marathon training planOK, here we go. Again! Christmas and New Year is over and my marathon training plan is go! I’ve got 12 and a half weeks to get marathon fit since my goal race is the Greater Manchester Marathon on the 2nd April. I’m excited about the challenge and I’ve already got races planned in my diary, so this post is just a recap of the races leading up to that.Here we go again, my marathon training plan has started and these are the races I’ll be doing in the run up to the Greater Manchester Marathon.

  • 7th January – Bucks County Cross Country Championship. I’m not as fast as I was this time last year, but I know it will come back. But still, I’m expecting to be bringing up the rear and be the last from my running club to finish.
  • 14th January – Chiltern League Cross Country at Keysoe. The local league race, I pretty much get to spend all day getting muddy as Izzy runs in the U11s. On the plus side I do get the course recce out the way nice and early.
  • 18th January – Southern Cross Country Championships – More cross country, and I’ve been told this will probably be the hardest race of my life. Some people love it, some people hate it and I’ve decided I’ve got to give it a go at least once. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Right?
  • 11th February Chiltern League Cross Country at Milton Keynes. The local league finishes in my hometown.
  • 12th February – Wokingham Half Marathon. I’m not planning on racing this one, instead it will be a marathon paced training run on tired XC legs. I’ve never done the Wokingham Half Marathon so it will be a new experience, but I’m told it’s a good one to do.
  • 12th March – Silverstone Half Marathon. This will probably be a flat out half marathon effort/PB attempt. Held at the home of British motor racing, the course can be fast, but it’s exposed and if it’s bad weather it can be horrible. Last year the last mile and a bit was all uphill and into a headwind.
  • 19th March – Ashby 20. I love this race, but I’ll be treating it as a catered training run. The start/finish is only a few miles from my in-laws so it’s really convenient and we don’t have to worry about childcare. Plus I know there will be lots of my friends supporting me at the water stations.
  • 2nd April – Greater Manchester Marathon. My goal race, and hopefully I’ll be fit enough to go sub-3:30 – 3:24 is the dream goal time. I know in previous years the race has had it’s problems but I did the half marathon back in October 2016 and they seem to have sorted the baggage problems out. Hopefully it works as smoothly in April.


I do have one more Spring marathon booked in, and that’s the London Marathon. At present that’s planned to be a fun day out potentially pacing my running club mate Mark Haynes to a sub-4 hour marathon, but if things go wrong in Manchester then it’s another opportunity to attempt sub-3:30 again. For both mine and Mark’s sake I’m working hard to make sure I achieve my goals at the Greater Manchester Marathon. And that’s it in terms of Spring races so far.

In the meantime, like a lot of other runners I know I’m monitoring what I eat so that I can lose the extra few pounds I’ve put on over Christmas and New Year. I’m not doing any major diet changes but I am cutting out the alcohol for January – it’s not so much the alcohol that’s my problem but the amount of crap I tend to eat while drinking – and I need to eat less cake and chocolate (except at cross country events). If I’m diligent then I should be back down to last year’s marathon weight by late January.

I have another challenge in that in a couple of days time I start work full time (9am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday) and I need to make sure I’m getting my runs in around that. I’m sure I can, but that’s another blog post.

Until next time…

Kassia Gardner

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