Happy New Year, and hello 2019! 🎉 …but where did the last year go? I’m definitely still on holiday mode from our ~3 weeks in Australia and haven’t yet got my head ready for all the possibilities of the next 365 days. Instead, I’m still thinking back to everything that went on in 2018, and trying to pull out the key learnings which I can take with me into the new year.
I feel that with every year my training evolves, and I discover more about what I like doing in working towards my marathon goals. My favourite training sessions from the last year aren’t the same as those from 2017, both because I changed as an athlete, started working with a new coach, and am now in a different city. But I do want to take those favourite sessions with me into 2019, and so it’s worth recapping them here.
Running on the trails of Meudon
In the first months of moving to Paris and in the lead up to EcoTrail / NDW 50, I spent a lot of my weekends exploring the forests of Meudon just south-west of Paris. It was my first time doing a solid block of trail running, and I just loved it! Sure, there were some horrible runs where I ended up bonking / crying on nasty ascents, but I got to know the EcoTrail course so well that I could probably recite it to you from memory. Come race day, I knew where all my favourite bits were and despite the snow and awful conditions, it was my favourite race of the year. I’m heading back this year to do the 30km EcoTrail, and can’t wait to get back to training on the trails again.
Sweaty summer solo track work
Throwing yourself around a track in 30+ degree heat is brutal, particularly when you’re doing it all by yourself. But for some reason I keep thinking back to these two sessions I did in July/August (2 x 10 x 300m and 3 x 5 x 400m) and can’t help but smile. It was so satisfying to get through them, defeating the length of session and weather conditions. Hoping to do some more work like that – but potentially slightly earlier in the year!
Long runs and more long runs
The best way to see a city is on foot, and thanks to the many 30km+ runs I did, I certainly discovered a lot of Paris in 2018. From the Bois de Boulogne to the Bois de Vincennes, and many kilometres run along the Seine and out the other side; Paris may be a small city but there’s a lot to see! My favourite long run was when Sye and I circumnavigated the city: just over 33km to draw a big circle around Paris. Many of those long-run routes I only ran once last year, so I’d love to go back this year, as well as discover a few more areas.
It’s a staple favourite of training for every year, but parkrun became extra special to me in 2018 as I gained a little family of Bois de Boulogne runners. I didn’t actually run that many times as I focussed on volunteering and giving back to the event, but in 2019 I want to incorporate it into my training again. Not only is the parkrun community just wonderful, but the event gives such a good benchmark to see progress week-on-week, even if you’re not specifically targeting improvements over that distance. Who knows, perhaps 2019 will finally see a new 5km PB?
What training are you looking forward to in 2019?