London Marathon Training Diary – Week 3

Week three of training kicked off with a day and a half sick leave from work meaning ZERO training until Wednesday and a fair amount of making up to do. But, the decision to ditch the National Running Show so I could go along to other social events meant I could make a last-minute entry to the Finsbury Park RunThrough event at the weekend meaning… another medal added to the collection! And we all know I love a medal! 

VLM Minus 14 Weeks

Monday

Rest day.

Tuesday

Rest day.

Wednesday

Finally feeling a bit more human I headed to Lee Valley Athletics Track after work to make up for the fact that I’d missed a track session earlier in the week. Kerry told me to smash out 7 x 400m at around 90 second pace, with 90 second recoveries in between. I managed to drag IanRunsLDN along with me and thank god I did as without his company the reps would have been unbearable. A strong headwind on the final 150m of each lap was disgusting and, despite being told to “keep moving” between reps by Kerry, I found myself collapsed on the floor for the last 4-5.

 

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Thursday

On Thursday I was lucky to have an invite to go along to the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 launch at Whatever It Takes One New Change. Putting the trainers to the test was a workout programmed and announced by none other than CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro, and to demo the workout before we all gave it our shot were 2017 CrossFit Games Champion Tia Clair Toomey, Scott Panchik and Lukas Esslinger, also joined by Dan Bailey who was coaching from the sides.

The workout was 21-15-9 dumbbell snatches and burpees over the dumbbell and it was a sprint like no other!! I struggled with the burpees, like I knew I would, but was super happy to finish under 5 minutes.

The new Nanos are almost certainly my favourite yet – the right balance of supportive yet comfortable. I’m even considering simplifying my collection by cutting down some of the older styles and getting a couple of colour ways of the Nano 8 – something I’ve never considered until this shoe… which has to be saying something, right?! You can shop the Nano 8, and other Reebok CrossFit shoes, here.

 

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Friday

Rest day.

Saturday

Rest day.

Sunday

Running is SO much better with friends! Ian, Derrick and I headed out for a 7 mile loop to Finsbury Park before the RunThrough race. The route was awesome, taking in Alexandra Palace (and THAT hill), Highgate and the awesome Parkland Walk – a walkway that follows the old railway line that used to run that way. We arrived at Finsbury Park in time to collect our race bibs and choose whether we were going for the 5k or 10k race. Ian and I chose the 10k, four laps of the park, while Derrick went with the 5k route running with Martin. We managed to cross the line in just over 50 minutes – not bad going for the end of a 13 mile run!

When I got home I messaged Kerry to tell him about the morning and that I’d accidentally run 2 miles more than planned… little did I realise that the peanut butter cup penalty system would apply to mileage too – 10 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups added to the total!!

 

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After the run it was time to re-fuel because this afternoon I had to take on the second Battle of Britain qualifier… “Dropping Bombs”. This workout was well and truly up my street – split into two parts, part one was a 3 minute max row for metres and part two was a clean and jerk ladder with one clean and jerk performed every minute at increasing weights. The weight started at 45kg and increased by 5kg every minute until you reach 65kg, then increasing by 2.5kg.

I had set my sights on reaching a certain minimum weight for the clean and jerk and sadly I failed to get it overhead, despite cleaning it relatively comfortably. But, what more could I expect after having run a half marathon in the morning?!

I finished 96th in the row, with 782 metres, and 90th in the clean and jerk, maxing out at 67.5kg. This was SO much better than my placing of 117th in the previous workout so I was still pretty proud of myself.

Training by Numbers

Miles run: 16.5 miles

Medals earned: 3 (including two virtual medals!)

Times nearly pissed myself: 0

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Count: 15

Fundraising total so far: £405 – I managed to break the £400 barrier! Only £950 to go…

Follow me on Strava to see my training progress in more detail, and check out my Instagram for more training updates – including my stories where I document even more of my training, diet and general life!

London Marathon Training Diary – Week 1

In case you missed the announcement on my Instagram… I’m running the 2018 Virgin London Marathon! I can’t quite believe it – this is a race I’ve had my heart set on for years now, entering the ballot a grand total (I think) of 7 times! I decided this year had to be my year to do it so, rather than leave my fate in the hands of the ballot, I applied for a select few charities I would be proud to run for. To my absolute delight, The Royal British Legion accepted my application and offered me a place. I’m so excited to be running for them, and can’t wait to wear my poppy vest on race day.

If you’d like to sponsor me to help me reach my fundraising target of £2,500, you can find my JustGiving page here: George Does VLM. I really do appreciate each and every donation, and no amount is too small!

 

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VLM Minus 16 Weeks

So, onto the training… I’m lucky to be receiving coaching from the awesome Kerry McCarthy. Kerry has run a ridiculous 44 marathons and writes features for Runner’s World UK, so I know I’m in good hands when it comes to my training and I’m excited to see what he has in store for me.

Monday

New Years’ Day. I was supposed to run the Serpentine NYD 10k but, after drinking FAR too much whiskey the night before, I woke up not just too late to get to the race, but after the race had actually started!! Facepalm or WHAT. So, having committed to doing Run Every Day January, I headed out for a 1 mile leg loosener late that evening.

Tuesday

Kerry had me do a 5k time trial for my second run of the week. The idea was to do a mile warmup and then go ALL OUT for 5k. It was miserable outside with Storm Eleanor brewing and the out-and-back route was in a headwind for the entire first half. I was convinced I could get under 23 minutes, after running 7:20 pace at the Movember run in November, but came in at 23:35. I shouldn’t have been disappointed given the conditions, but I was.

 

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Wednesday

Today’s run was a 6 mile progression run, starting at 9:15 min/mile and getting faster by 15 seconds each mile. I managed to stick mostly to plan – going a little faster than the prescribed paces but still getting quicker each mile – until the last mile had me walking because I needed to pee! I completed my feedback on my training plan and swiftly got a congratulatory WhatsApp from Kerry for not actually pissing myself haha – thanks Kerry!

Thursday

Thursday was a planned rest day, which meant a mile run for RED January, but an afternoon physio appointment convinced me that this wasn’t the best idea. The pain I’d started to experience towards the end of my Advent Running run streak was shin splints and, with my history of stress fractures, it just didn’t make sense to jeopardise my marathon training for a month-long challenge.

Friday

Rest day.

Saturday

Battersea Park RunThrough 10k… this was in the diary as a social race to catch up with friends and kick off the medal haul in style (in case you don’t know, RunThrough medals are ace!). Kerry planned for me to run 9 miles in total by tagging a couple of laps on to the end of the race, and he told me to aim for a 6/10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion). I ran with Ian and we gradually got quicker and quicker, finishing just 30 seconds over my PB! Although this was faster than planned, I felt pretty good the whole way round, maybe pushing up to a 7-8/10 towards the end.

A few of us followed up with an epic post-run brunch – surely everyone knows that a fry up and pancakes are the perfect post-race fuel?!

 

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Sunday

A well-deserved rest day. My ITB started to ache towards the end of the run yesterday so the time off my feet was definitely needed!

Training by Numbers

Miles run: 20.7

Medals earned: 1

Times nearly pissed myself: 1

Fundraising total so far: £395

Follow me on Strava to see my training progress in more detail, and check out my Instagram for more training updates – including my stories where I document even more of my training, diet and general life!