For a "running blog", I know what you are thinking - does this guy ever actually talk about running? Yes, give me a break! I say it every week, but this week really has been busy..
My mistake after marathon number one was not having enough recovery time, so after marathon number two last Saturday I gave myself six days off... and it has been awesome! It sounds silly, but you definitely have to learn how to rest properly. Chris Hoy used to sit on his sofa all day! Lots of runners think "I'll just go for a couple of miles" and I have been guilty of this in the past, but rest does mean rest so it takes a lot of discipline to literally do nothing without feeling you are going to go backwards in your training.
I have only ever followed one marathon training plan, which was for my first marathon in Munich in October 2012. Ever since I've based my training on feel and I am a big believer of listening to your body. Plans give you structure, and I would definitely recommend them for any first time marathoners, but once you have run a few of them, you know what works for you based on your past experiences.
My best advice would be to try and make your weekly long run progressive, and to also try and run some miles at marathon pace each week. The rest is largely irrelevant - it really doesn't matter if your recovery run is only five miles instead of six, or whether you run at 8:30 pace or 8:40.
The most important thing is to keep yourself fresh, healthy and motivated. You are not going to lose your fitness in the course of one rest day, so try not to become a slave to your plan and do your own thing - try not to worry about what anyone else is doing. Ultimately, the only time that counts is the one you run on the day, not six weeks before in training!
After starting the final semester of my degree at uni on Monday, the middle of the week was spent in London. My diary between now and May is pretty manic working three jobs, finishing my degree, running marathons, training in the gym and maintaining a social life! Therefore I try to enjoy the downtime whenever I get some, so I checked out a few galleries and a couple of museums, plus eating out and catching up with friends.
If you are a runner, you undoubtedly love porridge and I practically live off the stuff. I got my 26 Grains fix twice this week - they have some really cool variations and you should definitely check it out if you are ever in the area. I try to get down to London once or twice per month and I am definitely looking to live and work in the city in June once I graduate.
The East Anglian Daily Times published a nice story here about my progress on Wednesday, which was cool and I also acquired another 100+ Twitter followers (not sure how) - you will soon tire of me! I recorded a podcast in North London last Sunday afternoon, and a well known fitness magazine have been in touch about doing something in February, so I will see what comes of that in the next few weeks!
The weekend has been spent in Gothenburg in Sweden. We managed to get return flights for £19, which I still do not really understand! Curiously our AirBnB apartment didn't have any spare pillows, but it did have a giant sombrero (always handy in Scandanavia).. After a late night on Friday, I was up early on Saturday for my first run since the marathon. The legs felt great, and I absolutely love running in cold weather, but I got horribly lost - somehow I ended up in the docks!
I have visited over 35 countries across six continents so far, but even so you still cannot beat that feeling of running in a different city, and pounding the pavements/getting lost is the best way to discover a new country! I have written travel guides to running in most the places I have been, which you can find here.
There are five marathons in eight weeks during March and April so the emphasis will be on recovery/not falling apart (more likely). Therefore February will be my month for quality training and I am kick-starting it all by running the Olympic Park 10k next weekend - hopefully a short race will help me blow off some of the cobwebs, and then It is just two weeks until marathon number three. The journey continues!
I am running ten marathons to raise money for Beat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity. You can follow me on Twitter here, on Instagram here, or on Facebook here. You can also sponsor me via my Justgiving page here.