The Barcelona Marathon is now just one month away. How did it get so close?
One of the nice things about the race will be running in the spring. Safely out of winter but long before the full heat of summer arrives, Barcelona’s average temperature in March in spring is 15C. That sounds just about right for running 42.2km without a break.
But to get to the point of running a spring marathon, you have to all of your training through winter. I’ve ran 467km since the start of November as training and the temperature has been dropping as low as -4C.
I’m usually a winter person but all those hours in the biting cold have left me looking forward to summer in a way I never have before.
However, I’ve managed to stick with my training plan (apart from this week, when everything seems to have gone out of the window!).
My training plan has been based around four days of running and two to four sessions of bodyweight work a week.
Each week I do a long run, a tempo run, an interval or hill run and a recovery run. At the moment, close to the peak of the plan, the total distance is adding up to around 55km to 60km a week.
The difference between this and when I trained for Berlin (aside from the fact I skipped half of Berlin’s sessions) is that each run serves a purpose. For Berlin I just went out and ran; for Barcelona runs are improving endurance, aerobic threshold or VO2 max.
One book I used when planning my programme was Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Muhr and Ray Moss. Okay, so I ignored the main part – only running three times a week – but it was essential in helping me woke out my pacing and distance progression.
The bodyweight sessions were also vital. Running requires full body fitness so I wanted to make sure I was maintaining my strength training. Plus I have a Spartan Race later in the year – can’t get weak ahead of that!
For the early part of the plan I was using the many workouts published for free by Darebee but more recently I’ve been signed up to the Freeletics Coach. This is a HIIT programme that felt tough but effective from day one.
Anyone who has ran a marathon will know that it takes over your life for the months before it and this has been no different. At least four days of training a week, sometimes with two workouts a day, and a lot of attention on diet and drinking.
One month to go. The long run next week is the longest at 32.5km and after that I’m into the taper. The marathon is so close and I’m looking forward to it in a way I thought I never would.