My training for the Stroud half marathon is a bit different to my training for the Cheltenham half or the Tewkesbury half. That’s because Stroud is just three weeks after Cheltenham and I have to build in recovery from Cheltenham. When you add in tapering, I basically have one week of ‘proper’ training between the two races.
Normally in the two or three weeks before a half marathon I would be doing two six mile runs midweek, a parkrun on Saturday and a 12 mile run on Sunday. I’m not big on tapering (that’s reducing your mileage to give your legs the best recovery before a race), which I think is more important for marathons than half marathons. But I will do my final 12 mile run the weekend before the race and just one four mile run on the Wednesday or Thursday before. And definitely no parkrun the day before, not even a slow one!
After a half marathon, my legs are stiff for a few days. It’s only a mile further than I do in training, but the crowds and the extra adrenaline spur me on to run about 30 seconds a mile faster than I usually do. Which means I have difficulty getting down the stairs and getting up from sitting. Even walking is uncomfortable. Some people will do a slow recovery run the day after a half marathon. I am not that person. Instead, I do the stretches I normally do after a run for the first few days after the race.
It is always Thursday before I’m ready to run again and, even though it’s just over two weeks to Stroud by this point, I will restrict myself to just four miles. Last year, I got an injury a few days after Stroud, which completely stopped me running. It was three months before I was completely recovered and since then I’ve only managed one parkrun in under 23 minutes (I was doing them regularly before then). Although I guess the fact that I’ve had two half marathon PBs since my injury means I am fully recovered.
Then I did parkrun on Saturday and 10 miles on Sunday. All being well, it will be two six mile runs, a parkrun and a 12 mile run this week and then I will be back to tapering next week.
Keep everything crossed for me that I’ve got my training right for two half marathons in three weeks and that I can avoid injury before, during and after Stroud.