Running the London Marathon 2016: January update

As you may have read in my previous post I’m hoping to run the London marathon in April 2016. The good news is that I’ve survived my first full month of training; read on to find out how I’m getting on.

Marathon training

The first month has been relatively easy, primarily because I’m running distances I’m already comfortable with. The hardest part is fitting the runs into the week and I know this is going to get much more difficult over the next two months.

My London marathon training plan consists of 4 runs per week. During the week I run in the early evening, which generally means I’m running around the streets during rush hour. I’m not convinced that breathing in fumes from cars spewing out exhaust fumes is healthier than not running. But I haven’t got the motivation to get up and go for an early morning jog.

My Saturday morning running route
My Saturday morning running route

At the weekend I manage to get out during daylight and run beside quiet roads and on footpaths. I ran 10 miles on Saturday and although the route was a tad muddy in places it was lovely to breathe fresh air and hear birdsong.

New kit

Thanks to Christmas and my birthday I have some shiny new gear. Most importantly, a pair of trainers; the most expensive I’ve ever owned. I had my gait analysed on a treadmill at a local running shop and this indicated I needed extra support. After trying on most of the shop’s stock I finally chose a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 trainers which were comfy the minute I put them on. Sadly, courtesy of the winter weather, they don’t look very new any more.

My 'new' Mizuno trainers
My ‘new’ Mizuno trainers

Trainers aside, I received a foam roller and running clothes too. I quite enjoy rolling back and forth on the roller. Primarily as it seems easier than doing all the strength exercises I’m supposed to be doing.

I’m also considering buying a Garmin GPS watch. I never thought I’d need one (and realistically I don’t) but my old iPhone has questionable battery life and no sound. The app I use on it also suggested I was running 7 minute miles; great if this was true but it seems to be missing a couple of minutes somewhere!

Nutrition and health

I’m attempting to eat healthier. Not cutting down on food but, with the exception of chocolate, trying to eat more nutrient rich options. So instead of crisps and biscuits I’m eating almonds and tubs of addictive Munchy Seeds. I’ve started taking a multi-vitamin with iron tablet. I think my diet is pretty healthy but I’ve had low iron levels in the past and as I’m also vegetarian and significantly increasing my running mileage I thought it best to pre-empt any problems.

Being of a certain age I was also able to take advantage of the NHS Health Check offered to people aged 40+. The test checks blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol levels and general lifestyle factors to give you a risk factor of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. Mine came out at 0.8% which is obviously good news for the marathon run. I’m just hoping my creaky legs last long enough!

Into February

The marathon training steps up a gear this month. The runs are getting longer and I’m also supposed to be speeding up some of the shorter workouts. I’m looking forward to the nights getting longer and the opportunity that gives me to run away from the main road routes.

Are you training for any events this year? How’s it going?

25 thoughts on “Running the London Marathon 2016: January update”

  1. I really admire you for going for this – I am, well lets face it, lazy and could never imagine running 10 miles and be comfortable with it! Good luck with the rest of the training!

    1. I never used to run and couldn’t imagine running a mile a few years back! It’s taken a couple of years to get to this stage but you really do get used to it.

  2. Hi Christine, it’s not long now, but you sound as if you are doing just fine. I have The Grid roller and swear by it for my calf muscles and my back (I love the clicking my spine makes on it).

    Treat yourself to a Garmin, we did we got the 401CX, they are old now, but I still use mine and it acts as a great motivation tool. Ours have virtual running partners (which I have been known to fall out with), but I do like the training menu. At the moment I am still walk running after twisting my ankle before Christmas, I’ve realised things don’t heal as quick anymore, and I can set walk/run intervals on the watch.

    Seeds and nuts are so moreish, and the good thing is you don’t have to be too careful of how much you eat at the moment.

    I hope February is a good training month and the weather isn’t too bad for you!


    1. I do hope the ankle continues to heal Debbie, I can imagine how frustrating it must be. I haven’t tried the roller on my back as I have a tendency to back and neck problems – it might be brilliant for this but I’m a bit nervous about making it worse. Maybe I’ll try after the marathon when it doesn’t matter so much,

      1. It’s better to play it safe this side of the marathon for sure. I don’t do the whole of my back. I tend to do the top half mainly as that’s where I feel strain.

  3. Well done you! Hard to be motivated at this time of year when it’s so cold and dark.
    A GPS watch sounds like a great idea – you can never have enough gadgets! 😉

  4. Well done you & good luck! I used to run a lot & I would do 10-15 miles regularly, but I don’t think I could do a marathon – I’m impressed! #PoCoLo

    1. I’m sure that if you could run 15 miles you could run 26 too – I’m hoping that’s the case for me anyway!

  5. It sounds like you are doing brilliant with your training. I am rubbish at training and normally pile things into the last week’s! Which is why I’ve never applied for the marathon haha! I’ve done other stuff though, 10k’s and long walks and even with them the training is so important! Well done and keep it up 🙂 #SundayStars

    1. Thanks Lisa. My other half and I took part in the Ridgeway 40 (40 mile walk) a couple of times. We trained for it the first time with a few long walks but were rather blase about it the second time and didn’t prepare well at all. Let’s just say that our legs rebelled, big time!

  6. I so admire your motivation especially during the winter months as I just want to be at home wrapped up in front of the fire! Glad to read you are not giving up chocolate:) #SundayStars

    1. I ran a half marathon about 4 years ago and said ‘never again’ at the end. Not quite sure how I talked myself into a full marathon!

  7. Blimey. Good luck! My wife went from being a non-runner to running London several years back (pre-kids). She’s no Paula Radcliffe but I was so proud of her for the effort she put in – she would go out for long runs on icy Sunday mornings while I curled up in bed …

    1. Thank you 🙂 Still going OK but getting into uncharted long run territory now so will have to see how my legs hold up.

  8. It sounds like you’re doing really well, good for you! I cannot imagine doing a marathon, at the moment I’d have a hard time running to the end of the road! I need to shed some weight before I start running again, but I’m working on it. 🙂
    Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo, hope to see you again this week. x

  9. Good luck with the training – I think the hardest part (apart from the distances and actually doing it) is to fit it in around everything else! Not that I think it’s something I could ever do, although I do get inspired each year and then promptly remind myself of the winter months that’d need the training. Total admiration for everyone that does it though – thanks so much for linking up to #pocolo and I look forward to following your progress

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