I've started so I'll finish (I hope)
This week, the Brighton Marathon weekend in September was cancelled, albeit with a mixed message from the organisers. Anyway, that probably means I’ll be deferring my place until the April 2021 event. And another marathon training plan for me comes and goes without the event taking place.
A training plan is between 12 and 16 weeks. It’s normally a mixture of different types of run but the long slow run on a Sunday is a core element. Those Sunday runs build up gradually to about 20 miles a few weeks before a marathon.
I’ve started four marathon training plans now (three via Strava and one from an online coaching group) but not started a race. How has that come about?
Here’s my marathon training plan history…
How difficult can it be?
I started the first two plans to see what was involved - without having a race to aim for. And I gave up on those about half way through the 12 week period of each plan. I reached 14 miles on the second of those plans, and I was pretty pleased with that.
I’ve entered a race, I’d better take it seriously
I entered the April 2020 Brighton Marathon event and started training for that in December 2019. I reached 18 miles and 3 hours on my longest run in that plan in March 2020. Then, the race was postponed until September because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I start training for the September event in June. That September event is not going ahead now but I’ve reached 15 miles or about 2.5 hours running on the Sunday runs. It’s been going well although I think I’m a tad short on miles.
It’s all great experience
I’m disappointed that the Brighton Marathon weekend in September is not going ahead. However, it’s not really a surprise that the event isn’t taking place and I’m philosophical about it.
The race organisers are planning an alternative event in the autumn but I don’t know what they mean by “a unique and revised format this autumn”. Whatever it is, I think I will defer my place to April 2021.
What I do know is that I have a lot more experience and miles in my legs now having started different training plans. I pace my runs better. I know better how I react to the longer distances. And I’m better with nutrition and hydration during the longer runs.
I have a lot more experience and miles in my legs
I’ve met new people on many of the longer Sunday runs. That has been great.
And, I have received some great advice from friends and local running buddies. Thank you.
With my latest training plan, I will probably dial back the longer runs now that the September event is cancelled although I will be continuing with weekly long runs, just not quite as far. I hope to maintain 10-13 miles for the long Sunday runs.
And then, start a new training plan in January!
So, for everyone with a running event cancelled, it’s not all bad. You’re fitter now than before you started. You’ve put yourself through tough runs and found out more about yourself. You have more experience. Use these things to smash it when your race does take part!