First Day

First days always mark important events in our calendars. First Day of Spring , first day of summer both have positeve connotations. First day of Autumn perhaps less so, and we rarely talk about the first day of winter because well winter just takes over from Autumn some time in November. The first day of the new year (January first) is rather overshadowed by New Years Eve, December 31st, when all the resolutions for the coming year are made. Although in London’s East End they used to prefer celebarting “Old Years Night”. Theres something to be said for having a knees up for the old year before setting out on the New.

For me though Sunday 23 December is an important first day, and one on which certainly the first four months of the year are planned and the great running resolutions are made. Today is the start of my training programme for the Brighton Marathon on April 14th.

My Sunday 23rd training entry, calls for a 4 mile run in 38 minutes (9.30 pace). In the event the small groups of us who met at the Pheasantry in Bushy Park ran 6.7 miles at around this pace, with a few stops to regroup. It was a great winter day for running with a temperature of around 10 degrees and a weak sun in evidence from time to time. Although a number of regulars from our group had not made it there were certainly plenty of runners out in Bushy Park and on the Thames path between Hampton Court and Kingson Bridge. I said a good morning to “Mr Park Run” Paul Sinton-Hewitt who was out for a run on his own towards Hampton Court, and also bumped into Tony Page and Jorg, both non club running friends, and also Sarah Winter, a regular team member for Stragglers XC races.

This years marathon training will be even more interesting because in tandem I will be organising the Richmond 13.1 which takes place 2 weeks earlier and is just 14 weeks away. Fortunately the heavy part of the schedule should be done and dusted by the time Richmond comes around, and I will be into my taper, although it would have been an ideal final long run otherwise.

So here’s to the First Day of Marathon Training. If only they were all as painless and pleasant!

The four hour training programme I am using is based on an old Runners World programme adapted slightly over the years. It runs over 16 weeks and cumulates with the Brighton Marathon on April 14th. Today I ran a slow 6.7 miles, a bit further than the schedule called for but in line with current training and fitness. The Richmond Half Marathon takes place in 14 weeks and we currently have 140 entrants and building nicely!

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