The Realistic Run Diaries: “A Couple Of Years Ago I Could Barely Run A Kilometre. Now, I’m Training For A Marathon.”

A couple of years ago I could barely run a kilometre. Now, I’m training for a marathon while trying not to get injured like I did last year. Some days I really don’t want to go for a run, especially in London where it’s cold and wet a lot of the time, but I always feel better for it. By about a kilometre in, I’m already glad I got out.

Running is super important for my mental health, it’s a great way for me to clear my head and I know I always feel better in a day when I’ve moved my body.

Comfort is super important to me. If you feel comfy in what you’re wearing, you’ll feel so much more confident and motivated on your run. You don’t need much to go out for a run but a good pair of shoes is key. Here’s how I got on during a typical week of training.

Friday
My friend Flora and I have signed up for a triathlon this summer and we’re both a little terrified. We decided to go for a jog round Peckham Rye Park, which ended up being 5km. This was my first time wearing the Nike Invincible 3 running shoess and I was super happy with how they felt.

Saturday
I usually try to run around the park on Saturdays. Today we ran around Crystal Palace Park which I’ve never done before and it was really hilly. I usually go to Dulwich Park which is flat and fast. It has also been super rainy in London, which made the route muddy and slippery, so I took it easy.

Afterwards I met my friends and one of their babies and we had a delicious breakfast which included lots of hash browns.

Sunday
Today’s run was a long one – 24km, which is the longest run I’ve ever done! I went with my friend Emma who ran a marathon last year and is a big inspiration to me. We’ve been friends for over 25 years so it feels really special to be able to do these long runs together.

We ran up to the River Thames which is always nice to see the sights, albeit really busy, and we ended up at a shop and downed some fizzy drinks for hydration. I’d been thinking about quenching my thirst for at least the last 5km. The shoes helped to keep the run comfortable despite the long distance.

I got injured a month into training for a marathon last year, which was really sad. I feel lucky and happy to be training again after recovering and slowly getting back into running. It feels great to have a goal. I’m trying to stick to a 16-week training plan, but I’m not being hard on myself if I miss a few days here and there. I’m also strength training in the gym to avoid getting injured again.

Monday
Today was a day off after yesterday’s long run. I always try to plan a rest day after a long run, and maybe go for a swim if I can. I just took it easy and did some work. I felt recovered from the long run but it was good not to push myself.

Tuesday
Today was an interval session which ended up being quite tough, even though I took a rest day yesterday. I had 10 x 400m on my marathon training plan so I went to Dulwich Park, which is a great place to run intervals. It was cold and grey and I felt quite tired so I put on a new playlist to motivate myself. I often ask friends to add songs to my playlists to keep them fresh and surprising.

I also try to inject comfort and joy into my runs by putting on an outfit I feel comfortable in and making sure I’ve eaten enough beforehand.

The intervals were hard – I hadn’t eaten enough and I was tired from all the previous runs in the week. I called it a day after six lots of 400m, which felt good and I went back home and chilled for the rest of the day.

Wednesday
I felt like I needed to take a rest after feeling so tired during yesterday’s run. I did some work and went to the cinema with friends in the evening.

Thursday
I took it easy for today’s jog in the park. My legs were tired at this point in the week, despite yesterday’s rest day. I just wanted to get out for a short run to blow away the cobwebs and I ended with a delicious pink smoothie.

To stay motivated I focus on feeling comfortable. The Invincible 3s really helped me through a solid week of marathon training. They’re the perfect incentive to get you out the door.

Rachel’s 3 tips to stay motivated while running:
• Make sure you eat enough beforehand
• Have a good playlist – I like anything upbeat and fast-paced. Nineties bangers always help.
End somewhere where you can grab a good snack!

When it comes to comfortable running shoes, you have to feel it to believe it. Learn more about the Nike Invincible 3 and try them for yourself.

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