Hiya pals! What a great back-to-work Monday! Aren’t you buzzing with New Year optimism and joie de vivre, just glad to be alive?
Didn’t think so.
For most of us, today marks the sad end of the Christmas holidays and a painful return to our work or school routine. We ate well, drank plenty, slept late – and now we pay for it.
Over the Christmas I ran and ate with equal gusto. No Christmas running streak for me this year – last time I did that it left me injured for most of January. Still, I ran four times in each of the last two weeks.
The highlight of my festive running was my usual Christmas morning long run: 13 miles along my favourite route. Apart from that, I kept my running short and easy.
Now, though, I need to get back into proper training. Call me a sicko, but the return to a work routine actually helps with my running. As much as I enjoyed measuring out my Christmas in tins of biscuits, I can now slip back into my better habits – less carbohydrates and sugar, more hydration, less eating in general.
For March, though, I’m thinking of doing the Tralee Marathon on 15 March. After four weeks of post-Dublin marathon recovery in November and then another four weeks of a gradual return to training in December, that gives me ten weeks to get race fit.
I haven’t actually entered the Tralee Marathon yet. The closing date is 5 March, so I have the luxury of training through January and February before deciding if I’m in marathon shape physically and mentally. (Remember: the marathon is a mental challenge with a bit of running attached.)
If I do the Tralee Marathon, I won’t be aiming for a P.B. or a fast time – I’d simply look to get around in under four hours. A home-town marathon is something to be savoured, not experienced through the fog of a suffer-fest.
I have a training plan in mind – one where I’ll run only four times a week (as opposed to my usual five) so that I can continue my post-Dublin recovery. Each week will have two speed workouts, a long run and a recovery run, and I don’t see myself going over fifty miles per week.
So that’s how my running for the first quarter of 2015 provisionally looks. And after that, we’ll be heading to Christmas again.