Fitness-wise, January was a terrible month for me. Even though I got to walk in some amazing countryside (including getting up to Stainforth Force in the photo above), and even with the rest of the world may cracking on with their New Year’s resolutions, I ended up running a pathetic 21 miles. Yes, you read that correctly.
21 miles. In total. For the whole month.
To put that in to perspective, I’ve signed up for an ultra-marathon in June which will be 69 miles over two days. At my current rate, my finish time is likely to be just over three months!
First things first, it isn’t like this is the first time I’ve had this problem. When training last year for the Leeds and Manchester Half Marathons I had completed very few miles and paid the price when it came to results, so I definitely need to think up a new plan.
A change of tactic
I started to follow this guy on Instagram last year ==> instagram.com/matt.runs/
Among his other awesome achievements (running the London Marathon after fighting testicular cancer being just one of them), he set himself the challenge of running 1000 miles in 2017. This has given me an idea for my own little quest. Instead of focusing on races in 2018, I’ve set myself the challenge of running 750 miles over the course of the year.
This is a big change from how I normally structure my training. Hopefully it will stop me doing my normal trick of smashing an event, then giving myself two weeks off “to let my legs rest”. Better yet, I have a plan which (I’ve convinced myself) will make it happen.
The running plan
At first glance, it doesn’t seem too bad. After all 750 miles in a year is 62.5 miles each month, or about 15 miles a week. With a decent fitness regime in place, I reckon I could crack that with only some minor changes. However, as we’ve already established, my January was a shocker. And it isn’t like I can go straight to smashing out that kind of weekly distance from nothing.
So, over a couple of pints with my better half, we created this running plan for 2018 (not taking in to account any races!). It is nice and simple, and it will be very easy to see if I have actually made it!.
Until April the mileage builds quickly. This is just me getting back up to my normal levels of running and shows just how little I’ve been doing of late. After that there’s a nice gradual build of monthly mileage, about 10% month-on-month. You’ll notice that the plan for December is a beast, but that’s a good thing for me – I need a challenge!
The running plan so far
So, one week in to February with 30 miles as my target, how am I getting on? Quite well, with 8 miles under my belt and 22 left to go (about 7 a week for the rest of the month). Definitely achievable to get me back on track with my running.
Next time, I’m taking a break from the fitness chat (hooray, I hear you cry) to explore a subject I’m becoming more and more passionate about (what a tease). Stay tuned and cheers for reading!