Step Back Week

2015-01-11_SummaryYesterday was supposed to be another long slow run, upping the distance to 27K  as part of the marathon training plan.

Unfortunately, as I had a few extra things that had  to be done on Saturday morning, I didn’t have enough time left for three and a half hours of running; and, as my recovery for these longer runs tends to be a fairly grim affair involving at least twenty four hours to stretch, rest and recharge, there was no way I could do it today – not with a full day of work tomorrow. So I decided to review the old training plan.

Ideally, I’d like to run the full 42.2K (26.2 miles) before the Brighton Marathon, so I was a bit concerned that this was going to put a spanner in the works. However, after moving things around a little bit, I realised that I could probably still do it by increasing the distance of my long runs slightly and making sure that I had at least two weeks between each one. The gaps between these long runs will be a bit longer during my taper and recovery for the Half Marathon, but I reckon it’s still doable.

So, today, instead of running the 27K that I had originally planned, I decided to take a step-back week with a shorter long run of 15K – still a decent enough distance for me!

Before heading out, I had my usual two cups of coffee and a banana for breakfast and took a bottle of water with half a Zero tablet for hydration; and I figured I would try to keep my splits nice and slow, aiming for around 7:10 to 7:20 minutes per kilometre on average so that I wouldn’t feel overly tired afterwards.

Pretty much as soon as I started running, however, I could feel my stomach complaining. It wasn’t too bad at first, but after about twenty minutes I realised that I needed to get to a toilet. Luckily, there are a few public toilets along the seafront, so I looped back, found one and then headed back out again towards the Marina.

Again though, as soon as I started running, I knew something wasn’t right. But I decided to keep going and see how it went. After another fifteen minutes or so, I realised that the discomfort wasn’t going to go away, so I stopped again for a second toilet break.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I had planned to run 15K but had barely covered 5K, and I knew that once I got up above the cliffs there wouldn’t be anywhere to stop if I needed to. So, I decided to run as far as the Marina and see how I felt. If it still wasn’t right, I could use their facilities and then turn around and head for home.

Fortunately, the second stop seemed to do the trick and I felt much better as I headed up onto Madeira Drive. This is part of the route for the Brighton Marathon and Half Marathon and, as the only hilly section of the course, I really wanted to start using it on my training runs.

The hill itself wasn’t too bad, but when I turned around at the 8K mark (a bit longer than half-way after running back and forward looking for a toilet) I was confronted by a pretty strong headwind. However, the fact that I was running downhill for some of the return journey probably helped a bit, and I managed to complete the distance in 1:47:30 with an average pace of 7:10 minutes per kilometre as planned.

All in all, a pretty good morning’s work in spite of the early setbacks. And as for the stomach, that seems to have sorted itself out too.

How’s your training going? Have you encountered stomach grumblings on your morning training runs? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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10 thoughts on “Step Back Week”

  1. Yep, I’ve experienced tummy grumbles on a few occasions, and dare I even admit that I was once “caught short” (fortunately on a deserted country lane with plenty of hedges to hide in!). I find I have to leave it at least an hour after eating before attempting a run and try to *ahem* have a “clear out” as far as possible beforehand. I’ve also worked out that bread is a trigger food for me – if I have toast before a morning run I can usually expect trouble, whereas a stodgy bowl of porridge seems fine.

    1. I think that’s where I went wrong. I only waited half an hour before going out – lesson learned!
      I have the same thing with bread but bananas are usually ok. I guess it’s just trial and error, but hopefully not too many more errors! 😉

  2. One of the reasons I prefer trail runs is for the Bear Stops. We have few public loos here and definitely none on my running routes! Sometimes jumping a gate is the only solution. Well done for grinning “bearing” it 😉

  3. I read somewhere that after a meal, you should wait about 2 hours before running, which seems to be true for me.

    And also I agree with an article saying that a banana should be fine if you’re going for about 8-10 miles. However, if it is longer, you definitely need a good amount of food to fuel yourself and that is what I did and it worked out good for me yesterday. I’ll cover my nutrition in the next post.

    I only had one incident where I had to stop for a public restroom break. It was during a long run, and I had specifically chosen the beach bike path route, while having in mind that there are several public restrooms along the bike path. Because my metabolism (not only for my age but also in general) is super fast, I should’ve waited till I use bathroom before leaving my home. Since then, I tend to get up early and finish eating even before stretching to accommodate my system. 2 hours.

    Oh, one more thing. They recommend that for long runs you cut the amount of coffee intake in half. Short runs are fine. Just long runs. 🙂

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