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Is it cold? Is it dark? Yes? Let’s train for a marathon!

3 January 2018

CarinSleet

Marathon training in England in January is the worst.

It is dark from 4pm to 8am. It is cold. It is windy. Trails are muddy. Pavements icy. If you are really lucky you will catch some horizontal sleet in the face and feel like your scalp has been frozen and ripped off the back of your head like a bad wig.

Your running routes, which in the light are many and varied and fragrant and fascinating, winding through Nene Park and along cycle ways, over Castor hill and along the River Nene, have reduced to one: up and down the Oundle Road.

When the weather is like this, I recommend training for a marathon to really maximise that time outside. I would also recommend London, so that 16 weeks of training start exactly on 1 January 2018. And, if I were you, I would pick a training plan that aims for maximum mileage – none of this Run less, Run faster nonsense.

6 runs a week is what you need! What do you mean you don’t have time to do that because you have a full-time job in London and a 4 year old? Does your alarm not go off at 5am?

Once you’ve booked your place and written your training plan, erase it and start again because you need to fit it around the 5 cross-country races you said you’d run for Yaxley Runners on Sundays. Also, volunteering at junior parkrun. Also, all of your 4 year old’s friends’ birthday parties. Oh, and apparently your husband might occasionally want to leave the house. Some people are so selfish.

Now that your plan is written, the hard work is over. You really should think about fuel, though. This year, why not have an approach to nutrition which is not just ‘eat more chocolate and crisps’? And while you’re pondering that, maybe have a think about buying new trainers now rather than wearing all your existing ones down to thin rubber husks and buying 4 new pairs that don’t quite fit you 3 weeks before the race?

You are now sorted. Wait, I forgot, what about positive mental attitude? Repeat after me:

“Marathon training in England in January is the best!”

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