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The End of January

End Of January

I don’t like to wish the time away, but it has felt like the longest January ever, for me at least! With that being said, it has been a productive month. To help me stay consistent and motivated, I plan on taking a look back on each month and evaluating how it went. What went well? What do I need to do better with? Have my goals changed? I think it’s good to keep track of your progress and it can be rewarding to see your journey, or motivating to know that you need to push yourself harder.

Positives:

As I mention above, I feel like January has been productive and really positive! The three main highlights for me are as follows:

Mileage:

I ran 101.69 miles, with my longest run being 12 miles.  My total mileage was 103.06, which included a short walk commute. Although I didn’t set a monthly or yearly mileage target, I was hoping to hit the 100-mile mark. In a perfect world, I would like this to be my average monthly mileage moving forward. On the other hand, I need to listen to my body, especially as I want to do well in my second attempt at the London Marathon. With the Liverpool Marathon being four weeks later, I also have to be careful not to over train or push too hard and end up injured!

Strength Training:

I recorded 39 total activities, with a total time of 31:50:02. I’ve gotten more into my lifting and have a bit of a routine going on. I no longer dread my strength sessions! These past two weeks have actually seen me strength training my lower body twice per week. I try to lift three to four times a week and then run four to five times. I’ve been coping with double sessions quite well. As a rule of thumb, I do my run as soon as I get home from work and then follow it up with my strength session. I try to keep these double sessions on days when I only have a short, easy paced run.

Weight:

The scale still shows a few pounds more than I’d like; however, I’m seeing progress. I’m starting to see some definition to my abs, shoulders and triceps. With regards to my eating, I’m keeping a calorie deficit and increasing the amount of protein that I’m consuming. This, along with strength training, helps to ensure that I keep as much muscle mass as possible whilst losing weight. As I’m still relatively new to lifting seriously, I’ll get some beginner muscle gain despite being in a calorie deficit.

I’m at the stage now where I’m no longer avoiding mirrors! In fact, Chris has recently put a mirror on the gym room wall (we have another one to put up but didn’t buy enough double-sided tape!). This has helped me to see my progress and not get frustrated at the slow scale movement. I don’t always have time to take measurements, so just being able to see progress is a big boost.

Negatives:

To be honest, I’m not sure that January could have gone much better for me – training wise at least! I mean, we did eat out for my pre-birthday celebrations. Oh, and I did have a cheeky Nando’s on my birthday, but who can say no to a free meal?!

I’m probably being overly critical with the below, but it is something that I could improve on for the rest of the year:

Parkrun:

So, anyone who has been reading my blog over the last year or so know that one of my goals has been to reach the 50 Parkrun milestone. It’s safe to say that the Parkrun habit hasn’t improved. My Parkrun history currently looks like this:

Parkrun History

*cough*, yeah… a bit inconsistent! I’m currently on 32 Parkruns, so hopefully I can get the remaining 18 required at some point sporadically over the year.

Conclusion:

I felt that January had been positive, but seeing the numbers and pictures really help to put things into perspective. I’m happy with my progress, both with my training and my body. Things may be going well, but the countdown to the London Marathon is on. Time is ticking and I know that I need to keep my head down and work hard to make sure that I hit my goal. I feel like a sub-5-hour marathon is definitely on, but I also know how much work I have left to do. Plus, things can always go wrong on the day!

With the Warwick Half Marathon booked for 1st March, hopefully I can keep moving forward in February! It’s part of my running club Grand Prix, and I’ll also be using it as a bit of a baseline to test my pacing. It’s always nice to start the new year on a positive, so now I just have to build on January. On wards and upwards!

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