It’s now just eight weeks until I run my second marathon in Berlin on Sunday 29th September, which means I have reached the halfway point of my sixteen-week training plan! As I cross off another session on the planner stuck in pride of place on my fridge, it seems like a good moment to reflect on how things are going compared to this point in my first marathon training cycle earlier this year.
First of all, it’s much easier to stick to the plan. Everything about my London training cycle was such a steep learning curve. I don’t think I had ever ran further than 10km by the time I learned I had a London place. My normal weekly running schedule back then was really just parkrun, and a Tuesday night 5km with friends. It was a huge adjustment to move to running four times a week, dramatically increasing my mileage and training load. Sometimes it all got a bit much, and I ended up missing a few sessions to take extra recovery days. This time around, it’s all going a lot better! After London, I carried on with my four runs a week, and signing up for the Hackney Half, and a Run 5k Every Day in June challenge meant my fitness didn’t drop off too much. I’m definitely finding marathon training much less of a shock to the system second time round!
Secondly, I’m not stressing about everything. It wasn’t just the increase in running miles that was a steep learning curve last time around. I am a natural born worrier, and must have spent countless hours researching shoes, testing energy gels, planning training routes and reading about ‘hitting the wall’. Now it’s more a case of: “Ok, that worked, let’s just do the same again!”
Im definitely pleased with how the first eight weeks of training have gone, and beating both my parkrun and my 10k PB’s last month are good evidence that I’m making progress. I’m very aware however, that a lot of the real hard work is yet to come. The next five weeks will see my long runs pushed further and further each week, peaking at around 20 miles in early September. Add to that the increasingly intense midweek training sessions, and the hot August temperatures forecast, and it looks like it’s going to be a very busy month! I had better remember to take my running shoes with me on holiday!
You can read all about my training for the Berlin Marathon 2019 here, or my earlier training journey towards the London Marathon here. I’d love to hear any comments about how other people found training for their second marathon!