How’s the training going?
Extremely well! A few weeks ago I had a very bad wobble and seriously questioned whether I was cut out for the training, let alone the marathon, because everything felt so difficult and I couldn’t see what I was achieving. But Richard was extremely supportive and, shortly afterwards, things began to turn around. I’m currently running just over two hours on my long run.
What’s going well?
I’ve scored a couple of PBs on shorter distances, which has given me more confidence about running and my ability to push myself when the plan calls for it.
What isn’t going so well?
My negative inner voice – during some sessions it never shuts up! I’m getting better at winning the argument with the voice of doom though, and I’m finally getting to the stage where there are more wins than losses.
What advice has Richard given you lately?
Most of the advice I get from Richard is in regard to my ‘chimp’ as he calls it (the voice of doom) and my confidence. It’s taken a while for his advice and support to sink in and stick. I think that’s been one of the hardest parts of training, because if I can’t believe in myself, how can anyone else believe in me?
Have you had to alter your diet to cope with the increased training demands?
I’m always hungry now! I’ve had to be more consistent about eating breakfast and drinking more water, which I’ve been slack on previously but, other than that, my diet hasn’t really changed. My weight began to drop, which I don’t need to happen, so I’m eating small meals four times a day, instead of three, and that’s helping.
As the long runs are getting longer, how are you fitting everything in?
It’s becoming more of a juggle now. Sunday is my long run day but I usually take my son to junior parkrun, so unfortunately that has had to stop. I’ve been booking races to help break up the monotony of the long runs (I’ll run the race then run home for the required plan time), but they begin at the same time as junior parkrun and I can’t be in two places at once. My son understands – he also has his own club-training during the week and he’s not a great fan of winter training anyway. But I do miss running with him.
Are you managing to juggle your work and family life with training?
So far, there’s not been any issues for me as Richard is fab at making sure our training fits around us, while still getting in everything we need to do.
What would you like to say to anyone else thinking of doing a marathon?
Be prepared to work hard and get a good training plan! Comparing last year’s training to this year’s, I’d have to say, I definitely winged it in 2017 and a marathon isn’t something you should fumble your way through. Recognise there will be good days and bad days, but there is no such thing as a bad run if you stepped out the door and tried your best to get the job done. Lastly, believe you can do it, because thinking otherwise just makes training so much harder – I definitely speak from experience!
How confident are you feeling about the marathon now compared to when you started out?
Much more confident! I won’t be breaking any records, but I now believe I’m in with a good chance to achieve my goal of actually running from start to finish.
How did you find the threshold training session with Richard?
I had a 10-mile long run yesterday and then I did a two-and-a-half mile run this morning, so Richard let me slack off a bit today. My legs are really sluggish. I was trying to move, although not quite going at the speed I wanted to, but according to Richard, I was absolutely zooming at one point. I don’t know about zooming! The session was threshold – I had to do four minutes at my threshold rate, five times, with a 90-second recovery jog in between.
THE COACH’S VIEW:
Richard says: “Elizabeth had a wobble on New Year’s Eve and I told her not to panic, just take a few deep breaths. It was off the back of a bad run and we all have bad runs. As runners, we won’t remember eight good sessions in a row but we’ll remember one bad session among all of the good ones. Like a lot of people, she’ll panic and think, I’m not going to be able to do the whole marathon now, instead of just thinking that everyone, even the best runners in the world, have bad days. My advice is to work out why it’s happening and then move on. Was it too much training load? Did I eat right? Did I sleep? Work out why and try not to think about it again. Elizabeth is doing great and now seems to be really enjoying the challenge.”