After coming back from my knee operation last December, I’m pleased to say that through the spring and early summer I have had a good period of running, fitting in 17 marathons, including some tough hilly ones this summer like; Scafell, Trail Marathon Wales and the Lakeland Trail Marathon.
The family holiday was mid August so I planned to have an easy month, reduce my mileage and have a bit of a rest before starting training in earnest for the 10in10 next May.
I had booked Halifax marathon on the 31st August to kick start things off and mentioned this to friends on Facebook, describing it as “Training starts with Halifax Marathon”. I hadn’t thought too much about this comment and several replies were from friends who also run marathons and said they would see my there, which was nice. One comment from my friend Paul made me stop for a moment, he wrote:-
“Now that’s just weird Malc – training starts tomorrow with a marathon. Most people would say training starts tomorrow for a marathon!”
This comment made me think about to how fit I am now, which is a very good level of fitness but how fit do I need to get myself to be able to run 10 marathons in 10 days?
I have got so used to running a marathons, often consider them as a long training run or a reason to visit somewhere new and I do this every 2 or 3 weeks. To most it is still something you train for, for 3 months. Even with it’s tough, hilly 2 lap course Halifax wasn’t something I had to specifically train for, my fitness level is already at that point. What Paul’s comment made me realise was how much more beyond marathon fitness I need to get myself for the much bigger 10 marathons in 10 days challenge next May. A journey that will take me 8 months of serious endurance running.
Anyhow, here’s a little synopsis of Halifax for anyone out there wondering what it was like and maybe considering it for next year. It was 1 lap for the half marathon and 2 laps for the full marathon. As you can guess it wasn’t flat and each lap started off with the first 2 miles being mostly up hill. By the end of mile 2 we were already on the tops of the hills looking down on Halifax below. The views were lovely and even more stunning in the warm late summer sunshine. The course was a mix of trail and road and had a 4 or 5 mile stretch along a tree lined canal which again was lovely surroundings to run in. Each lap finished with a bit of a hill back into the Shay stadium. A testing course and certainly not a fast course but if you want to see some beautiful Yorkshire scenery then it is well worth doing.
I enjoyed two steady paced laps being only marginally slower second time round, finishing in 3 hours 40 minutes 23 seconds. Shame I didn’t nip under 3:40 but never mind. It seems us runners are never content with our time and wish every run was just that little bit faster. At least the “Training” has started well and is on its way.