There was no resting on laurels yesterday. In fact, there was no real resting full stop. After coming back from a hugely rewarding half on Saturday I had lunch and then spent three hours out on a landscaping job! I guess moving kerb, sleepers and barrowing gravel is a warm-down of sorts.
Yesterday I was out again with Tom, who’s own half-marathon of 1 hr 21+ was both a ridiculously fantastic time and also the fruit of many months of disciplined running and a tough training schedule that he has steadfastly kept to. We were doing both a recovery run and a top of miles, that would bring my weekly miles just past last week to have me well placed for what will probably be my longest seven days of training this week.
During our run we spoke about trainers and training plans.
A lot of people for the marathon will be running to a training plan – either one they’ve found on the interweb or one that their club is rolling out during weekly training sessions. Add in some discussions amongst fellow friends and they have a general idea as to what they need to be doing in the months leading up to the marathon. And for most people this remains pretty similar – a fast run and a slow short run during the week and a long slow run at the weekend that increases in distance.
However, for some people a trainer who comes up with a plan is something that is proving increasingly worthwhile. This is for a number of reasons:
· The trainer will look at your personal bests for your 5k, 10k and half-marathon – if you’ve already done one - and will draw up a training plan based on what you hope to achieve and what you can expect to.
· They are specialists not just on what you have to run but what you have to do to recover, something that is just as important.
· They are great for adding variety in to your runs.
· Their littles texts and messages of support before and after runs can give you much needed encouragement on those wet and windy days when the legs are tired and the couch looks comfortable or when a run just doesn’t go to plan.
· And they can be a great inspiration to stick to the plan because, just like your old History teacher in school you really admired and didn’t want to let down, you don’t really want to tell them that you didn’t get your homework done because the dog ate your runners.
This year I’m ‘trainer-less’. I did have one prior to the Dublin marathon two years ago who served me really well and helped me run PB’s in 5k, 10k and half marathon distances. I was actually going to get in touch with one until the injury arose and I decided to spend my time invested in recovery and not in dreaming of the what ifs.
Maybe next time around, if we need to go next time around.
A 16k slow (very slow) recovery run.