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Al’s Marathon journey begins…

by | Jan 19, 2021 | Running


This week has seen the start of my marathon journey, I’ve been back out pounding the pavement and clocking up the miles. Running 26 miles is quite a daunting prospect, and thinking about training for this does make me wonder why I am doing it! I have signed up to run the Baildon Boundary Way in April for the fourth time to give me an early goal to aim for. I think that having smaller more achievable goals along the way is going to make a huge difference to keeping me motivated.

I managed to get down to Burnage Parkrun on Saturday morning, despite the cold, wet weather. I was really happy to come in at sub 22 minutes having not run properly for a few months. This was all despite Lake Burnage which was knee high and meant you lost feeling in your feet for a few hundred yards (see image!), and a tumble towards the end!

In order to make sure I don’t overtrain and help avoid injuries I have adopted the acute:chronic workload model for my training – see separate blog post on this subject. There has been a great deal of hype around this model and it’s ability to predict injury in team sport athletes. Basically it compares your most recent week of training against the previous 4 weeks. It can be calculated using a number of variables, I have decided to use ‘distance/time x RPE’ to give me a workload value. Time x RPE is a commonly recommended method but I feel it doesn’t give a full picture of how hard I have worked. If I cover 10km in 45mins then I will surely have worked harder than if I cover 10km in 1 hour,  right? But if my RPE is 8 vs 6 respectively (workload equates to 360 in both cases) then I don’t really get the credit for the work, so the addition of distance should help (workload = 1.78 vs 0.83 respectively). Whilst this method may have some flaws (like anything) it is certainly an improvement on the previous 10% rule.

So week 1 down, many more to go. The journey has started well but there are plenty of challenges ahead.

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