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Do I seem like I’m marathon training to you?

3 March 2020

img_6930Deciding to run a marathon is easy. Signing up to run a marathon is easy. Running a marathon… isn’t easy exactly, but at least it’s quick. The bit that really isn’t easy is every single day between signing up for a marathon and actually running it: the training.

The training is the hard bit. And training for a spring marathon is the hardest. It’s dark, it’s cold, I’ve been here before. This year feels harder though, and I’ve been trying to work out why. It’s not any darker and it’s a lot less cold in the UK this year. It is wetter and a whole lot windier, but it’s not the weather that’s the problem.

What is the problem, then? I am five weeks away from Peterborough marathon – my ninth – and I am still stuck knee deep in denial. I signed up late, after New Year. I dusted off last year’s training plan. I added on a few miles a week. I’ve done a handful of sessions. I’ve done some long runs, some races. It looks to the outside world like I’m putting the miles in: 45 a week. Fewer than many, but more than most. Not great, but not the problem either.

If marathon performance = training + belief + luck, is the problem lack of belief?  I’ve had some issues making my peace with getting slower, and a few weeks off with posterior tibial tendinitis in late summer knocked my confidence a bit. But that’s not it. I’m still dreaming of a 3:15 marathon. Not just dreaming, I still believe I can do it (not this year, obviously!) because that injury came after a summer of proper speed. A summer where I smashed my mile, 5k and 10k pbs even though I’m in my mid-forties.

So, it’s not the training or the belief. And I can’t do anything about the luck. The real problem this year is that… whisper it… running a marathon is just not that important.

Things that are more important than marathons this year: my daughter, my relationship, my family, my job, my friends, my colleagues, cross-country races, my sleep, cooking food, junior parkrun, a good book, NetFlix. Did I mention sleep?

I still love you, marathon, but I’m phoning it in this year and we both know it. Cross your fingers for a lot of luck on 5 April 2020.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 3 March 2020 12:37 pm

    Good luck in April!

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