LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 14

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Distance clocked this week: 33 miles. 4 runs. Had some great runs with the club, getting out into the fields and off road for some beautiful views. My shorter runs on my own were tougher this week due to general tiredness.

Long run: 19 miles. A long run with my club and it was an absolutely glorious day. We took it easy and had a thoroughly lovely time. Even though I had 21 miles planned, I was happy with the 19 as the majority of it was on trails which meant that some of the terrain was quite tough. Muddy puddles included.

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Nutrition: A good week for nutrition by reducing my sugar intake.

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What am I listening to? Book podcasts. Back in reading mode, I’ve been listening to The Readers and the Penguin podcast. Also, excitedly working on my London Marathon playlist.

Cross Training: I added in an extra gym session this week focusing on strength exercises and really enjoyed it. Would like to add in more classes especially as tapering is imminent.

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Lessons Learnt: It’s ok to be a bit more relaxed with my training schedule and not worry too much about ticking off the exact mileage as long as I’m progressing. I skipped a run the day after my long run as I listened to my body which was telling me to rest.

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LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 13

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Distance clocked this week: 24 miles. 2 runs. A bit of a fail of a week as I had a cold so after my long run, I only managed one more short one which was a big struggle for me.

Long run: 21 miles. What a tough run. It was a mental struggle for me this week as physically I actually felt fine. The first 10 miles were pretty enjoyable taking in a waterside view but after yet another route confusion,  the wind seemed to arrive with vengeance and I just wanted to get home. Still, I always feel so accomplished afterwards and it’s great preparation for the sure to be metal aspects of the marathon.

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Nutrition: I definitely noticed a lack of appetite this week due to illness (very unusual for me) so I just tried to drinks lots of smoothies and eat loads of veg to ward away my cold.

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What am I listening to? More Desert Island discs – if you haven’t  checked out the Bruce Springsteen episode, it’s definitely worth a listen. What a legend.

Cross Training: No cross training for me due to my cold unless you count sleeping.

Lessons Learnt: If you’re not well, don’t feel guilty about not being able to follow your plan. Take the time to recover properly first and come back stronger.

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LVB’s Marathon Training Diary – week 12

Distance clocked this week: 35 miles. 5 runs. I’ve felt a little lacklustre this week but have still had some good runs. I’m definitely enjoying the more social aspect when I run with others.

Long run: 18 miles. A truly lovely run. I ran 14 miles with 2 of my run club friends which was just a delight. We had a beautiful route too taking in some great countryside views which I did not capture on camera so please enjoy this photo of a muddy path instead.

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Nutrition: I’ve kept is simple this week with wraps for lunch and chilli’s , salads and rice and beans for dinner. Also, rediscovering my love for quinoa. It’s meant I’ve had lots of energy for my morning runs.

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What am I listening to? I may be a few years behind, considering this show started in the 1940s, but I am absolutely loving Desert Island Discs which are available as a podcast. Kirsty Young interviews various celebrity guests including Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards and Tom Hanks, who choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island. They’re all about 35 minutes long so they’re perfect entertainment for my week day runs.

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Cross Training: I’ve been adding in some at home workouts using weights and focusing on arms and core and also went back to Spin class which I find is great for strengthening my hamstrings.

Lessons Learnt: Running with friends really does help pass the time and taking in beautiful routes makes me appreciate living where I do.

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LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 11

Distance clocked this week: 39 miles. 5 runs. Some great runs this week. My hamstring was feeling quite tight at the beginning of the week but I eventually got my groove back with some short and speedier runs.

Long run: 20 miles. Something different for this week’s long run as I took part in the MK Festival of Running and chose to do the 20 miler. It was a great atmosphere as the event also included a 5k, 10k and Half Marathon options. The run itself wasn’t the most exciting route but mostly flat and enjoyable. I found a lovely running buddy the whole way round which meant the time flew by.

IMG_6950Nutrition: Still trying to keep it clean with healthy meal choices and attempting to curb my super sweet tooth with better options such as dates, fruit and nuts. My new fave lunch has got to be this multigrain wrap with hummus, veg and olives (a tip from the great vegan ultra runner, Scott Jurek).

