Then welcome to the Church of the Long Run - February
So how was it for you ?
January is for many the real start of Spring Marathon Training, a month of running in dark mornings or nights with some snow thrown in for good measure whist wandering how it was possible to have put on 5llbs just by eating a few lousy mince pies with a couple of beers/ glass's of wine.
As we move into February we should reflect on your progression, what's gone well and your hopefully feeling more confident about your running. If January is the foundation then February is where we start to build the strength and resilience for the training and refinement that comes in March. Its about increasing the volume with some key sessions included maybe even some shorter races 5 to 10 miles, but now you should really be building on your long runs. For all runners patience, planning and progression are key and this is certainly the case for the long run. During January your long run should be a fully conversational affair about a minute or so slower than your planned marathon pace. Runs should be around 1.45 mins o two hours.
Now we are into February we should be getting in regular two hour plus runs with some time in the these runs spent on marathon pace. Our long runs should be progressing to our peak longs runs of 3-3.5 hours with the an or hour to one and half hours spent at marathon pace.
It may be a good time to enter a half marathon and running it at your marathon pace or just a little off this , plus 20 seconds or so and adding 30 mi
ns to the start and or finish. Its also a great way of practising your hydration and fueling (gels etc). Test out kit options as well including shorts running vests, Bra's, hydration belts make decisions now if these are what you want to wear on race day and start to purchase your race day shoes, These should not be the same shoe as you have done all your training miles in but could be a new pair of the same model.
Finally have some fun, marathon training is hard and can be lonely but it can be inspiring and a journey of discovery, saviour the moments and share the highs. Try running with others, involve friends or family joining you on a bike if you cant find a running group.