Week 1: a year until the marathon


In a year’s time, I’ll be running the Brighton Marathon.

When I first started running, a marathon was never my goal. Even when I did my first half marathon, the idea of doing a full one seemed ridiculous – people like me don’t do marathons, it’s too too far, the training would take up too much time, it’ll hurt.

But the idea slowly wormed its way into my head, and wouldn’t go away. I volunteered at this year’s Brighton Marathon, and at the briefing a few weeks ago I felt sad that I wasn’t running. So I signed up for the 2015 race.

I could’ve signed up for one happening sooner, but it feels right to have a whole year to train and to get to run in my beautiful adopted hometown.

I’m going to try to blog my way through the next 12 months to keep myself focused on and accountable for my training. (Especially when it’s hot or rainy and I don’t want to run, or when I’d rather plod than do intervals, or when I have DOMS from cross-training and want to stay on the sofa…)

For some people, a marathon isn’t that big a deal, and a whole year of training for it and blogging about it would sound like overkill.

For me, it’s huge. This marathon feels like an insurmountable challenge at the moment, and I want to focus on every little step I’m taking towards it, so that when the day comes around, I know I’m ready.

My first week’s training has consisted of:

  • Sunday 6th – volunteering at the marathon (training of a kind!)
  • Monday 7th – vinyasa flow yoga (Lucy the teacher is awesome and great with creaky runners)
  • Tuesday 8th – hot yoga
  • Wednesday 9th – 40 minute interval run
  • Thursday 10th – rest day
  • Friday 11th – 35 minute walk/run with Thom*, 20 minute threshold run
  • Saturday 12th – hot yoga later on.

This feels like a lazy week: no long run (I’m doing it tomorrow) and no crossing training. However, I’m pleased that I managed intervals and a threshold run – I was very lazy with them training for my last half and I really want to stick with them this time.

So there it is, week one of 52. Wish me luck.

*Thom’s my boyfriend. He’s signed up to do the marathon too – Friday was his second run, so he’s got an even tougher year ahead of him. Annoyingly, he’s taking to running much faster than I did, and will probably be better than me in a matter of months.


Favourite runs part 1 – Woodingdean/Rottingdean

I’ve been meaning to collect together maps of my favourite runs for a while. On the one hand I’m loathe to do it – on a lot of these routes I hardly see any other people. On the other hand, I feel like they’re too good not to share.

This is the first batch – routes in the Woodingdean and Rottingdean area. I obviously didn’t want to post where I live, so I’ve tried shortened the routes, and started and finished them at logical points instead. Depending on where you live, getting to these routes will probably involve running up Bear Road, which will build your character, as well as your glutes and quads.

Finally, because of WordPress’s stupid rules about iFrames, I can’t embed the routes, so I’ve used screenshots instead – if you click on them you’ll be able to see the route in more detail on Garmin.

Castle Hill 1

Castle Hill

Starts with a gentle uphill stretch on a gravelly track, before you get onto the narrow, winding path through the nature reserve, which feels a bit like being on a rollercoaster. Next is pretty brutal steep stretch that takes you onto the South Downs Way. In the summer there’s beautiful wildflowers round here.

Woodingdean to Rottingdean 1

FireShot Screen Capture #047 - 'Garmin Connect - Woodingdean to Rottingdean 1' - connect_garmin_com_course_5811313#This route is awesome, mainly because it’s almost all downhill. It’s a mixture of grass and gravel, with good views as you get a bit further out of Woodingdean. Be warned, you have to climb over a gate to get back to the road in Rottingdean – if you’re on the short side like me it can be taxing.

Woodingdean to Rottingdean 2

FireShot Screen Capture #048 - 'Garmin Connect - Woodingdean to Rottingdean 2' - connect_garmin_com_course_5811457

My favourite route of all time. This is a mixture of grass and farm tracks, with the most amazing views. (See main pic.) Starts with a gentle uphill stretch, before you go through a gate and onto a grassy track that hugs the side of the valley and eventually gets you down the bottom, via a little avenue of trees. From there it’s uphill, gradually getting steeper, until you hit the top of the hill and make your way back down to Rottingdean. It can get very, very muddy and slippery in the rain. (You can actually make out the mega-puddles in the picture above.)

Woodingdean to OvingdeanFireShot Screen Capture #051 - 'Garmin Connect - Woddingdean to Saltdean' - connect_garmin_com_course_5811499

This is a nice gravelly track that tracks along the edge of the golf course. It has great views, plus you get to see the old bit of Ovingdean, which is very pretty. Really easy if you run down to Ovingdean, and pretty punishing if you do it in reverse.