And That Was Week One

I’ve made it to the end of week one of training.  

Not going to lie, it wasn’t entirely easy.  I don’t know when I last ran twenty-four miles in a single week; probably not since I was last training for a marathon.

The training programme started on Monday 25th January.  Yes, Christmas day! Fortunately, Monday is a rest day in this programme and so I didn’t need to leave the family to go for my run.

So Boxing Day saw my first real run. That was a gentle three miler; I parked at Tesco and ran along the canal and back.  The canal was unexpectedly busy; the number of dog walkers and other runners surprised me.

Union Canal On Boxing Day
Surviving So Far!
Total distance: 5214 m
Max elevation: 79 m
Min elevation: 76 m

Wednesday saw a longer run, and for that I went along a couple of interesting historical roads in the area.  The first one was the Blackbraes Road, a stretch of footpath that goes alongside the Manuel Burn.  After that, the route goes on to the Maddiston High Road.  The ground was distinctly snowy and icy underfoot, so I had to be careful – particularly when running downhill!

Wind Turbine south of Manuel Burn
Blackbraes Path
Total distance: 8381 m
Max elevation: 150 m
Min elevation: 90 m

Wednesday’s five miles was the longest midweek run, and so Thursday saw a return to a three mile run.  I was taking my daughter to Stirling for her work, so decided that I would get my three

miles with a couple of laps of the loch at Stirling Uni, Airthrey Loch.  It is a very pretty place, nestling in the foothills of the Ochils.  Whether I will find it so pretty when I am running up to the loch at mile fifteen of the marathon, I am not so sure…

The sun over the Wallace Monument
Total distance: 5204 m
Max elevation: 35 m
Min elevation: 24 m

Friday was a rest day, and Saturday the first “marathon pace” run – five miles at 8:55 per mile.  This also was in Stirling; I started off at The Peak sports centre and went out over the footbridge to Cambsukenneth, north to Abbey Craig then back down Causewayhead Road and back to The Peak.

Rain and Snow!
Dodgy underfoot

I struggled a little bit with the pace here. Garmin’s Virtual Partner doesn’t seem to do too well with constantly changing directions, and it was very inconsistent in its reporting of my pace.  Somehow I need to get better at “feeling” what 8:55/mile feels like.

Total distance: 8782 m
Max elevation: 16 m
Min elevation: 5 m

And so that leads on to the first Long Slow Run of training.  Not too long this time, and eight-mile run.  My plans were laid, I would spent most of the run on the Union Canal towpath before doing a bit of a climb up Wallacestone Brae, and enjoying a glorious downhill to bring me home.

Well, I hadn’t banked on Storm Dylan.  When I took my dog for a walk in the morning I knew that this wasn’t a day to be out running.  Certainly not along a route lined with old trees… so instead I joined my son at the gym, and did my eight miles on the treadmill. 

On The Treadmill

Eight miles.  On the treadmill.

No amount of Black Mirror can make up for that..  It was frankly miserable.  But, to be fair.  it did give me some experience of running in warmer conditions.  It’s not often terribly warm in April, but it’s not impossible!

Anyway, that was week one. 

Next week will present some new challenges as I start trying fit running in with work.  Let’s see how it goes.

And… happy new year!