So, in December I found out that I won myself a spot on the 2017 Berlin marathon. It’s 10 months till the race in September, and 10 months sounds like a long time to train, but I know time will fly and I really haven’t run properly in 7 years. The longest race I ever did was a half marathon in 2009, in Bristol (UK), so the marathon distance does suddenly sound very, very daunting. I know I have a lot of work to do, and I want to do it properly and slowly, to remain injury free and enjoy the process.
In order to help me do this, the first thing I did was contact Full Potential in the UK, to ask Ben Barwick for private coaching. Ben helped Maria Conceicao train for her crazy 777 challenge (7 ultra marathons on 7 continents in 7 weeks), so I knew I’d been in good hands.
Full Potential can offer training plans and coaching via email/phone/Skype, which made this a great solution for me. Ben and I discussed my goals, current state of health and fitness, and what I have available to me for exercising (swimming pool, gym, space to run,…). What followed was an Excel sheet with a first training plan, and a flood of supporting information. The training plan covers running, swimming, and a multitude of specific exercises to improve strength, conditioning and stability. He also provided me with information on stretching, nutrition, and a detailed guide on what feedback to provide him with for every day so he can adjust my training accordingly. Thanks to Garmin Connect, I can also use my Garmin Forerunner to share my runs’ data with Ben. After our first Skype meeting, to address any initial questions, I went off on Christmas holidays to start my training plan!
The first two weeks are ticked and done, and were thankfully a lot less scary then I expected them to be. Getting back into running was daunting, but Ben’s plan has helped me make a comfortable, but challenging start, and the stretching and conditioning exercises have prevented any sore muscles to date. Which is awesome 🙂
I’m excited to see where this training will get me. Throughout January I am registering for the first little 5K races. It seems like such a short distance in comparison to what lies ahead, but I am happy to have enough time to take it step by step, so I can hopefully progress in leaps and bounds!
Thanks to Ben for getting me started so quickly, especially just before Christmas, and to Maria for her constant encouragement!