Yesterday 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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