Tag Archives: marcothon

December Streaking

2018 has not started with a bang as I’ve been struck down with a horrible cold- I was tucked up in bed by 8pm on NYE and recovering most of NYD. Bit of a sad way to end the festive period, but I’ve had a great December- I love the festive season, and have spent a few weeks in Wales with family and it’s been so nice and chilled.

IMG_1173

December is the time for my annual festive run streak. This was my fourth year of advent running and 5th Marcothon where I attempted to run at least 5k everyday and I am happy to report that I completed my goal. I always find it a really good way to get back base running fitness and head into the new year feeling fit and ready to hit training in a good place.

IMG_1234

Dec 1st-10th: I eased into the run streak with lots of runs around the 5k marker, to get my body used to daily running again. I did a long run over the weekend including a parkrun and I was so late for the start that everyone was running into the distance as I arrived at Southwark park, still it made for a fun run trying to chase people down throughout the run. I also had to do my only treadmill run of the challenge as it was way too icy/snowy to run outside. Most of December has just been very wet especially it Wales so it hasn’t been too challenging to get the runs in.

IMG_1357

Dec 11th-17th: I upped the mileage across this week as I started my “official” training program for 2018 races. I started to add back in speed sessions and hill sessions which I haven’t done in ages, I am loosely following Hanson’s marathon method again and adapting it a little for longer distance goals. I haven’t run hills in about 8 months so I was a little rusty! I ended up being on time for parkrun this weekend but didn’t realise it was cancelled until I got there- I jogged round it anyway and then home for another 10 miles in the bag to round out this week.

IMG_1423

Dec 18th-24th: I continued with the higher mileage and sessions in the pre-Christmas week. I was back in Wales so enjoyed running somewhere different and got in a pre-Christmas parkrun during my long run this week. I feel like so many runs were in the rain during my time in Wales, it was very very soggy.

IMG_1501

Dec 25th-31st: There was a brilliant turn out for festive parkrun in Cardiff with over 600 people there on Christmas morning, it’s always such a great way to kick off the festive season. More speed sessions and a killer hill session filled this week and I ended it with a long back to back session with a 15 miler including Cardiff parkrun, this was my longest run for over 3 months since the marathon. The streak ended with a heavy legged 10 miler the day after (New Years Eve) and then I fell sick that evening so the streak ended heading into 2018 but it was good while it lasted. I feel in a really good running place and looking forward to what 2018 will bring.

December 2017: 182 Miles in 31 days, 12 gym sessions and 2 yoga classes.

December Streaking

It’s that time of year again, and I am once again streaking- not that kind of streaking although it has been unseasonably warm!-run streaking that is. I am currently making my way through my second year of Advent Running, and my third round of the Marcothon.

image1

Advent Running encourages 25 mins of activity per day for 25 days of Advent, and Marcothon 30 mins/5k each day for all of December. I’ve found in the past it’s a great way to kickstart training, and nothing improves my fitness and running quicker than a streak. As the first week of December was the first week of my “training plan” for next year- it’s not really a plan, more of a I have this number of weeks until an event, and I’m going to up my mileage!- it was an ideal time to really get into my training, get back into some decent weekly mileage and try and find my endurance legs again! So the goal is at least 5k a day for 31 days- so far, so good.

image4

I’ve been easing into it, but have put together a couple of 30+ mile weeks so far, which I’m pleased with. I’ve been fitting in running wherever I can, running to and from places to up the mileage, and focusing on doing some quality sessions too, like some Greenwich Park hills and even a threshold session and the odd parkrun- I can confirm that Hilly Fields has a devil of a hill!

