So January has come and gone and I'm right on target with my training for the Lochaber Marathon. Here's last week's planned and actual numbers;
Monday - Rest - Rest
Tuesday - 4 - 4.13
Wednesday - 7 hills - 7.14 inc. 10 hill reps
Thursday - 6 - 5.80
Friday - Rest - Rest
Saturday - 8 - 19.05
Sunday - 17 - 5.99
I'm quite happy with the week's training. A last minute realisation that I wouldn't have time to complete 17 miles on Sunday led to me swapping the weekend runs about meaning that my long run was on Saturday this week. There's a good reason that the long run is usually on the Sunday. When it got to Sunday I really couldn't be bothered with a run but dragged myself out for six miles. Two miles shorter than planned but then again my long run was two miles longer than planned.
My long run on Saturday turned out to be a great run and was probably the highlight of the week again. It should have been rubbish for so many reasons but it wasn't! I missed the train I was going to get to the start of a route I'd mapped out, I was wearing my new hydration belt for the first time and it kept riding up so I had to keep stopping to re-adjust it. I managed to get a small stone inside my sock that I had to stop and remove. But none of this seemed to matter. I knocked out 5 miles in the middle of the run at close to 7 mins/mile and it didn't kill me. Just to prove the point I picked up the pace again for the penultimate two miles and managed them at round about 7 mins/mile as well. I also didn't set out to do 19 miles, that was down a miscalculation! One other pleasing thing was that I managed the 19 miles and felt like I could have done a bit more if I had to.
In terms of the month I'm quite happy with where I am. I ran a total of 133.72 miles in a total time of 16:44:51 for an average pace of 7:30 mins/mile for the month.
I've been looking back over last years training log and I'm much further ahead this year compared to last year. In January 2010 I covered 96.25 miles and it wasn't until the 7th of March that I would run over 18 miles in a single session. My pace is also much quicker this year. The 18 miles I ran on the 7th of March last year took me 2:32 and my 19 miles last Saturday only took 2:26 in comparison.
One of the main reasons for the increase in mileage and faster pace was my decision to join the local gym for a month. In January alone I had 7 runs on the treadmill and I know if I hadn't joined the gym then it would have been all too easy to skip some sessions due to poor conditions. I actually grew to like the treadmill throughout the month. The quality that you can get for sessions like half mile or mile repeats is excellent. So much so that I might even consider continuing attending the gym for these sessions, although probably just on an ad hoc basis.
So here we are in February and it's only 9 weeks on Sunday until I'll be toeing the line in Fort William, which also means that it's only 7 weeks until my taper starts! The main challenge I see for February is that I'm going to Disneyland Paris for 5 nights. I've juggled things about a bit so that I only need to run twice when I'm there; a 6 miler and a 12 miler. However, I'm not sure how keen I'm going to be to get out running early in the morning when I know I've got a day of walking round the theme parks ahead of me!