Royal Parks Half Marathon Training: Week 11 listening to my body!!

What a busy week it has been. I started my new job at the girls school in the kitchen. Its just 2hrs a day but in the middle of the school day so I have had to juggle training and house chores with work and kids. Getting up for the school run and getting the kids out of the door always takes some getting used to doesn’t it!

Settling in to a new routine is always a balancing act but I have survived. My only fail was that I had intended to track my calories but also didn’t want to turn down the chance to join my new colleagues for lunch. The meals have not been completely off plan but just hard to track and also Niamh had her birthday which of course involved cake.


Adapting to new routines

I have returned to tracking all weekend and will be better at it next week and better prepared with what lunches I may be eating if I choose to eat at work. One of the nice surprises about the school kitchen is they do have to make school meals with in government guidelines therefore it is all low in sugar and cooked from scratch.

My training went to plan during the week and I managed to fit it all in around work but I finished the week with a possible muscle strain.

Nutrition to fuel runs

I wrote a blog post Carbohydrates to fuel your runs! How much? which I have incorporated into my fitness pal to help me try and fuel my runs better. I do struggle to reach my carb intake and tend to end up eating more fat… probably down to the daily dose of cheese and peanut butter I seem to be eating!

I have planned low fat higher carb meals to try next week to see if I can improve on the balance of macros and generally help to lower my calories with out compromising my energy levels. I used a really good app designed for those with diabetes called Carbs and Cals which I used when I was completing my nutrition coach training. At a glance you can see a visual guide on how many grams is on your plate. This will really help me when I am working to track what I eat with out the need to weigh it all. I have reinstalled it and its even better than before. You can now make it personal to you with fairly accurate calorie calculations. I have had to tweak the macro balance a little as it set it to have higher fat than carbs which previously would have been a perfect fit for me. But leading up to my half marathon I want to see if the higher carbs can give me the boost needed to fuel my runs….


Experimenting with sports nutrition aids

I struggle to use gels as they give me tummy ache and usually resort to eating jelly babies during races and nothing during training.

Although I have always got to the end of any training run or race it has come with a lot of effort and very little energy left. I want to feel like I could keep on going at the end of  a half marathon as one day I would like to complete a further distance.

I have found a product called Tailwind that I plan to experiment with while on my long runs. It is supposed to be easy on the tummy and to digest as you mix it into your drink. I am hoping its just the thing I need… the only downside will be the need to carry a bottle. I hope to get a water carrier soon to try so that I can have my hands left free.

A whole sachet contains 50g and they could easily be carried to add to water on the go if they the race uses bottles rather than cups…

I had hoped to try it this week but as you will see later down this blog that run never happened.

This weeks running recap will be short and sweet… The vlog is here….

Tuesday 3.1 Miles 30:02 minutes 9:38/mile

Today was the first session since before the Summer that the local running group started back. I was never able to join them regularly due to volunteering on the same night so it was good to be able to go along.

It was the first run since I have been suffering with my tight calves that I didn’t have any of the pain and managed to complete the run without stopping. I was thrilled. I wonder if it was the distraction of running with others that helped me to relax and take the pressure off the calves.

Looking forward to making it a regular thing though as I do enjoy the company on my runs.

Thursday 4.5 miles 50:01 minutes 11:05/mile

A slow run looking back at the times but in reality it was a far different run to normal as I decided to take it out to the farmers fields near by my house. It was a very lumpy bumpy terrain and I struggled to not lose my ankles by trying to run at any kind of speed but I enjoyed it. No pressure I didn’t even glance at my watch until I came back out onto the road to check how far I’d run.

The last 2 miles were back on the road which is pretty evident when you look at my splits that returned to a comfortable 10min/mile.

However running this did help me to decide that as my race will be roads I should probably leave the trails behind for the rest of my training.


Friday Strength training

I have decided to start including the strength sessions I have done into my blog as I think it will make me do it. I have become a bit slack with my strength training opting to run instead but I think with my legs suffering as they are I should make it just as much of a priority as I have always strength trained when I have trained for other races before and I have never had any of the problems I am having now!

I am not using heavy weights just some 5kg dumbbells and a kettlebell, resistance bands and a swiss ball. All basic equipment needed for a home workout.

I am also doing core workouts as additional workouts on running days to help with my posture.

Saturday 3.2 (strava fail!!!) miles 37:23 (another strava fail!!!) minutes 11:41/mile (garmin out!!!)

Park run day with my gorgeous girly. I really had to persuade her to come but she does it for me! She loves it once she is there its just that initial getting up.

It wasn’t the easiest run for her today after some weeks off and we completed it in just under 39 minutes.

This where I say goodbye to using strava to track my runs! I still plan to use it as a place to upload my runs but after looking back at the map and seeing all the line wiggles and the extra mileage this added on just shows it is not working for me. Last week it added on over half a mile to my long run which is just not helpful. I really do not know what has gone wrong with Strava!!!

The good news is that despite my Garmin being ancient it will upload to strava which I never realised until I updated it and installed Garmin connect. I won’t be able to record my heart rate but that isn’t really a problem for me. Its never been that accurate on my apple watch anyway!



On Saturday evening I noticed a tightening in my muscle in the inside on my lower leg between my calf and shin. It felt tight and uncomfortable to even walk on it although not painful.

On Sunday morning I woke up and the pain was still there. I made the decision not to risk running on it! I applied some tape and frustratingly sat to watch the Great North runners instead.

I had an 8 mile run planned so not a massively long one but it has taken a massive knock to my mileage for the week and to my confidence. I do not feel as fit as I thought I would by now but I have to listen to my body and learn when to rest! An injury now so close to race day would be devastating after all the work I have put in.

I have taped my leg and hope it will help to take the pressure off. But it has made a huge impact on my mood. I never thought I’d be sat here thinking dam I wish I could run. It probably doesn’t help it happens to be the same day that thousands have run the Great North Run.

I did some light Strength and core training to complete the week instead!

Total Mileage

10.8 miles

A little disappointing and I am sat here trying to not beat myself up about it. My leg needed the rest and I just hope it is better for next week as I do not feel as fit as I hoped I would this close to my race.

Week 12 Training

With just 4 weeks to go I am now in to the final phase of my training plan the Hone and Taper phase. I had hoped I’d feel a bit better prepared by now but things just haven’t worked like that for me. I know it will all be alright on the day provided I can stay injury free!

Monday: I will try a few easy miles. No planned distance. I have an hour to play with so I will see what I manage in this time.

Tuesday: With the running group a 6km Fartlek run is planned.

Thursday: 4.5 miles steady

Friday: Strength Training

Saturday: Park run

Sunday: 10 miles

Focus for the week Ahead

Getting my leg fit for running and figuring out my nutrition in time for race day in just 4 weeks!

Have a good week

Jaimee x



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