So the end of January has already passed (how fast???!) and there are races being advertised left right and centre. How do you pick which ones? How to do you train accordingly for one but rest appropriately for another? I’ve set myself one primary goal for 2018 and that is to run a half marathon. I’ve picked the English Half Marathon in Warrington which is scheduled for mid September and I’m trying to look ahead and increase my mileage very gradually so that I can hopefully get to September injury free and fit enough to “enjoy” my first official 13 miler. The thing is that many Sunday’s are littered with cross country (still just about a long run for me) and then there are 10k races that I’ve entered so really it’s not always possible to fit in the training runs that I need.
Here is my process though for picking events. I ask myself the following:
- How much does it cost? I’m pretty poor so cheap is good
- What do I get? I’m a fan of a good tech t-shirt myself
- Will I get a pb? I’m still at that stage where I’m getting pbs every couple of months so flat courses are a bonus
- Will I have loads of support? I love taking part along with a whole bunch of other NRC runners
- Is it near enough to not need an over night stay? I love running but not enough to keep ditching my kid over night.
So what is a girl to do? Do I need to do a “long run” every week or is one or two a month enough to gradually build up ready for the big one? I’m finding it really hard to navigate the conflicting advice. I expect there will be weeks when I work hard and increase my efforts and feel sore after. But, when is it time to take it easy and rest and when is it time to ignore the aches and push on? When is an ache a niggle and when is a niggle an injury? Where do we draw the line between a bit of arthritis masked by ibuprofen and a potential long term injury?
I’ve been exceptionally lucky this last year, I haven’t really had an injury to speak of, I narrowly escaped an ankle disaster with a light twist that was fine after a few days of rest.
I’m keen to know, how do you pick your races? How do you prepare in the run up to a race? How do you define a “long run”? I’d love some feedback…
One of my priority runs this year will be the Northwich Festival of Running 10k in July. My first every 10k last year it was a tough trail with some serious ups and downs for a fatty who’d previously never exceeded 6.5km! To add to the challenge the weather was scorching and I’m not sure how I managed to get round but the support was incredible, the marshalling and organisation were to notch. I love the medal I came home with and I’m sure it will be a favourite for years to come. The event is run in collaboration with local children’s cancer charity, The Joshua Tree and offers a 5k race, 10k race and 2k fun run. You can actually enter all three as they are held one after the other throughout the day! It took me 1:38 to get round last time (yes that’s an hour and 38 minutes) and I’ve already shaved 20 mins off that 10k time although I doubt it would be considered a pb course.
If you are interested in taking part this year you can enter at http://northwichrunningclub.niftyentries.com/Festival-of-Running-2018 I hope to see many of you there, it really is a great event and of course raises money for a fantastic charity.