I am looking back now more than a little amazed as to just how well January went from a running and training point of view. Setting myself several targets for 2015 felt like the right way to progress, but I had this lingering doubt that I might be over-reaching. The targets come in three blocks, block one (lasting 8 weeks) into the Bath Half marathon, block two (the next 15 weeks) into the Swansea half marathon and the final block of 12 weeks into the Berlin marathon. All three predicated on progression towards a marathon PB, with the first block in some ways the most critical in determining how far I dare to let my ambitions go.
All month I was waiting for something to go wrong for something to twinge and fall apart, but no through using warm-ups and cool downs properly and employing my friend the golf ball I managed very well. My body is not entirely happy with the switch from life without a training plan to life with one but we are agreeing in the most part that everything is okay.
Interestingly going to the local pool for a swim session once a week really has made a difference to my training week perspective. It isn't that I have opted to bob about lazily in the pool I have been working hard and got up to 2.5km in my most recent visit. The big difference it makes is mental, I have to completely change my headspace to get a good session together in the water. Embarassingly I can't freestyle so I have been monstering quick breaststroke lengths instead, but all the while working out how I could try to improve my freestyle. This alternative challenge has neatly stopped me thinking 24/7 about running paces, sessions, technique, and all that.
In the end January was my 4th highest (recorded) month for distance in 4 years of keeping GPS records with just over 116km (72miles). I even went out on the last day of the month to ensure I pushed the total to a personal fourth best total, which I know is tiny compared to the distances 'serious' runners notch up (!).
Heading into February I am looking to simply keep this wagon rolling and glitch free. Bath comes at the end of the month and my main goal go under my Cardiff half marathon time from last year and get as close to my PB as possible without damaging myself for the next training block.