As has become normal, I wasn’t training from scratch for this one, have completed a marathon in December (badly), there was a base of mileage in place.
I wanted to put some other health benefits in place alongside the obvious running mileage, so set some goals to lose some weight and to drink less booze.
On the weight front, I was up to just a tad over 12st 4lb, the heaviest I’d been for a while, and I could feel that I was carrying that when I was running.
I decided this time that with no trainer to hold me to account, I needed to do things a bit differently, so I bought myself a diary that would see me through to the challenge. A rough plan to mileage and long runs went in, from new year through to the event in early March. Then as each week arrived, I’d take those high level targets, look at family committments on the calendar, look at the weather forecast and put in detailed runs for the week.
Each week got marked in green and red pen, showing with runs where executed to plan, which missed, what other workouts had been done, were we still ‘dry’ since new year and what was the weigh in.
This worked very well and kept things on track.
The alcohol thing stuck for January, then when a few events came along, that soon waivered.
The weight quickly dropped down from 12st 4lb, and then levelled out at around 11st 9lb, which is where it sat up to the challenge.
What has partially derailed all these plans, was a spell in February where I felt like I’d caught Covid. I was howing some symptoms, so immediately isolated away from the family in the basement. It took a week before I finally confirmed I din’t have it, but by then I’d had a week living and working in the basement, eating too much and doing no running.
I’d say the training phase was generally successful. I’d hit my key long runs, built up again and done a couple of 20 milers. I had crammed my runs most weeks, so take breaks on Sunday, Monday, sometimes Tuesday, then squeezed 40 miles in from Wednesday to Saturday, helping simultate the daily gring the challenge would present.
Had a bit of a dress rehearsal a couple of weeks before, where I did 4 x 10 milers on successive days, using the 4 sets of kit I’d be using on the 7 marathons (I did wash them for the other 3 days!).
Training done – ready to roll!