MK Marathon Ambassador 2018 – Jen Garner


Back in September last year, I found out I was successful in my application to be an Ambassador for the MK Marathon this year.  Woo hoo!   Another marathon, Jen, are you mad? Wasn’t Snowdonia bad enough?  Quite possibly.  And yes.

My face is on their website.  Check it out:

I want to complete another marathon and when I saw the opportunity to apply, I thought, why not?  MK was my very first marathon in 2016 and so holds a special place in my heart.  And legs.  I actually enjoyed it!  I also want one of those funky legend medals that Coach Neil received last year for running five MK Marathons.  So…I need to do more, obviously.

My training for MK was really supposed to begin following Snowdonia in October.  The plan was to keep the legs ticking over until January and then I can jump head first into marathon training.  Good plan.  Did this plan happen?  Absolutely not.  I was injured.  And then lazy.  Not to worry, I can still jump into marathon training.  And that was the plan come 1st January 2018.  I have my handy spreadsheet I’ve been working on for a while telling me what I need to be doing, what longs run I need to do each weekend.  All would be well.

Well….we are now nearing the end of February and my training has not exactly gone to plan….

The first week of the year started off pretty well.  I’d gone for a couple of super slow runs over the festive period, and then went out on the first club run of the year.  5caKe night, of course.  This felt pretty good.  Not easy, not hard.  Just a good run.  The following day it was Chair Rob’s Fartlek. Absolutely brutal.  I led the club Friday morning run and then managed a run when I was away over the weekend.

The following week I had some back issues.  I’d also picked up a cough which had become progressively worse during the week and being outside didn’t like me.  So week 2 was not that great.

Weeks 3 and 4 were limited.   Well, nothing.  I did nothing.  Partly due to the cough, partly due to me being lazy.  I attempted a longer run, but in true JG style, managed to turn my ankle in a puddle so I limped home.

I reset myself so my official week 1 of marathon training would begin on 29th January.  Fantastic.  I had a great week which was finished off with the Watford Half Marathon.  The next day I had the flu which quickly turned into a chest infection.   I have been battling this ever since.

I’m finally back to myself this week (I think) and I know what I have to do.  I will also badger Coach Neil for tips and advice to keep me going – anyone struggling or anyone who needs some help, ask him too.  We have a great coach in the club – and new Assistant Coach Matt – who are both happy to help out.

My aim really is to make use of all or most of the club runs in the week and then have my long runs at the weekend.  I will also add some swimming, strength and cycling in there when I’m not completely knackered.

So what are my long runs?  It is now under 11 weeks to go until Milton Keynes and I’ve planned out every weekend and every long run.  I try to run by distance, however if I haven’t been consistent with the mid week runs and know I’ll struggle, then I’ll switch this to time or just make it shorter.  Marathon training is about time on the feet.  Also all the distances are in km as that’s just how I work.

The plan may well adapt from now (and probably will knowing me), but this is the current weekend schedule starting on what should be week 5 (this week).  This weekend may not go to plan at all (I’m being a bit ambitious), but what the hey:

Week 5 22-24
Week 6 no idea Deerstalker
Week 7 21 + 5 MK Festival Half
Week 8 32 Oakley 20
Week 9 32 Bedford 20
Week 10 21
Week 11 26
Week 12 29
Week 13 26
Week 14 8 Aldbury 5
Week 15 42 MK Marathon

The hardest task will be two 20 miles a week apart.  Oakley 20 and Bedford 20 – not usually a great idea for an inexperienced runner like myself….or even some of the more seasoned athletes out there…however as long as I am consistent mid-week and keep up the long runs, I know I’ll be fine.  If necessary I will drop one of them to 17 or 18 miles and walk the remaining miles.  This does not bother me and I’ll still get a medal…or a hoodie.

So…this is me.  One of the MK Marathon Ambassadors 2018.  I’ll be blogging again to let you all know how the training is going and what the events are like.   Let me know if any of you are running any of the other events I’ve entered or fancy a long run for a natter.  I could do with the company!

And if you haven’t entered any of the MK Marathon Weekend events yet…why not?  Get in now!   Have a look here:

You don’t have to do the marathon.  They have a half marathon and a relay event.  Don’t forget to also enter the Rocket 5K on the Sunday.  You get another medal AND a third medal for two days of running.  Who doesn’t love medals!  And it has a cow on it.  A cow!

The Rocket 5K is another great event – I got my 5K PB there back in 2016.  I’ve still not beaten it.

So…see you there!

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