Must. Do.Better.

I’m slipping into bad habits again. Missing runs, making excuses… back to half-arseing my training. This is exactly what that article warned against. I read a tweet the other day from someone described as a world champion “I don’t do crazy workouts or crazy mileage. I just don’t miss days. consistency is my biggest weapon. I’ll break any athlete down with just how consistent I’m going to be training wise and just getting the work done.”

I was also talking to someone on twitter, a younger runner who just took 11 minutes of his half marathon time since last year to get a 1.24. I asked him what plan he was using, it’s the Advanced Marathoning one. I tried that for about a year solid, and after great initial gains only improved by a minute over 10 months. He said he regularly runs 60- 70 miles a week, even when not on the plan, and has clocked a 1.21 half (the first time he went sub 3).

OK, he’s younger,and presumably doesn’t do long shifts, but the secret is to just keep turning up. While I’m in this quiet period at work I must commit to training.

I’ve started to turn my attitude around. I was getting to the point where I was thinking of quitting again, or just doing occasional fun runs without a plan, to try and get back to enjoying my running. I’ve forced myself out the last two days. The more I do the more I want to do. The test is tomorrow. I have a 09.00 – 18.50 shift. I should get finished earlier than that, but the point is I am a morning run person. I get up and put my running kit on, or else I might not run at all. After work I’m hungry and tired and just want to sit down. I can hardly ever be bothered to run. But I’m doing it tomorrow. And every day. Consistency. Talk is cheap, but I must do it. Every run is a success. The fact that I’m thinking this and writing it is a great sign. I’ve been very negative, looking for reasons why I couldn’t run. My watch still believes in me. It predicts a 3.05 marathon. I’ve beaten it on it’s predictions for 5K and half marathon. If I could match it for the marathon I’d be a huge step closer to sub 3.

I mentioned the Advanced Marathoning not working for me after initial gains. After that runner said he was using it went back and looked at it again. You have to work out, based on your fastest times at 5k and Half, the speed you are going to run at for several instructions from the plan. For instance when given the instruction ‘Long Run’, it should be your target pace plus 10- 20%. So 6.50 m/m (sub 3 pace) means Long Runs should be run at 7.30 -8.10. (I’ve read people saying do most of it at the slower end then speed up for the last few miles.)

I looked at the times I’d set myself for the 10 months after the big initial gains. For the Long Run I had 6.50 – 7.20. All the other categories of run for the plan were equally bogus. Those were a second set of figures, the original set were as the plan stated. I think after the first marathon, where I made up 13 minutes on my previous PB, I must have thought “well, if going hard got me halfway there, going flat out will get the other half.” I spent 10 months killing myself, giving my body no time to recover and rebuild stronger, and gained a minute. Same old story. Idiot.

I’ve looked again at the Advanced plan and I like what I see. It’s much more my kind of thing. Varied distances, varied challenges, and Marathon Specific runs where you do, for instance, 16 miles with 12 of them at target marathon pace. That is exactly what I want. Training myself at the level I need to be. And giving myself the confidence that I can do it. It’s a bit of a gamble, with 7 weeks to go, whether it’s more beneficial to stick to Camille’s plan or jump ship, but what the hell? I’m jumping. Just decided that as I was typing. Live action blogging, right here.

A possible fly in the ointment is I’ve been getting stabbing groin pains. I’ve laid off the rowing machine but I’ve got a bunch more of them tonight. I’ve got a “doctor’s appointment” on Sunday. Turns out it’s with a ‘clinician’,who I expect is some spotty teenager thrashing doctor google. So that’s nice. (Thanks Brexiteers. It’s not like Trump explicitly stated the NHS was on the table for US privatisation if we voted to leave the EU. Oh wait…)

Anyway, I hope it’s nothing, but it’s possible it could ruin my training.

On the bright side, as I’m a codger now they said I should test for prostate cancer. I took a blood test and it’s come back clear. No news, when it comes to cancer, is bloody good news.

The other thing that’s going surprisingly well is the German. I really struggled with Russian, and Spanish was a grind, but, so far the German seems pretty straight forward. There certain rules I don’t understand, but mostly I can sort of see how to do it because it looks right. A lot of my English grammar is like that, so I’m not letting that put me off.

Right, bed.