monday 3 miler. After 7 weeks of very little running, it’s actually my long run! Which is probably why it felt insanely hard. I think I just need to learn that my current easy pace, is not what it was 3 months ago. Doh!

Stretching after a long day tied to my desk at work felt good though.


5 miles including 4x800m repeats with 3 min jog recoveries (3.27/3.32/3.25/3.29)

1 hour body pump class

I had no idea how this session was going to pan out. Having not run further than 3 miles in the last 7 weeks, what could possibly go wrong when I decided to combine my longest run in months with the first speed session in just as long?? Thankfully, I somehow survived. It was super tough, and I have absolutely no idea how I used to hit 10x 800’s with half the recovery time, but at least it’s a starting point. And most importantly, I flipping LOVED it!

Then, I treated my legs to a body pump class….. with the lunge track from hell. Oh well, as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…… I hope.


4 miles easy (4.05 miles in 35 mins 29. Average 8.45mm pace)

My alarm went at 6am and I was out the door by 6.07. Pretty sure my legs slept through the first 2 miles as they just didn’t want to move. Still, I’m grateful for any pain free miles at the moment.


30 mins grit strength class

Here’s hoping 2 rounds of 2 minute burpee press ups make me a better runner, because frankly, I can’t think of any other valid reason to put myself through THAT!


4 miles with 2 at MP effort (7.35/8.04)

30 mins core work

In hindsight, setting out at midday in the 28 degree heat may not have been my smartest move. On the plus side though, people pay a fortune for hot weather training camps, so best quit my moaning and make the most of it. This run highlighted how much I REALLY need to work on my pacing. 7.35mm is not, and never will be, my marathon pace. The quickest way to detonation at mile 15 maybe, but not marathon pace. The second mile was only slower because of the humungous headwind. Consistent pacing is one of my number one goals for the next few weeks, so hopefully, it can only get better.

Core work is also something I’m trying to work hard on this cycle. Today started with a home session consisting of everything from bridging to side planks, whilst my mozzarella and pesto focaccia was baking in the oven!


6.68 miles including Bournemouth Parkrun in 25 mins 21. Average 8.09mm pace

Saturday is, hands down, my favourite day of the week, and what I missed most about not being able to run. I just love the routine of getting up, having a cup of tea in bed, then trotting the 1.5 miles to Parkrun. I didn’t think it could get any better, until I started stopping at M’s bakery on the way home to pick up an almond croissant for me, and a chocolate one for my husband. Saturday morning heaven, right there!

I’m actually fairly happy with my effort at Parkrun today. Even though it was a pacing event, I ran my own race. I started with an 8.19mm and then wound it up gradually for a respectable finish. I can’t wait to start running Parkrun a bit harder in a few weeks, and also to finally get some tourism in.


8.57 miles in 1:18:14 (Average 9.08mm pace)

Well, what a difference a week makes. Hot and hilly, but my longest run since London. And I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back in a routine. I celebrated by making a rhubarb and elderflower cake to take to Dan’s parents garden party. Run all of the miles, then eat all of the cake!

From where I was a week or so ago, I’m super happy with how this first week has gone. I’ve clocked 31.5 miles in total with some decent sessions mixed in. It all feels hard, and my fitness has definitely dropped, but that’s what the next 15 weeks are for. And now I’ve made a start, I’m excited to see what I can do.

So on that note, happy Sunday! Anyone else back on the marathon training bandwagon?

See you next week!


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