The New Normal – Marathon Training – Part Three, Off Days

Last week I felt like if they’d suddenly announced the London Marathon was taking place in three days time I would be absolutely fine with the idea, waltz up to the start line and give it my best. This week my feet just don’t want to move!

Workout Outdoors Stay At Home Fitness
I’ve been keeping up with my workouts from Briana K Fitness, even on the sunniest of days!

My overall training plan so far has had a bottom level goal and a top level goal for each day. For example I will say to myself okay Tuesday I will run somewhere between four and six miles. I’m finding this easier for the majority of the week than setting a hard and fast goal, so that’s what I’ve kept to. Most weeks I’ve hit my top end goal and felt energised, fitter and stronger than before. However, this week for no justifiable reason I’ve found myself really trudging through the miles and the workouts to reach my lower goal. It’s frustrating because I am hugely aware of how lucky I am at the moment to be able to put my time and energy into marathon training, and feel completely selfish and ridiculous when I’m not making the most of it.

So, over the last couple of days, after some heavy and aching legs, the return of the dreaded shin splints and some truly spectacular blisters on my right foot, I have attempted to re-motivate myself.

For the sake of reminding myself in the future, and in case anyone else needs a little motivation boost at the moment, here are some of the things I’ve done that have helped me out of this miniature motivational moodswing!


1. Eating. I don’t know about you but when I’m on top of my workouts and runs I find myself trying very hard to be ‘good’ about food. Turns out that’s left me feeling pretty hungry a lot of the time so over the last few days I’ve just eaten what I fancy and boy oh boy has it been lovely. Surprise surprise, I have a lot more energy! Despite what we are often led to believe, eating is good for you.

Fish and Chips That Emily
Once every few weeks my family treats ourselves to fish and chips. Yum.

2. Being aware of the ultimate goal (i.e. a marathon) but not being intimidated by it. It’s so easy to wake up and give up there and then. Bed is far less scary than running 26.2miles, but I owe it to Mind (the charity I will be running for) and myself to keep on getting up and getting out.

3. Laying out running clothes ahead of time. Such an easy thing to do, and listed in so many ‘how do I start running’ blogs and yet how often do I actually do it? Barely ever! I’ve started again over the last couple of days and it definitely helps. My sleepy brain isn’t up to much unnecessary decision making first thing, so taking those options away and jut having the clothes laid out is a huge help.

That Emily Blog Blogger
Sometimes a shorter run is for the best!

4. Allowing there to be rest days. Rest isn’t failure, it’s part of recovery and getting fitter and stronger in the long run. I don’t know about you but sometimes my own bloody mindedness thinks I should just run for nine hours a day and somehow that’s a sign of success. Sure, sometimes it might be but often it’s not!

5. Stretching. Stretching. Stretching. I’ve been using lots of the stretching guides on Runners World and also Popsugar Active to try and appease the pain of shin splints. They have been much better until recently but upping the stretching routine and reducing the running routine has been a huge help.

6. Realising it doesn’t really matter. Yes, the marathon is a big goal for me, and yes I would like to be fit enough to run it, raise plenty of money for Mind and strong enough for it not to hurt too much but does it matter? No, not really. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a luxury, a treat, a perk.

Stay safe x

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