Typical. In my last few posts I have babbled on about some great training runs, and how I now steadfastly refuse to shave miles off the long weekend runs. Smug as anything me, I’ve got this marathon thing sorted…
Since I posted those few bright and breezy blogs, I am supposed to have:
– Run a steady 10 miler
– Done a speed session
– Run a fartlek session
– Gone on a 16 miler
Instead, I have:
– Run a steady ten miler
– Been to Birmingham with work and got home late
– Run for precisely one minute and 12 seconds before jacking it in feeling unwell
– Experienced a lovely five-star spa hotel and its associated glories
– Missed runs as a result
– Shaved a couple of miles off a long run and ran 14 miles, which nearly did me in, before a couple of hours shivering in the car.
It’s fair to say training has been a bit of a disaster, but there have been plenty of mitigating circumstances in my defence.
First, a day in Birmingham with work put an end to any speed session ambitions, but to be honest I was feeling unwell so would probably have given it a miss anyway.
I read recently that a sudden increase in training can result in dodgy goings-on with your immune system, and this has undeniably been the case with me – a wheezy painful chest, sore threat, headache, sniffle and general grogginess have infused me with a general feeling of antipathy towards running, and that was the case when I tried to get back into it the night after my missed session.
I headed out into the bitter cold with a feeling it wouldn’t work out, and straight away a sharp pain and hacking cough told me to pack it in. If anyone training for a marathon is reading this, take note. It’s easy to try and plough on when you don’t feel well, but don’t.
Listen to your body.
If you’re unwell, don’t push it and think ‘it will be all right’. A few days off is absolutely fine, in fact, it is a very good thing. It is far too easy to get hung up on sticking to your pre-designed running plan, but it can be to your detriment if you don’t feel well. I have a friend who ended up with a chest infection as a result of pushing it too hard, which subsequently played a bit of havoc with his marathon training plans. The last thing you need is illness, caused by your own stubbornness. You’ll cover plenty of miles in your training, so you can afford to miss a few miserable ones feeling ill. They won’t help.
Anyway, wise-words aside, on the Saturday I still wasn’t feeling great but it didn’t matter, as it was the wife’s birthday so I had already marked the day down as a day off.
We were fortunate enough to be able to drop the toddler off at Grandma’s and experience a day and night of bliss in a posh hotel and spa which was always going to trump a run.
However, as I settled into bed on the Saturday night, with a belly full of beautiful steak, fine wine, gooey chocolate pudding and lovely beer, I vowed to smash the long run in the morning. It may have been the beer talking, but it turned out to be anything but that in reality. More of that later, but point to note, don’t try and push yourself too hard when you come back from a few days off feeling unwell…