It’s exactly a month since the Paris Marathon, which (you may recall) I conquered with great rockhardness, modesty and flair.
The recovery period is well over now – I started running again the weekend after the marathon. Apart from the passing of one toenail, I have no ill-effects to report. All parts are working well, and the legs are full of energy again.
Since the start of May I’ve kept a schedule of running 20 miles a week. This works out as two four-mile runs during the week, an eight-miler on Saturday morning and another four-miler on Sunday evening. I find the four-mile run is just right for getting me back into the rhythm of regular running – substantial enough for a good workout but short enough for me to run at a strong pace and hopefully build up some base speed. And as my usual weeknight training run is six miles, the four-miler almost feels like a guilty pleasure.
I’ve also changed my route, so that I can add mental freshness to the spring in my step. Training last winter for the Paris Marathon, I ran toward the city and to a running track a couple of miles away. These days, though, I’m going in the opposite direction. I live near the foot of a steep hill which is on the course of the annual Paris-Versailles race, and while training last summer for the Dublin Marathon I would leave my building and tear straight up this hill.
However, now I prefer to get in a bit of a warm-up before I hit the slopes. So, first I run for a mile around to the far side of the hill. There, I find a slighter but longer uphill road which I think gives me a better workout that a short, sharp shock of steepness.
At the top of the hill, two miles done, I rejoin my old summer route – a quiet stretch of road along a train line, back the other side and down that steep hill. Then I throw in a hard half-mile sprint around the block to finish.
The Saturday morning eight-miler follows the same route as the four-miler but at halfway, at the top of the hill, I throw in a four-mile loop up and down a wide tree-lined avenue to a nearby park, before rejoining my original route and heading home.
So that’s my running this month. I’ve no races planned, so the objective is to keep ticking over and build a strong base for summer running. Come June I’ll throw in an extra four or five miles a week. Before I know it, it’ll be July – time for serious training again, ahead of the Dublin Marathon at the end of October. And that’ll be the year almost finished!
What’s your running schedule like this May? Short races, long races, or just ticking over too?