Where has January gone?! Christmas seems a distant memory! Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s nice to be putting the wet, cold, dark days behind us, and edging closer to Spring- although to be fair, it has been such a mild winter.
Rather than post weekly training recaps, I thought I’d just do a monthly wrap up of all things running, food and health.
January has been a strong month for me running wise. I have built on my training foundation from the December runstreak, and upped the mileage and sessions this month, covering 171 miles in total. I stopped the runstreak on the 2nd Jan, and took some much needed rest days!
I’ve done 4 parkruns this month, a great start at pushing myself closer to 50 this year. I did 1 at Cardiff and 3 at Southwark, where I got a 1 second parkrun PB, and was just seconds away from my sub-24 goal- think I would have got it if my legs hadn’t had to thaw out for the first mile!
I’ve had some great sessions including a Swain’s Lane hill session (5 x up with Wmnrun crew), and I’ve been trying to add hills into my longer runs when I can. I’ve also been doing an interval or threshold session each week, and I can really feel the difference, as the sessions seem easier week on week-time to mix things up I think!
I’ve been increasing my long slow runs, currently up to 19 miles, which I did this morning and has really taking it out of me. I have been adding a gentle parkrun in the middle of some longer runs to break them up. I’ve also been incorporating back to back sessions, doing consecutive days of long running as I found this really helped during ultra training last year.
I stopped the Livefit program after phase 2 as it was too intense now my training is ramping up. I’ve gone back to using the NROLFW stage A workouts, which are short and sharp, I’m in and out of the gym in 30 mins, and I’m doing 2-3 a week. They focus on a lot of compound moves- think lunges, squats, deadlifts and step ups- and I’m really focusing on good form and upping my weights each session. I’m not feeling as strong as I was a few months back but this is more supplementary training to my running now, and ensuring I’m strong enough to run and stay injury free. I have done very little yoga, or foam rolling/stretching so to be honest I think I’ve been lucky to stay injury free and weights is a big part of that.
This month has mostly been spent eating a lot of comfort food- soups, curries, chillies. I’ve really not been into smoothies/salads for a while now, so I am aiming to bring those back in Feb. I’m also going to aim to reduce my reliance on snack bars and dried fruit, as it’s my go-to, and I could do with some more variety in there, although these 100% natural bars are so good- they get me through long lecture/clinic days on Mondays.
With training ramping up, I find some days I have little-no appetite and others I’m just absolutely ravenous, but I suppose it all balances out. I had a 24hr stomach bug last week which pretty much put me off food for a few days, so I’m just getting back to normal, and reincorporating veggies, beans, and other bits into my diet which I didn’t fancy at all post illness. I’ve been using my dehydrator a little bit, and have successfully dried fruit, veggies, chickpeas, and made kale chips which were amazing. I’m hoping to get a bit more experimental with it and make some raw crackers and other bits over the next few months.
Other than the sickness bug, I’ve felt generally well this month, I did have some digestive issues the week before the bug and I’m not sure if that was due to the bug, or running or something else. I really tend to forget how much of an influence long distance running tends to have on my immune system, GI system and endocrine system so I’m really looking to support my body over the next few months of training, with lots of nutrient rich whole foods and some specific supplements. I’ve been taking a few things to support balancing my hormones, and I will update on this in another post, but hopefully things are improving. I would like to get a little more sleep in Feb, as too often this month it’s been under 6 or 7 hours which when you are running 40+ miles a week isn’t enough, so on that note I’ve made some goals for February.
Prioritize sleep- get back into routine of bedtime at 10pm (difficult when you work til 9pm some days).
Yoga twice a week.
Meditate Daily (any amount).
Green Smoothie Every Day.
Incorporate more savoury snacks (all.of.the.hummus)