The 1st of June marked the official start of my 4-month Berlin marathon training plan. Straight off the back of my London Marathon success, I’ve set myself the goal of improving on my time of 5hr 25min, and getting as close to a sub-5hr time as possible. I won’t be rigidly following a prescribed marathon training plan during these four months, but blending in aspects from various different plans to fit in with my work, home and family routines.
For me this first month of June is all about building up a really consistent base of running and solid weekly mileage, but not worrying too much about the long distances yet. I’ve decided to do this by setting myself the challenge of running at least 5 km every single day, aiming to beat 160 km (100 miles) in total for the month. I’m going to be trying out all kinds of early morning, lunchtime and evening runs, parkruns, easy runs and races to keep things interesting! Here’s how I got on with the first seven days:
Saturday 1st June – Stevenage parkrun
I love nothing more than to start the weekend with a parkrun! This Saturday I visited Stevenage parkrun for the first time and finished in 28:45, a decent time for me! I wrote all about my beautiful sunny morning in Stevenage in a separate post here, and it really felt like a fantastic start to the month.
Sunday 2nd June – 6 km Lea Valley canal run
Straight after parkrun on the Saturday I drove 3 hours north to visit friends for the weekend, not getting home until late Sunday afternoon. A little while after I had arrived home I ran a 6km loop from home to the Lea Valley canal and back. This is one of my regular marathon long run routes, and it felt really strange to be turning back for home after only 3 km instead of continuing for several more hours!
Monday 3rd June – 6 km Stevenage trail run
This was my working Monday (I have one Monday off a fortnight), so I popped out at lunchtime for a 6km run. Instead of my normal lap of the cycle paths of Stevenage, I followed a tip-off from a colleague about a different route. Just a 10 minute run from work, I passed through an inconspicuous pedestrian underpass which led under the A1M and out the other side into peaceful fields and a section of woodland! I’ll definitely be adding this one to my selection of lunchtime running routes.
Tuesday 4th June – Our Parks Lloyd Park run club
I’ve been a member of this Tuesday night group for around 18 months now. Every Tuesday night we meet in the park conveniently located just metres from my front door, and run 5 km either within the park or around the neighboring streets in winter. This week, our coach Emma surprised us with matching Our Parks running T-shirts!
Wednesday 5th June – Early morning run
This one was a toughie. I knew that I was busy at lunchtime and also in the evening today, so that left early morning as the only time to fit in a run. I snuck out of the house at 5:25am in order to be back home by 6am when the children would just be waking up. The early morning atmosphere in my part of East London was a little unsettling and I got a few harassing comments in the short time I was out. Fortunately at this time of year the sun is already fully up, but I just don’t think I would feel safe at all running by myself in the dark early mornings of the winter. I don’t think this is a habit I will be continuing long-term.
Thursday 6th June – Lunchtime treadmill run
As part of my London marathon training, I would often do a treadmill speed interval session once a week. I don’t normally use the treadmill, but for this specific purpose I find it quite useful to be able to control the speed so precisely. Today I Mixed up intervals of 350m at my 5 km PB pace with 150m recoveries, repeating until I had reached 5 km.
Friday 7th June – After work Walthamstow run
I’ve recently taken up a Friday Lunchtime ‘Fight Club’ boxing class as a way to work on my upper body and core strength. The class is a pretty brutal hour long session of boxing, press-ups, burpees and sit-ups. I don’t want to quit the class during June so this means Fridays are double exercise day! I enjoyed a slow plod around the streets of Walthamstow to finish off my busy week.
Summary of Week 1
Total distance covered: 37.2 km
The Run Streak is going well so far, and there are definitely some days I wouldn’t have bothered getting out for a run had it not been for this challenge. I’m learning a lot about what works for my weekly routine, and I’m feeling ready to crack on with week two!