IMG_6914What am I listening to? Another week, another new podcast discovery. I’m loving Ted Radio Hour from the people who bring us those amazing Ted Talks. Check it out here.

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Cross Training: Not as much as I’d like this week, but a few gym sessions and some at home workouts focusing on my core and stretching out my problem areas.

IMG_6993Lessons Learnt: Unfortunately, I experienced quite a few stitches on my 20 mile run. I’m not sure if these were due to nutrition choices or going out a little faster than normal to begin with so I’ll keep experimenting on my next long runs.

Vegan Protein Bars

As I’ve been upping my workouts recently, I’ve found myself increasingly hungry and often after a long run, I want to refuel quickly so have been turning to some of these bars.

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Nakd Berry Cheeky Not strictly a protein bar, but I wanted to include a lighter option that’s great for an afternoon snack. The added oats means they keep you fuller for longer too.

Trek Cocoa Chaos Definitely one of my favourites and most eaten of all the protein bars. I love that the bar can be split into 3 chunks, so I tend to eat them separately. Great before a run in the morning.

Clif Bar Coconut and Almond Butter I had to sneak this one in despite the fact these are only available online and I actually purchased these when I was in Florida last year. I love them so much that I’ve been eeking them out to make them last longer. My absolutely favourite protein bar ever, the coconut and almond butter tastes indulgent and delicious.

Cliff Bar Crunchy Peanut Butter High in calories but also so tasty. I usually pick one of these up after a long run when I need to get some calories in me quickly.

9Bar Superseeds Almond and Raspberry I actually love to sprinkle this bar over porridge especially as a bit of extra fuel and nutrition pre long run day.

I would love to know what are your favourite bars and pre and post workout snacks.

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

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LVB Marathon Training Diary – Week 9

Distance clocked this week: 43 miles. 6 runs. A bit of a mixed bag this week. Some good runs including some speedy recovery runs but also some not so great runs (thanks Storm Doris).

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Long run: 20 miles. I know! A little early on the plan for a 20 miler but I managed it. Another route error for me. Course took me round some back roads and main roads which meant a little less picturesque route than usual. The last 4 miles were tough but I listened to some tunes and got it done. img_6658

Nutrition: I took a High5 Zero tablet and added to water after about 10 miles.  Washing my Lucozade gel down with it probably wasn’t the best decision but not sure if it was the gel or the combination that made me feel less than sprightly. Meals this week have been the usual veg and been snacking on nuts and raisins mainly. Also, highly recommend corn cakes with almond butter.

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What am I listening to?  This week’s podcast discoveries were the Ali on the Run show and the wonderful Run Selfie Repeat.

Cross Training: I added in an extra strength training session and also had a Spin class, something that I incorporated a lot of last year when I was training for my first marathon and seemed to really help my hamstring so let’s hope it has the same affect.

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Lessons Learnt : See above re. gel/electrolyte sports drink combination. Think I’ll stick to water for now.

You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

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LVB’s Marathon Training Diary – Week 8

img_6532Distance clocked this week: 35 miles. 5 runs. Let me tell you, even when you think you’re strong and you’re smashing out the long runs every week, short runs can be tough. 2 days after my epic almost 18 miler, I was just not feeling it. Freezing winds, muddy trails and my hat blowing off. But I did it and that’s the most important thing. Keep pushing on guys.

Long run: 17.7 miles. I had actually planned on a 15 mile run but the route that I followed was a little further than I realised so ended up at 17.7. I opened my door to snow so felt very pleased with myself for braving not my favourite conditions. I did 3 or 4 miles along a very muddy canal and then veered onto the road passing through country villages and fairly busy country lanes. Half way in, it got a bit quieter and by the 10 mile mark, my legs were starting to feel a bit tired from all the hills I’d already tackled. I plodded on, took in  a gel and that gave me a little lift to push on. I finished tired but happy to have ran for longer than planned with no hamstring niggles.

