People don’t tell you about the cumulative fatigue you feel during a marathon training block. 

I understand that to be part of the game now; running when you really don’t want to is great preparation, mentally, for those latter stages come the marathon. 

Is it always enjoyable? No, but it does lend itself to a deeper level of satisfaction in preparing for what’s to come. 

I started a run this week with a friend and warned them that it was a close call between going for a 10-mile run with them or sacking it off to get a nap in. It’s that kind of polarisation that sums up being in marathon training; it’s hard... and none of us can expect any sympathy because ultimately, we’ve chosen to do this. 

Getting out the door is half the battle. I find it easier to limit my choices of when I can get a run in – it means that in my little mind there isn’t a decision to be made. If I’ve said I’m going for a run in the morning, I will. There might be a chance to go later in the day, but I don’t entertain that thought otherwise I’ll keep pushing it further into the day. 

Getting my kit ready the night before an early run is non-negotiable. I don’t want to be rattling around the house in the morning looking for that soft flask that I haven’t washed properly from the last time I used it. 

And that damn washing pile – why is it so easy to put clothes in the washing machine but so hard to put them away? I really hope we’re not the only family to have a big pile of clean washing to rifle through when looking for running kit, socks in particular? My wife, Alison, is campaigning for a sock-less existence and I can’t blame her. 

At the time of writing, I feel tired. I front-loaded this week, in terms of mileage, to hopefully feel a bit fresher for the Valentine’s 10K on Sunday. I got 15 miles in on Monday and then another 10 on Wednesday and I’m easing off now ahead of the weekend. 

That also means tempering some of the strength and conditioning work and I’m hopeful this mini-taper can lead to a decent run. 

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The Valentine’s 10K – race two in the Sportlink Grand Prix Series – is one that’s been on my radar for a little while. I’m just hoping conditions are a little more friendly than my last 10K at a blustery Ely on New Year’s Eve.  

I think the last time I ran this event was way back in 2018 and there is part of me that wants to be able to watch the race with it being such a stacked field, particularly in the women’s event which sees the likes of Holly Archer, Mabel Beckett and Emily Ruane running. Hopefully, someone will be able to give Logan Smith a run for his money in the men’s event. 

Personally, it feels like I haven’t run what I consider to be fast for quite a while as I made the decision a few weeks ago to ease off the higher intensity sessions. My knees were just grumbling a little too much and it’s clear in the future that I’m going to have to periodise my training if I’m targeting 5Ks and 10Ks. At this moment, my body copes with the easier/steadier miles a lot better, which is why I enjoy the process of training for a marathon so much. 

That’s not to say I won’t be gunning for a new PB on Sunday, which I’m sure won’t surprise anyone that knows me. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I don’t know how to run any other way than flat-out in a race, which I’m going to take as a compliment, although I’m not sure that’s always the intention. 

Hopefully, see a lot of you on Sunday. 

Do check out Sportlink TV on YouTube – those guys are providing great coverage of the GP Series once again this year. A highlights package of each of the GP races is released the Monday after any event. You can subscribe here