Well, it's been five weeks since the London Marathon, and two weeks since the Halstead Marathon. To recover and relax from all the effort, Francis and I have been on holiday, travelling around Tuscany, in the north west of Italy. We had a fabulous time, and although we went walking pretty much every day, either in the beautiful countryside or up and down the steep streets of gorgeous medieval towns...I haven't actually done any running. After the two marathons in three weeks I do think my knees, my hips and my body in general, deserved the rest! I'm a bit concerned about having lost fitness, but I definitely do feel better for the break, and am now excited about getting out and pounding the pavements again!
My next race is in three weeks - the Southend Half Marathon - and my next full marathon, the Kent Coastal, is 16 weeks away, so it's time to start training. I had a decent 19 mile ride yesterday on my lovely new road bike, to try and get my heart and lungs accustomed to a bit of hard work for a change, and am now set to get back to the running.
So, as I'm starting a new training schedule, I'm going to aim to really try and improve the quality of my runs. Far too often over the last year, I spent my weeks approaching every run in the same way - the same route at the same pace, just varying the distances - and I know that it stops me from really improving. I've got an achievable plan laid out and am determined to stick to the variations of speedwork, tempo, long and recovery runs and I really must try to throw in a bit of cross training for good measure, especially now I've rediscovered my love of riding my road bike. I still have my gym membership too - I'm not sure I'm ever going to get back through that door, but recognise that I need to include some weights in my training plan to help with various weaknesses - I think that maybe one target too far at the moment though ;)
However, I do realise that putting in more hard work and finding a bit more dedication is the only way I'm going to achieve my sub 2hr and sub 4hr30min targets and although it will take a bit of extra determination on those days where I really can't be bothered to do my speedwork, I do need to step up to the mark. I may call myself a runner these days, but now I need to start training like one too!