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Nutrition: I purchased the vegan SIS nutrition pack, which includes gels, pre and post recovery powders and bars. On this run, I had an electrolyte pack in my water and a gel. When I got home, I had the chocolate recovery powder. I seemed to have a speedier than usual recovery so fingers crossed this routine is working.

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What am I listening to?  Mostly old episodes of The Ginger Runner with some Little Big Town for some added motivation for the last few miles (they’re an American country pop band).

Cross Training: The now usual strength training. Would love to fit a bit more strength work in too so that’s something I’m going to work on next week.

Lessons Learnt : Switching from podcasts to music for the 3 miles or so really did give me an extra push when it got tough.

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You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

Follow me on Instagram: London Vegan Bird

LVB’s Marathon Training Diary – Week 7

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Distance clocked this week: 33 miles. 4 runs. Due to next week’s long run being on a Saturday, this week is shorter so I’m happy with the amount of miles.

Long run: 14 miles. After last week’s 15.5 miles, I had on my plan to do (just the) 13 but again ended up doing a little more just due to the route that I took.  I decided to focus on my pace a little more than usual instead of my normal plod that I tend to adopt on long runs. This went well for the most part and was turning out some good times, especially to the end of my run. My route followed some main roads and then cut back onto more country lanes. But country lanes mean hills, however this time, I decided to attack them with aplomb.  I felt strong and was proud to not have to stop at all. Countryside runs also have the benefit of the locals and I saw my first lambs of the year which gave me a lift when I needed it.

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Nutrition: On my long run, I tried out a new gel (High 5 – Raspberry flavour) which was actually rather tasty and consequently gave me my fasted mile straight after I had consumed it so it must have worked. Will definitely be picking up more of these ones.

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As I have a super sweet tooth, it is fruitless to say that I will cut out all sweet treats so I made these refined sugar free flapjacks (pic above).

What am I listening to?  UltraRunner Podcast , as well as Marathon Talk. Inspiring stuff.

Cross Training: I had a great strength training session  with kettle bells and dumbbells and incorporated planks, squats and lunges. My Body Balance class was a nice opportunity to work on flexibility , core and stretching.  Loving it.

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Lessons Learnt : Hills are not the enemy. Hopefully these are helping to make me stronger and make the lovely flat course of the London marathon seem easy peasy. Cough!

After  having to change my original charity, I will now be fundraising for KidsAid, a small charity based in Northamptonshire that provides support for children and young people who have suffered abuse, bereavement, bullying and family problems. Find out more about the charity here and if you would be so kind, please donate here:  http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird

You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

Follow me on Instagram: London Vegan Bird

LVB’s London Marathon Training – Week 6

Distance clocked this week: 34 miles. 5 runs. Some great runs this week as I’ve been trying to up my speed a little and have been enjoying the challenge.  I’m also happy to report that even after a long day in London on Saturday at Meet the Experts (see below), I managed to squeeze in a little 3 miler in the dark when I got home.

Long run: 15.5 miles. This was one of those great runs when mentally and physically I was in a great place and everything came together. I followed a route from a  few weeks ago that I had previously really enjoyed but unfortunately, the road was closed to I ended up turning round half way instead. I was planing on doing 14 miles, but was enjoying it so much and felt really strong, so I decided to add on another mile and in the end actually finished at 15.5.

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Nutrition: Post long run I decided to try my own version of a protein shake – oat milk, peanut butter and cocoa powder. It went down very well indeed. For the rest of the week, I concentrated on greens and beans making sure I had one form or another every day.

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Wholemeal pasta with greens, beans and Violife cheese

What am I listening to? Another rediscovery of mine is the No Meat Athlete podcast. A great mix of interviews, motivation and tips for vegan athletes.

Cross Training: Strength training focusing on core and arms. Body Balance class was also great for stretching and focusing on balance and flexibility.

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Lessons Learnt : I attended the Meet the Experts event in London for those running the London marathon which included speakers talking about nutrition, pacing and other top tips for training and to use on the day.  This week, I’ve focused more on my pace and it’s something I want to do more of going forward.

You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

Follow me on Instagram: London Vegan Bird

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