It can be a busy time of year, so I have had to fit runs in as and when I can- yes even at 5am some days! At least it’s mild, and fairly dry- I’ve been out in shorts and vest for most of the month, which seems a bit mental!

image5

I’ve cut my gym sessions right back now running is once again taking priority, I managed 3 sessions last week, and that was enough alongside all the mileage. I’m hoping the strength work I’ve put in over the past few months will stand me in good stead for the long training months ahead, although I know I need to focus on more yoga, and at least warming up and cooling down- which I’ve done about once this month!

image2

I’ve been out at all hours exploring, and I have to say though sometimes I struggle with this city, I’ve fallen a little bit in love with it all over again.

image3

It’s halfway through December, and I managed my first double digit run since July on the weekend, so I’m pleased with my progress and really loving the way it has made me get out there and enjoy my running again. I’ll probably drop my mileage a little this week as I’ve had three bigger weeks, and then have a big week come Christmas- looking forward to cramming in a few Cardiff parkruns over the festive season too!

Keep streaking.

 

Why am I Streaking?

I’m streaking. Run streaking that is. I’m 3 weeks-or 21 days-into my current run streak, which when I say it seems a lot, but it’s gone very quickly! My previous longest streak was when I did the Marcothon way back in 2011, running at least a 5k everyday during December. I am doing the Marcothon/Advent Running challenge again this year, but I started my streaking a little early, and quite unintentionally.

IMG_3807I had run a few days in a row, and thought why not carry it on for the next few days before the Advent running challenge kicked off. A few of the early runs were just 1 or 2 miles to get my legs used to daily running, but I’ve solidly been doing 5k plus since the beginning of December and the body has been holding up well! Last week was a 30 mile week, which other than the Berlin marathon week  I hadn’t hit since the ultra in May, which seems insane, but injuries really took their toll all summer.

I think it’s been in my head for a while to start a streak, and with no training plan or immediate race on the horizon, it seemed like a good direction to take my running in. I’ve really been getting into Matt Frazier’s  No Meat Athlete podcasts lately, and there has previously been a lot of talk about run streaks, as well as goal setting. I’ve found with the daily running, as Matt had suggested, it’s just about building a habit, the more you do something, the more ingrained it becomes, so there’s never been any “I don’t really fancy it today” moments, I don’t even think about, I just get up and I’m excited to get out the door and run.

IMG_3834I’m not really training for anything in particular, other than trying to get some base fitness back up for a possible spring marathon, so I guess it was as good a time as any to start this. I’ve found especially with the dark cold days, that it’s been a good reason to get out the door and get some fresh air, when I probably would have had an extra hour in bed, or gone home and sat on the sofa instead.

I don’t really see it as a challenge as such, just something I enjoy doing, and while that continues then I will continue to go with it. Most of the time I run first thing in the morning, sometimes before the world wakes, sometimes back before the sun has begun to rise and I just find it to be a really peaceful (even in London!), reflective time, and it starts my day off on the right foot. There is also something quite empowering about deciding to do something and actually following it through.

IMG_3803I feel so much more productive, have better clarity of thought, my mood is better, it just generally helps on a whole other level of things other than the obvious running is physically good for me. I haven’t set an end goal, so there is no pressure, I just get up and want to run, and it’s made me fall in love with running all over again.

Obviously I was a little wary about running so much, due to the injury problems this year and especially the ITB, but as long as it holds up I’ll carry on with the streaking!

Have you ever run streaked?

Marcothon Running Challenge complete

I have taken a bit of a blogging hiatus over the Christmas period, but I did complete my December running challenge. Here is the update from where I left off.

Day 17: 3.32 miles in 29.52. Interval run. This gave an overall pace of 8.59 min/mile which is my quickest ever training run. I have never dipped below the 9 min mark before, so I was really chuffed with this.

Day 18: 4.44 in 44.44. All the fours! Unintentional!

Day 19: 3.42 in 34.34. Pretty big gym session after this as well, started back strength training again after my set back week.

Day 20: 4.02 in 41.54

Day 21: 5.39 in 55.30. Gradually increasing the mileage again. Did some yoga after this. I had been lacking on the yoga front, and my hips were getting increasingly tight.

Day 22: 3.42 in 34.26. Strength training after this.

Day 23: 3.42 in 32.17. Picking the pace up a bit today

Day 24 Christmas Eve! : 4.25 in 40.59, nice quick one before the festive period followed by some gym work.

Day 25 Christmas Day: 7.97 in 1.20.05. Really nice Christmas Day run with my brother. Trying out all my new gear!

