January has been all about marathon training. Running long and building a base. Following christmas, my weight had gone up and I needed to focus on getting that back down and getting more miles through my legs. I have tried to remain consistent and so far, despite the big upturn in mileage compared to December, my body has fared pretty well!
A fantastic level of consistency, running 5 times per week (Except one, curse you Jantastic badge hunting!) with 2 days rest per week. I’ve found this to be a much better balance than the 6 days a week I was running before Christmas. I can now recognise that was silly, and long terms plans will involve only 5 training days per week.
I watched the weekly mileage build at a steady rate before havign a recovery week and a drop in volume, but managed a new record 60 mile week in the last week of Jan. writing this a couple of days after, I wouldn’t have known – I still feel pretty good.
I set myself these goals for the month.
- Score 100% in Jantastic – Acheived! Jantastic has been a fantastic way to keep motivated and be consistent.
- Increase the Average elevation gain – Acheived! Through my long runs and easier runs I’ve tried to run more hills and build leg strength.
- Get my weight down to my pre-christmas weight (14st 3lbs) – Failed! By a lousy 1lb. But still pleased to have come so close.
Looking at the monthly progress chart brings up a few interesting points.
Firstly, compared with January last year, my elevation gain is significantly up, and is an increase from December too. My average elevation “PB” was in August, which wasn’t long before my big PB at the Bristol Half Marathon. I’d like to increase my elevation gain to above this level over the next two months to peak in March, and then greatly reduce the elevation in the weeks leading up to the marathon. An “Elevation taper”!
Secondly, my average run mileage is unsurprisingly a new high, given the volume heavy trainign plan i’m following, which I hope will pay dividends.
Thirdly, my average speed has been maintained (A very slight dip) in the face of a much more significant mileage increase. This is very pleasing! The next phase of my training plan seeks to increase my base speed, so if I can remain on track I hope it means good things will happen like they did last year – when I came off the back of a marathon and smashed my 5 and 10k PBs.
Finally, and looking at things over a much longer timeframe, is my average heartrate. its maintained a very consistent level recently, which shows a positive adaptation to training.
My February goals are again quite straightforward. I have no races planned and I’m 100% focussed on the marathon, so these have been designed with that in mind.
- Score 100% in Jantastic for February
- Increase my average elevation gain vs. January
- Get my weight down to 13st 10lbs (2lbs per week)
To be honest, I think the first two are definitely going to be achieved just through my natural training curve. The big challenge will be to maintain the weight loss. If I can get achieve that or a bit more, I may be able to reach my target weight in time for the Reading Half Marathon. I’ve set the aggressive target of 2lbs per week, and luckily I’ve been able to hit it so far, but I think it’s going to be even tougher this month which means I need to remain more disciplined than ever. However, looking pragmatically at the goal, i should be pleased with (And still on track for Manchester) with an end of month weight of 13st 13lbs or less – Which is my next significant weight milestone – the eighth stone.