How to Fit In Marathon Training with a Busy Schedule | Manchester Marathon Update #6

A lot of people have asked how I manage to fit everything in. A busy work schedule, crazy commute, marathon training and of course life!

It’s not really a surprise that it doesn’t always work out. Life happens, but chatting with a friend of mine who is a coach, he says there’s scope in most plans to miss some runs. Even so, marathon training is definitely almost a full time job… so I have some tips for you on how to fit marathon training in to a busy schedule.

#1 Be flexible

I’m not one for saying XYZ are running days and sticking to them. Plans happen and maybe that friend you’ve not seen in ages is free on your running day. I have a number of runs in mind for the week and go with that. On Monday I roughly plot out when I will run (Monday is ALWAYS a rest day) and move them about if I need. The only thing that is truly sacred is the long run, which I try to keep to Sundays.

#2 Use travel to get some run tourism in

When I’m away with work, especially if it’s over a few days, I pack my running kit. I take to Strava and plot a route, as well as looking at heatmaps on Strava to see where’s popular to run. Google maps is also my friend here. I had two great runs in Nottingham the other week when I was away. My work trips have also allowed me to run along the beach at Aberdeen, through the streets of Glasgow (to find the Duke and his hat), through the parks of London, around the old town of Krakow and the parks of Leeds (to name a few). I seriously recommend it! Parkrun is also gaining popularity, if you’re away over a weekend, why not try some Parkrun tourism.

#3 Don’t panic

If you miss a run, don’t try and catch it up. It’s all about quality than quantity. If you bunch too many runs together you might get injured or to be honest, just really put off running. As much as marathon training is hard work, you want to be able to enjoy it as much as you can. Take the extra rest and make the next session awesome – it’ll work better, I promise!

A Rather Mega Manchester Marathon Training Update

Training week commencing 20th January

Monday – Rest (travel to Glasgow with work).

Tuesday – Easy run 60 mins. This turns into an easy 5k on the treadmill at the hotel gym. Not really what I wanted to do but I needed the extra time in bed after a terrible night’s sleep (I have a habit of sleeping badly when I am away).

Wednesday –Hydrotherapy.

Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 4 x 1 mile (3 minute recoveries) and 1 mile cool down. This session hung over me all week, I really wasn’t looking forward to it. But once I started and finished the first rep I really got into it.

Friday – Hydrotherapy.

Saturday – Parkrun. An easy parkrun on the cards, I headed to Worcester Pitchcroft and did exactly that!

Sunday –2 hour long run. We went out for dinner the night before (Dr W’s birthday at The Old Rectifying House) and I wore heels. Not my cleverest move I must admit. I got cramp and ended up changing my run route, I also stopped off at my parents for a break to help my legs.

Training week commencing 27th January

Monday – Rest (travel to Nottingham with work).

Tuesday – Easy run 60 minutes. This turned into an easy 4 miles. I accidentally planned the hilliest route ever! But luckily I got out in the sunshine as I had some time between conference talks.

Wednesday – 1 mile warm up, 6 x 1k (90 second recoveries) and 1 mile cool down. This session went well, but the weather was interesting so my 6 x 1k weren’t as fast as they could be thanks to the headwind.

Thursday – Rest.

Friday – Hydrotherapy.

Saturday –Parkrun. This time I was touristing at Cannon Hill Parkrun with some good friends of mine. Another easy run on the plan, which I somehow managed to turn into a fairly quick progression run… Oops! It was nice running with friends though, it’s definitely very motivating for me.

Sunday –2 hour 30 minute long run (1h 30m easy/1h marathon pace). A big jump from 2 hours, but I planned a nice route, got out in the sunshine and packed ALL the snacks. It ended up being a great run, I ran 13 miles and I felt very comfortable right until the last mile at marathon pace. But I managed it!

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