A Quick Catch Up – Weeks 7 to 10 of Marathon Training and Hitting the Training Wall

So I haven’t blogged for four weeks, which is very bad of me! There are a number of reasons behind this, but the biggest one has been injury! I’ve had problems with my IT band and with shin splints (both in my left leg) that have meant training has been up and down both physically and emotionally.

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I’ve done a few long runs and am now up to 16 miles as my farthest distance.  I found this distance really challenging to run, partly because I was in pain, but mainly because I was bored.  Around mile 10 I realised I would be out running for quite a bit longer, and I started to feel bored and lonely.  The scenery felt monotonous and the only inspiration I had to continue was the knowledge that the only way to stop running was to finish the 16 miles!  Fingers crossed the famous London Marathon crowds will be able to help with this one on the day!

Something I’ve found bizarre over the last few weeks is how much my mood is affected by training – I’ve felt so restless in injury weeks, but because I’m not in a consistent pattern of training I’ve found it much harder to muster the motivation to run.  I think my injuries, erratic training and declining enthusiasm have largely been behind my silence on here.

However, I’m starting to run properly again, and, more importantly, I’m starting to enjoy running again.  I know that everybody speaks of the wall that you hit during a marathon, but I feel that more people should talk about the wall that you hit during marathon training.

For me this wall has felt bored, uninspired and frustrated. Further to this I’ve felt guilty for feeling this way, and the more people have told me what a great thing it is that I’m doing and that taking on a marathon is impressive the more guilt I’ve felt at not enjoying the training process.

I’ve overcome this wall by thinking more about why I’m doing a certain run rather than simply doing it because I’m told to and resenting the distance.

I’ve found that doing some weight training in the gym has been really good as well, as not only do I get a good workout but it’s such a different experience that I start to crave the sense of movement and freedom that a good run can bring.

Finally, I’ve found admitting that I’m struggling with training has been amazing.  I feel that there is so much pressure on people to be the best and love every minute of a struggle that we forget that struggles can be beneficial because of the pain they cause.  I’m not going to get better at running because a piece of paper told me to run 16 miles, but knowing that that run is helping me to prepare for the pain, and satisfaction, of a marathon will.

I’m still in a little bit of pain but I do feel a renewed enthusiasm for marathon training.  At the end of the day running 26.2 miles is going to be hard on me as it is, I don’t need to start being hard on me about it too!

I hope that everybody else’s training is going well!




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