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The Unelite Athlete

Unelite Athlete – January

Well the good news is that I’m back running, and back writing after what seemed to me like a somewhat lengthy period. I had a really good last few races in the 2019 season, and although picked up a few injuries along the way, managed to get a PB at the 5 mile distance, the half marathon distance, and also a PB on the Greencastle 5 mile race (which has proven to be a hard nut for me to crack).

Moving into this year, my main focus right now is the marathon. Its been too long since I’ve had a marathon PB, and the way I see it, the only way to find true growth is by seeking out your weaknesses and adapting yourself in a way to beat them. I bought a marathon training plan online, and tailored it to fit around my own routine. I have not had great experiences with running plans before ( the last time I used one I had an epically bad DNF in Dublin and that totally put me off). But, I’m more experienced now. I know my capabilities, and I also know when I can push on a little.

So currently, I’m in week 4 of a 17 week plan, that’s specific to the marathon distance, and to be perfectly honest, I feel fantastic. I’m doing 5 runs per week, with a good mixture of different paces and I’m on the elliptical machine (cross trainer) twice a week, and a simple bodyweight exercise routine twice a week. That’s it… well apart from the stretching which is on average 3-4 times a week. Flinging it all together didn’t happen overnight though, it’s still a work in progress but, it really helps to keep it fresh. It can seem like a lot if you were to look at it all at once but, i find the key is to go week by week and not to stress to much about it.

If you are looking at a training plan, remember that a lot of them should be treated as a guide, or stencil as such. Jt can get stressful when you’re trying to commit to something and you start burning out. Sometimes it’s easier to just quit but, you can try simplifying the run, or even shortening it slightly to suit your own ability. The main thing to remember is that you need consistency, effort, and routine, no matter what you’re training for.

And remember this…

January is the toughest month of the year to start. It’s cold, dark and usually wet. So if you can get through January, you can pretty much get through anything. And if you ready gave up? Well February is just around the corner, and there’s nothing saying you can’t start over then.

As cliché as it sounds, a marathon is the hundreds of miles on the weeks and months before it. The final 26.2 is the victory lap.

Catch up with you soon!

Calum

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