Running

10K Training: Wk 1 – Keep the Chocolate Coming

I’ve just had the best choccy milk ever.

Not one of your fancy lardy shop bought numbers but one that Anne made me, melting plain chocolate powder in a bit of hot water before adding the cold milk, when I called to say I was five minutes away. Simple as. But, coming in after a two hours and ten minute long slow run, at just short of 11 miles, it was spot on.

I think I heard on a Marathon Talk podcast, about ‘wrapping’ your training runs in carbohydrates and just including a bit of protein into your immediate post run fuel. So that might mean having something like porridge a couple of hours before you set off; taking a gel or two mid run if it’s a long one, or maybe a bite of a jam sandwich if you can stomach it; and finally chocolate milk to finish it off. Ideal really, as I love most things with the word ‘chocolate’ in them. Plus it’s a lot cheaper and simpler than all the things that are on the market.

Now I know I’m not yet training for my Marathon, in fact all I’m training for is a 10K, so why am I still doing these long distances? The Hal Higdon plan doesn’t have anything longer than 8 miles, and that’s only at week 7.

Well, basically there is a bit of making it up as I go along here, and I could be wrong, but I want to maintain a near Half Marathon level long run base before I begin my Marathon training. I would love to get under the hour in my 10K race in 7 weeks’ time but it’s not my A-race. What I’m practising here, is the ability to follow a plan, which I’ve never been great at.

I’ve got three runs a week, one strength and mobility workout, and a big (for me) cycle. Hal’s got five runs, so I guess I’m merging three of them into one, which might or might not be a good thing to do. I do feel I’m getting stronger though.

Today, I veered away from my usual route to the Wheatsheaf pub and ran down to the Port Sunlight River Park, where I sometimes volunteer. ‘Down’ was the operative word, as it was virtually all downhill getting there, and the wind was assisting me. Which meant only one thing for the return.

However, I put that out of my mind. My legs, despite attempting to pedal like mad for 36 miles on Thursday just to keep my crew in view, were feeling alright. I kept my pace super-easy, so that I could breathe really comfortably. I set my app to just tell me what time has passed every ten minutes, but not my distance. This is so I can measure time on my feet, which is all I need at the moment for this kind of run. I don’t have special watches or heart rate gizmos, so I use my breathing as a guide to the effort I’m giving.

The River Park has a lot of soft gravelly sandy paths, and I decided to loop around several times to get most of my miles on these instead of the tarmac. Kenyan runners do most of their training on the trails, in order to reduce injury, so I ought to follow their lead.


I’m now sitting with a cup of tea watching Strictly, having popped into Liverpool for Anne’s niece’s mini Hen party. A bottomless, afternoon’s drinking session with a little bit of food on the side. Good job I was driving as I would have been on the floor after two drinks.

I wouldn’t have been able to go out after a long run a couple of months ago, let alone wear heels. I used to need the entire rest of day to recover. But today, after my chocolate milk, followed by sausage casserole for lunch, I was ready to go out. Another sign that I’m getting stronger!

A good end to my first week of 10K training, where I can tick off all the schedule. I’ll be putting my feet up tomorrow and watching the London Marathon. It’s always emotional seeing those people give it their all, and it brings back a lot of memories for my first marathon. Hopefully, it will give me encouragement when my next time comes.

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