Day 26 Boxing Day: 5.46 in 56.46. Slow run to the gym followed by some strength training and a run back

Day 27: 4.16 in 41.31. Nice quick paced jog.

Day 28: 3.4 in 32.32. Definitely finding my “slow and easy” pace is increasing, finding running under 10 min/miles comfortable now.Followed by a gym session.

Day 29: 7 miles in 1.16.10. Another long slow one. Followed by a yoga session for those tight hips.

Day 30 Nearly there! : 3.4 in 33.10

Day 31 New Years Eve: I wussed out and put in a treadmill run for my final December run: 5k in 35.10 including cool down and warm up walk.

Overall Total: 135 miles for the 31 days of December. My legs hate me, but I am delighted that I completed the challenge. To be honest it was made a lot easier due to the fact that we had such a mild winter. Running just became part of my daily routine, I even ran on New Years Day, not taking my first day off running until the 2nd January, which subsequently felt weird because it just became something that I did.

I have never ran anywhere close to the mileage that I achieved in December, in fact my closest mileage total on any month last year was 64 miles, so it was a massive jump but one that my body did adjust to eventually. I am now cutting my mileage down to around 25 miles over 4 runs a week, and am starting to plot some Spring races. Exciting!

 

 

Marcothon half way point

I am now 16 days through the Marcothon (challenge to run everyday in December). My body hates me right now! My run today was super tough and the cold weather didn’t help. I have really neglected yoga over the last week or so, and will be making more of an effort to fit some in over the next week.

I can’t believe I have made the half way point, but also that I still have 15 days to go!! Hopefully it will all be smooth from here on out. My achilles pain has subsided, I have random little aches and pains, but nothing bad enough for me to consider stopping. I was really concerned about my achilles last week, but it seems to have just cleared up.

Marcothon Week 2

Day 8: 4.04 miles in 45 minutes. I really didn’t want to do this run, wasn’t feeling it at all, so I just took it super slow, and easy. This was the day when my achilles was really playing up.

Day 9: 5.38 miles in 52.37. This was a really good run, if a little cold!

Day 10: 3.42 miles in 32.59. Solid run post gym, managed to avoid some bad weather so was pretty lucky to get a good run in. Went to the gym for just over an hour and did my final strength training work out before my set back week.

Day 11: 3.42 miles in 33.03. Did some intervals, which were not that fun after strength training yesterday! Sore legs!

Day 12: 5.96 miles in 1.01.50. Solid long run. Managed to get a full hour of running in and avoid the hail/rain/sleet which was a bonus.

Day 13: 5k on the dreadmill in 31 minutes. Constant hailstorms and thunder and lightning forced me inside for my second treadmill run of the challenge, I increasingly hate running on the treadmill, and will be quite happy to not have to use it for the rest of the challenge. Also did some core work in the gym and some light cardio.

Day 14: 3.42 miles in 33.50. Another day when I managed to avoid the hail and thunder storms and sneak in a quick run, I’ve been quite lucky to be honest. There was a massive rumble of thunder when I was about 100 metres from my house, so I sprinted home 😛

Day 15: 3.85 miles in 39.41. Steady jog before the gym. Stupidly the first thing I did when I got to the gym was HIIT on the stationary bike, my legs absolutely hated me after that! Also did some easy rowing, and a quick core session.

Day 16: 5.39 miles in 55.58. Long slow run today. Legs were not feeling good after a mile, but dragged myself round. Was hoping to do 6.5-7 miles, but it was just so cold that I cut in short. Positively Arctic out there today! I’m going to do some yoga this evening as I haven’t done any for 10 days…poor effort!

The weather is getting colder and taking a turn for the worse so I know the next 2 weeks are going to be hard, but I’m determined to finish this challenge!

16 day total: 65.16 miles! Not at all bad! I am going to aim for 120 miles total for the challenge, and my legs are going to hate me on January 1st!

Have you taken to the treadmill or are you braving the cold conditions?

How many miles do you run a week?

Will you still be running outdoors if we get snow?