Marathon Training – Week 3

Day 1 – 30 minutes Cross-Trainer

I was really lacking motivation before this workout. I’m really not a fan of the cross-trainer as I never really feel like I get the same workout as when I run but I understood I just had to get it done. I alternated between high-resistance and speed to vary the intensity of my session – which kept my head in the game a little longer. In the end, I actually left the gym feeling grateful for the low-impact workout!

Day 2 – Rest

Day 3 – 3 miles

I ran on the treadmill in the morning before work. I watched a BBC documentary about SAS training to pass the time. I’m starting to get bored of the indoor workouts and am getting excited for the better weather to come! Training in the Summer months is always a lot more enjoyable but the hard work has to continue throughout the Winter! I finished my session with a bit of foam rolling (painful but necessary!)

Day 4 – 5 miles

The weather was so terrible so I had to run on the treadmill at the gym. Generally, if I can avoid doing anything longer than 3 miles on the treadmill I will but in this case I just couldn’t run outside! I’ve really grown to prefer being outdoors and running where I know the finish line is when I make it home rather than the mental game of when you stop on the treadmill.

Day 5 – 3 miles

Another pre-work run in the gym. As much as I prefer running outdoors, I like the atmosphere in the gym in the morning. It’s other like-minded individuals chasing similar goals and that motivates me! I finished up my workout with some core work and more foam rolling. Brandon and I then had a fun sober Friday evening at his Granny and Grandad’s for dinner, followed by a night with the space geeks at The Royal Observatory in Edinburgh! I’m finding lots of alternatives to nights out and still have a social life whilst abstaining from drinking throughout my training. 

Day 6 – Rest

I had a relatively productive rest day. I went to get my nails done in the morning and then we were over at Brandon’s Mum’s house clearing our stuff out of their garage as Stuart is getting a treadmill (so you know where I’ll be when that arrives!) I got up at 8am and didn’t sit down again until well after 5pm. We also went and got our food shop for the week (between Aldi and Sainbury’s) so we’re all set for meal prepping!

Day 7 – 10 miles

I left the house in a crop top and sunglasses and enjoyed gorgeous weather for about 5 miles and then I got soaked! I don’t mind running in the rain – in fact I quite enjoy it… It felt good and I really settled into the run. I found my rhythm and my splits were pretty even. My average pace was just 0.01 seconds faster than last weeks 9 mile run – which shows how consistent my pacing has become! 



Total: 21 miles

I’ve had another good strong week of pushing myself and have proven to myself (again!) what my body is capable of. A little self-belief and I might actually be able to run this marathon! 

Bring on week 4! 

L x

Marathon Training – Week 2

I started off the week feeling really positive after a good weekend of eating well, resting and a run of course! Here is a breakdown of week 2:

Day 1 – 1hr Body Pump 

I felt a little niggle in my hip throughout the class – which I’m not overly worried about but I’m going to keep an eye on as I can’t afford any time off running for injuries!

Day 2 – Rest

I don’t often enjoy rest days, especially when I don’t necessarily feel like I needed them (even though I know I do!) However, my hip was still a little sore and it was Valentine’s Day so it was much preferable to spend a night at home cooking with Brandon. We made one of our favourite dishes from Lean in 15 – Seabass with Pak Choi and Cashews followed by some healthy treats from Sweet Deceits! I tried out their Chocolate Brownie baking kit and was not disappointed! I love that sweet treats don’t have to be unhealthy. These are made with no refined sugar and taste pretty good!


Day 3 – Rest

I was meant to run 3 miles but I woke up with a UTI and it couldn’t have come at a worse time – just as I was getting into the rhythm of my training. I took a Ciprofloxacin tablet in the morning – which I had excess of from a previous infection but then read some absolute horror stories about taking this as a runner. One of the possible side effects is tendon rupture which can even occur long after you stop taking the antibiotic. This freaked me out a lot and alongside my hip still giving me problems, I decided I was going to have to skip my run. This threw me a little mentally as I really want/need to stick to my training plan but I figured 3 miles wouldn’t make a HUGE difference and I vowed to make it up later in the week or next week.

Day 4 – 4 miles

I ran on the treadmill before work and despite a little discomfort in my belly, I had a pretty good run!

Day 5 – 3 miles

Another morning run in the bag! It was great to get it done before work so that I had my evening to myself. I had contemplated adding on a little bit to this run to make up for my miles lost on Tuesday but in the end I decided just to take the hit on that one.

Day 6 – Rest

I still had a nice active day spent at Vogrie Country Park with Brandon. We completed the Tyne Valley walk and ate our picnic with our legs dangling over a small river! Banana pancakes…mmm! I love being outdoors and getting fresh air so it was a really nice way to spend my day off work and my day off running.

img_8971

Day 7 – 9 miles

This is the furthest I’ve run so far! I had no idea if I was going to manage this and in what time! When I left the flat I gave myself an estimated time of 1 hour and 45 minutes but had told Brandon not to worry if I was still out around the 2 hour mark. I ended up finishing it in 1 hour and 22 minutes and was absolutely over the moon! I maintained a similar pace to my 5k pace and was happy to see that my mile splits were pretty even.


