The Realistic Run Diaries: “Rest Days Are Just As Important As Training”

For me, running is so much more than a sport. I love how it’s both a personal endeavor that shows me I’m capable of hard things, and also a social sport where you can meet like-minded people and have fun with it.

I’m training for two marathons right now and when you’re running such long distances you need your outfits to be comfortable. This means leggings that stay up and shoes that feel good on your feet. Here’s what a typical training week looks like for me.

Saturday
Rest days are just as important as training. I didn’t run today but I kept my body moving with a lot of walking, which was my active rest. I feel really rested from the week and I’m excited for my long run tomorrow, which is usually a highlight of my week. I have travelled back to my mum’s house as I want to run through Richmond Park, which is near where she lives. Fingers crossed I see some deer.

Sunday
Today was my 18 kilometre long run for week three of my marathon training. I ran through Richmond, up the hill with its gorgeous views and then into park. I didn’t see any deer, which was disappointing, but I did listen to a lot of pop babes to motivate me. It started spitting after about 10 kilometres but I motivated myself through the last rainy 5 kilometres by stopping in a cafe for a cinnamon roll. I carried it all the way home in a paper bag, which got very soggy, but it was still delicious.

It was bold to go straight into a long run with new running shoes, but I thought I may as well dive in! The Nike Invincible 3s performed really well and I had no issues. After about 5 kilometres I got used to them and enjoyed how it felt like I was being supported but also propelled forwards and it encouraged my foot to rock, which I like.

Monday
Today was another rest day and I’m about to start a new job so I have the week off for a much needed mental reset. I did house chores and saw my soon-to-be sister-in-law for dinner. We ate a lot — the day after a long run is when I’m most hungry! I was also on my feet a lot so it didn’t feel that restful, which meant by the end of the day I felt pretty wiped out, but I think this is always the case the day after a long run.

Tuesday
I did more house tasks and a full-body strength workout, which I do twice a week to complement my runs and protect my knees and joints. It’s Pancake Day so we had both savoury and sweet pancakes for dinner, which were delicious. I’m a traditional lemon and sugar gal. My body felt recovered today, probably because I ate so much!

Wednesday
Today is Valentine’s Day, so my partner joined me for the easy 10 kilometre run on my training plan. Training with him is always so fun — if only he was training for a marathon! My body still felt rested plus we were taking it really easy and just enjoying the run.

We started in London Bridge, ran across Tower Bridge and then up to and along Regent’s Canal. We ended up at a bakery in Dalston which makes the best sandwiches. I had a fennel sausage toasted sarnie which was divine. I also got a coffee and a fresh lemonade which were *chefs kiss*. I love planning running routes that end up at bakeries or cafes I’ve never been to before. It’s such a fun way to explore London, especially areas you don’t know very well.

We ended up walking the 10 kilometres back and we may have stopped for another pastry treat from another cafe, which was a pistachio pain au chocolat! Pistachio is having a moment and I’m here for it.

Thursday
I did another strength workout focusing on legs and core and then went to my sister’s to spend time with my niece and nephew. In the evening I went to a concert with friends which was so fun. We were in the standing section so we danced to all the bangers (active rest?). I could definitely tell I’d used my legs when we got home.

Friday
I’m staying at my sister’s house and started my interval session from there, which ended up being almost 8 kilometres. It was so sunny I didn’t even need to listen to anything to motivate me.

I did four intervals of progressive mile repeats and being in south-east London, this meant running up a lot of hills. I decided to embrace this and do the Brockley Three Peaks Walk route because you get some really gorgeous views of the city. The sprints were so hard, I thought I might die. Despite the hills, I managed to hit all my paces and even went faster for one of the intervals. I was so proud and felt amazing afterwards. It set me up to have the best rest of the day, especially after coffee and a delicious cinnamon roll. I may be getting fitter but the London cafe and bakery scene has all my money.

Running is essential for my mental health. I think when you prove to yourself over and over again that you can do hard things and you show up for yourself, it alters your brain chemistry. The respect and self-love you’re showing yourself by moving your body, putting yourself first and choosing to put the work in, increases your self-worth. I’m so much more confident from running, which has nothing to do with my physical appearance. It’s the confidence that comes from knowing I am capable and strong.

Morgan’s three tips to make your run more fun:
• Running with other people
• Upbeat disco-pop music
• Running to a new place, bakery or cafe (I love running for specific foods I’ve seen on social media!)

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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