Cambridge Half Marathon training week 3

I hope that everyone had an amazing evening. For some reason, I decided to complete my six mile run just before midnight. I’m feeling shattered this morning.

I hope that everyone has a healthy, happy, injury free and PB-tastic 2018.Collage 5Following a rather lazy but incredibly calorific Christmas Day, the third week of my Cambridge Half training saw me complete an easy 30 minute run on Tuesday evening, completely miss my 30 minute tempo run due to eating far too much bubble and squeak on Wednesday, a 30 minute long speed(?) session on Saturday and a longer six mile run yesterday evening. After feeling too unwell to complete my cross-training session last week, I found myself spending 40 minutes wearing out the carpet on the stairs at home again on Friday.

So how did I find the third week of my half marathon training?

Monday – Rest

Twelve months ago, a very badly timed dose of the lurgy left me with very little appetite on Christmas Day. I was gutted as I love turkey and all the trimmings. This year, I was lurgy free and managed to squeeze in seconds and thirds.Collage 6I ate so much, our traditional post Christmas lunch family stroll was a real challenge. So much for me being the ‘fit‘ member of the family. At least the wind and wind make me feel slightly less stuffed. After helping with the washing-up – the dishwasher was broken, great timing – we settled down in front of the TV and relaxed.

Next year I want to cook Christmas lunch for my family. As I don’t have my own house, I’ll have to convince Mum to let me cook on her Aga.

Tuesday – 30 mins easy

I’ve no idea why, but I woke up on Boxing Day morning feeling really, really hungry. I also felt incredibly tired. Spending most of my Christmas Day sitting down had clearly worn me out. I spent most of the day snoozing and watching rubbish on the TV. Thanks to some quite impressive faffing, I didn’t head out on my 30 minute ‘easy’ run until the evening. The weather was perfect for running as it was cold, wet and incredibly windy. The pavements were empty as most sensible people were inside eating more food and watching TV. Although the wind made running challenging in places and I got soaked, I really enjoyed the run and felt much better afterwards.

Wednesday – Rest

As, thanks to my fragile feet, I like to leave as much time as possible between each training run, I decided to delay my 30 minute tempo run until the evening. In the end, I completely missed my run due to excessive eating at dinner time. Mum invited me around for some cold turkey and bubble and squeak, I still felt dangerously full several hours later. You win some, you lose some…

Thursday – Rest

When I woke up on Thursday, I opened my bedroom curtains and saw that the icy conditions had made an unwelcome return. As I didn’t want to break anything, I decided to actually rest on my rest day. After a reasonably productive morning, I decided to take a break from writing about rivers and switched my attention to running. I spent a couple of hours reviewing 2017 in far too much detail and setting myself some running and ‘life’ goals for 2018.

Friday – 40 mins cross training

As Father Christmas didn’t bring me either a treadmill or turbo trainer, I decided that a 40 minute stair session would be better than no session. Once again, I found walking up and down the stairs at home for 40 minutes more challenging than it probably should have been. To add insult to injury, my right knee started to feel a little bit niggly during the final 10 minutes. Next week, I’ll have to convince my friend to sign me in as a guest at the gym he goes to.

The rest of Friday was so mundane I won’t bore you all to tears with the details.

Saturday – 30 mins speed work

When my alarm woke me, although my knee still felt a little niggly, I decided to attempt to run. I promised myself that I’d be sensible and stop running if my knee became more painful. Unfortunately, my Garmin refused to switch on, so I had to run using my old phone as a stopwatch. I guess my coach did tell me to ignore my Garmin during speed work sessions.

After jogging for 5 minutes in an attempt to get my legs working – my right knee felt fine – I attempted a 30 minute Fartlek session. I think running ‘naked’ helped take the pressure off and my attempt at a speed session was more successful than it was last week. I worked out that I ran roughly 2.85 miles in 30 minutes. My knee felt fine afterwards.Collage 7After spending several hours sitting at my computer and giving myself a headache, I needed a change of scenery and some fresh air. Most sensible people would go for a quick stroll around the block, I decided a quick pint would help and walked the short distance to my local pub. As the pub was hot and noisy, I took my pint outside and spent an hour chilling out (quite literally!) and looking back on 2017.

Sunday – 6 miles long run

I decided that as I’ve never been a huge fan of New Year’s Eve, I’d start my 6 mile long(ish) run about an hour before midnight. I figured that running would distract me from the New Year’s Eve celebrations and would enable me to start 2018 a clear head. That was the theory.

After spending most of the final day of 2017 getting myself stressed out about minor ‘stuff’ – I also managed to fix my Garmin – I got changed into some running gear and spent an enjoyable 30 minutes working through some stretches. I headed out on my run at a time which in theory meant that I would quite literally run into 2018.

The six mile run was quite amusing. Although I was alone and it was surprisingly quiet, the occasional blasts of noise from the various house parties I ran past kept me entertained. One house party seemed to get louder with each lap, the singing was pretty epic. And then after I’d been running for over 5 miles the fireworks started and I assumed it was midnight. Happy New Year! I reached 6 miles a little distance from my house, stopped my Garmin and checked the time and discovered it was only 23:59. I started to run again and then the fireworks and 2018 really started.

So that’s the third week of my half marathon training more or less successfully completed.

Week four of my half marathon training plan contains four runs and one cross-training session. I’ve got to complete a 40 minute easy run tomorrow, a 30 minute long tempo session on Wednesday, a 30 minute speed work session on Saturday – I’d love to make it to my local parkrun, and a six mile run on Sunday. Today and Thursday are my much needed rest days and once again, my coach has set me the task of completing a 40 minute cross-training session on Friday.

Training totals

  • Runs: 8
  • Time: 5 hours 4 mins
  • Distance: 27.95 miles


  • Right heel: 2/10
  • Right knee: 3/10
  • Left foot: 4/10

Did you have a good Christmas and New Year’s Eve? My Christmas was pretty amazing; my New Year’s Eve was pretty average.

Do you have any races planned for the first half of 2018? I think I need to stop entering races as with my track record with injuries, I’m probably tempting fate.


4 thoughts on “Cambridge Half Marathon training week 3

  1. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    I like your stair session- it’s a good idea for when you can’t get outside.
    I had a good Christmas thanks- new year to me is not really anything- I just watched a film and then got grumpy because I could not sleep as fireworks were still going off at 1.15am!


    • Emma says:

      I’m pleased you had a good Christmas. The New Year’s Eve fireworks seemed to go on all night and well into the early morning around here. I went to bed wearing a pair of earplugs.
      I didn’t enjoy my stair session very much earlier today. My right knee started to make strange creaking sounds after 20 minutes, and I’m convinced I’ve damaged the bottom step. I can’t wait to have access to a gym.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Anna. A slightly belated Happy New Year to you too! I was actually aiming to run into 2018. My dodgy maths meant that at midnight I was hobbling back home after my six mile run.


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