So that’s another week of training down and even if it didn’t get off to the best start with falling ill, I pushed through and I’m feeling much better going in to week 3.

Happy Running.

L x

Marathon Training – Week 1

So as most of you will be aware, I decided to take on a big challenge in 2017 and entered my first marathon! It is now 16 weeks away and I’m in my first week of structured training. Until now, I have been running regularly but intuitively. I am both nervous and excited for this venture and can’t wait to share it all with you! Does anyone else have a big race coming up this year or something you’re working towards?!

Day 1 – 1hr Body Pump

I was actually feeling really negative about my training and my body (everyone has those days, right?!) and I totally lacked the motivation to work out. However, if I’ve learned anything in this process, I know that the best way to shake the negative attitude is to go work out! Guess what? It worked and I felt 10000 times better after my class. I couldn’t cop out on day 1, especially as I slipped up and bought a bar of chocolate… Cravings took over, but hey, I knew it wouldn’t kill me.

Day 2 – 3 miles

I decided to run the 3 miles intended for day 3 and swap my rest day as I had plans for Wednesday evening and it worked better for my week. The weather was absolutely shocking (lots of rain and wind) so I took to the treadmill on the way home from work. I can’t afford to catch a cold in this training cycle! I haven’t run treadmill miles in forever – so it felt a little bit weird but I got it done nonetheless (and was glad that it was only 3 miles!)

Day 3 – Rest

I took my rest day and it was entirely welcomed! My legs were aching from Body Pump on Monday and I really needed a night to just chill after getting my nails done. Sometimes it just takes something small to make you feel a little better.

Day 4 – 4 miles

4 miles before breakfast! God I missed my morning workouts. It sets me up for the day and I generally feel a lot better and more productive at work. I’m going to try and get back into doing these, even though it means I do have to get up pre-6am to fit it in before work.

Day 5 – 3 miles + 45 minute spin class

I was going out for dinner with my friend after work and going to a spin class at 7am before working, meaning I’d have to have come home and run before going for dinner. I knew I wouldn’t feel like doing that so I got up half an hour earlier in the morning and got it all done before work. I felt great all day – but it did affect my hunger!! I’ll need to take more food to work next time I decide to do a longer session in the morning.

Day 6 – Rest 

Ah… what a lovely Saturday morning spent chilling out, eating good food and watching Peaky Blinders. Just because it’s the weekend and a rest day doesn’t mean I have to fall off track. I still made good choices in terms of nutrition and a sober night bowling with friends was the perfect way to socialise without throwing all my hard work out the window!

Day 7 – 5 miles

I finished the week off with a mid-afternoon run. It was really cold and trying to snow outside but it felt good nonetheless. I ran in a pretty good time and had a delicious treat afterwards – my 3 ingredient banana pancakes! A great end to a great week!

Total: 15 miles

I spend my Sunday evening preparing and planning my meals and workouts for next week. I am ready for week 2 of my training and actually looking forward to Monday! Hope you all have a good week!

L x

‘I Can’t Run’

I said these exact same words to myself around a year ago when I struggled to run for longer than 5 minutes on a treadmill without feeling like I required a full tank of oxygen to breathe. I said it to my partner over and over again meanwhile I’d be sat on the sofa gorging on my second packet of crisps of the day. Then I was unable to run as my body didn’t have any fuel from starving myself. These were all excuses, because running was hard. In fact, it seemed damn near impossible to me at the time. I’d see people out running and wonder how they were performing this miraculous act. Oh, how messed up this thinking was. In reality, I couldn’t run because I wasn’t in a good frame of mind to try, not because MY body was incapable.

My first piece of advice to anyone looking to get into running is don’t tell yourself that you can’t do anything. As I’ve discovered – the human body is capable of a lot more than we may even realise. It adapts to whatever you put it through! Everyone can run. You just have to get out there and remember that the first run is always the hardest!!

Don’t do too much too soon either. Even experienced runners make this mistake. It’s no use running six times a week on week 1 and then week 2 is non-existent. Start slow and build it up until you’re consistent week to week. This is where you’ll see your body changing and progress being made.

I’m about to enter into my training cycle for the Edinburgh Marathon in May after 3 weeks of being unwell. I’ll begin on Monday 6 February and train for 16 weeks. After recovering from illness I wanted to get myself back to a base-level of fitness before this begins and my first time back pounding the pavements was tough. I ran 2.5 miles (which was all I could manage) on Monday and then 3 miles on Tuesday – in pretty slow times compared to what I was doing prior to Christmas. It was difficult for me, mentally, to listen to my body and ease myself back in slowly. Yes, I’m a bit gutted I didn’t run a bit further or a bit faster but I would have done more damage to my body going hell for leather on those 2 runs. I made that mistake just after Christmas in going back to the gym too soon and it put me out for a further 2 weeks!

And… just after getting back into running, I’m off to Amsterdam this weekend for 3 days so I’ll be taking some more time off exercising. Hopefully all the walking we do whilst sightseeing will make up for it! I’ve also done a lot of research into healthy-eating hotspots in Amsterdam so I’ll be doing a post on where to stay on track whilst in the city, when I get back! Keep your eyes peeled!

Time to get my bags packed! Have a good one.

L x

 

How To Push Through When The Going Gets Tough

There is no one set rule book when it comes to running and how every individual body reacts to different situations so it’s impossible to predict how you will feel day-to-day, on each run and throughout a period of training. It’s easy when everything is going great but when you hit a bump in the road, it’s how you deal with it that determines your progress.

For example, some people see the sun and they are straight outdoors, whilst others prefer the cooler temperatures of the winter running season. 5 miles one day may feel like a total breeze, whilst other days it may feel like 26.2. It’s important to remember the good days when the bad days come creeping along.

I’ve been feeling a bit demotivated recently with the change in season. I’ve noticed that I’m feeling like I’d much rather be at home tucking into a hearty meal with the heating on than dragging myself to the gym. I’ve had to seriously talk myself into my workouts in order to stay consistent with my training and ensure I’m reaching my goals. Not to mention, I also have a holiday coming up in 3 weeks.. so now is not the time to be pigging out!

Here’s what I’ve been doing to stay on track:

  1. Track your training and nutrition – My Fitness Pal and my Believe Journal have been my best friends over the last few weeks. I use them to stay accountable. On the days when I can’t be bothered with a run or a gym class, I ask myself ‘do I really want to log 0 miles in my journal today?’ and the answer is no! I want to log more miles than last week – and thus far, that’s been enough to keep me going! I also find it pretty tough to track when I’ve gone off track with my nutrition so I much prefer to stick to meals I know I can log accurately on MFP and that way I know I’m fueling my body with the right stuff.
  2. Meetup.com – I discovered this website very recently which aims to connect people with similar interests and I found that there is a local running meet-up near where I live every Sunday. Training with others is a great way to maintain motivation, push yourself and even when you don’t feel like you’re having a great session, someone else may be having the best session of their life. I’m a firm believer that positive energy rubs off on others and this may be exactly what you need to find your love for the sport again. I’m hoping that in spending some time with others who also love running, it won’t feel as difficult as it has been feeling.
  3. Try something new – Maybe you don’t feel like training because it’s gotten repetitive and you’re so used to it. I’m certainly going through that at the moment, so I decided to do something totally out of my comfort zone. I signed up to a Hot Yoga class at a local studio. I’ve only ever done yoga once before and I can’t say I loved it, but I’ve heard great things about the benefits of introducing it to a running routine. I’m excited because I took the plunge to give it a go and it’s bound to be something a little bit different from my current training regime!

I can’t preach that these things will work for everyone but I’m hoping that they’ll keep me in the groove and on track throughout the coming winter months. Why not give it a go? I’ll be posting a review of my Hot Yoga experience after my first class so keep an eye out!

Have a great weekend!

L x

Day Thirty – Reflections

Today I’ve been thinking a lot about why I started this journey and how grateful I am that I did. Previous to my decision to get healthy, I was stuck in a vicious cycle of under-eating and obsessively weighing myself and if it wasn’t for this blog/journey I could foresee that continuing for years down the line. However, I decided that enough was enough. I was miserable, ruining my relationship and causing my family to worry. I made a conscious decision to ditch my unhealthy habits in favour of this challenge and I’m now well underway in changing my life. I’m eating a lot more (good stuff), working out and enjoying each step in the process. I’m now no longer motivated by losing weight, but rather by the way my body is changing and becoming stronger every week! I feel great for it and if I can inspire even just one person to make a small change for their health I’ll be over the moon.

I worked out hard this morning and introduced inclines into my running for the first time. I managed to run 7km with 2km at a 2.0 incline. I was feeling super motivated after reading Bear Grylls’ autobiography on the bus on the way to the gym. The chapter I managed to read detailed his experience throughout the SAS selection process; and WOW it sounds brutal. My entire run; when it got hard I just kept thinking to myself, ‘If Bear can run 20 miles with 50lbs strapped to his back in torrential rain, you can run another kilometer.’ And sometimes all it takes is to put things in perspective like that and it’s a great way to push yourself to your limits. If you’re looking for motivation, I 100% recommend this book I find that when I’m nearing what I believe to be my physical limit, it takes a little mental strength and I’m able to push past the barrier.

image.jpg

My intake for today has been:

  • Gala Apple (it was soft and super disappointing)
  • Nutrigrain Granola Bar
  • Chicken and Couscous (double my normal portion)
  • Chicken w/ Fajita Seasoning

I’m super excited to have the leftovers from dinner for my lunch at work tomorrow. I’ll be continuing to add incline to my runs over the coming weeks so I’m in for a true ‘Humpday’ tomorrow!

It’s time for some shuteye.

L x