Project BQ: Phoenix Marathon Training Plan

Yesterday morning I shared a photo of me, in our spare room, surrounded by clothes, no make up on and definitely not post-run.

It was a reality update. Sharing the chaos that feels like my life right now.

The encouragement I received was overwhelming! And it made me not only excited, but also determined to do my best to get this BQ, and to share the ups and downs in attempting it. I went back to my schedule, and sat down to work out exactly when I could workout and what changes I could make…


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The reality of my life right now… ??‍♀️ the spare room is a mess of all my clothes. We don’t have any storage in our bedroom in our new house yet so I’ve created myself a dressing room! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ??‍♀️ my new commute has taken me 2 hours each way this week – I haven’t got the timings etc down yet but I really hope it improves! We moved to be on the fast train (oh and it costs £44 per day if you don’t have a travel card ?). Yesterday I made it to work with 1 minute to spare (no spare minutes for breakfast!) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ??‍♀️ I haven’t run or worked out at all this week. I’ve been exhausted and haven’t worked out yet how I’m going to fit it into my schedule but I will! This makes me feel like a total fraud having this account. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ??‍♀️ I’m nannying more this year, 3 nights a week, which I love and really want to support the family I work for. But it’s a lot – trying to multitask by trying out new recipes on them and dragging one of the girls to @barrecore classes with me on a Monday evening. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ??‍♀️ our new gorgeous fridge is pretty much empty. But there is wine and pizza… I do NOT want to turn insta into a negative place but a few more realities than the current stream of endless glossy highlights is necessary I think! This week I’ve seen some of my fave instagrammers @lucy_fitness @challengesophie and @thewelshrunner share some truths and o want to say thank you. For them showing it’s ok for life not to be perfect and that you can share the ups and downs without it being a moanfest! #reallife #notinstaglossy #yesterdayifeltcrap

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Oh, and incase you missed it on my instagram – I’m going to be running the Phoenix Marathon! It’s on the 9th February and is supposed to have a really fast course. My friend Heather and coach Ash smashed their marathon PB’s last year and I know I can do the same this year! I’ve also got a code -RUNNERBEANS10 – that will give you a 10% discount for anyone that wants to smash their marathon or half marathon time this winter!

I asked on my instagram the other day whether I should ask the hospital if I could start at 9am one day a week (so that I could fit my speed workout in). So many of you said yes, that I plucked up the courage, and they were fine with it!

It works well because I’m in a different locations on Tuesdays, so it doesn’t mess up anyone else’s schedules, and all of my clinics are in the afternoon so staying until 5pm or later is actually helpful.

Project BQ - Phoenix Marathon Training

And I would love some company on my track workouts! These won’t be coached sessions, I’m doing the workout on my training plan (which I’ll be sharing ahead of time) and you can either do that one with me at your own pace, or you can do totally your own thing at the track. Alternatively I’m happy to share ideas for workouts.

This is about us getting faster together! It’s about being track buddies, motivating ourselves to do the hard workouts so that we can boss our marathon/half marathon/10ks!)

You can sign up here -> download the app and it’ll share the weekly sessions there. (full disclosure, I’m working with My Crew app on their launch and will be using the budget they give me to run weekly sessions on post track treats/coffees!) 

Project BQ - Phoenix Marathon Training

Run commuting – I live 2 miles from the train station, then work 3.5 miles from Paddington station. That’s a great 5.5 mile run that cuts out the need to drive or get the tube. Plus there’s a Virgin Active gym round the corner from the hospital, meaning I don’t have to carry a towel/shampoo etc!

Barrecore – I love barre classes, they’re an amazing mix of strength and stretching. And they work those glutes like no other fitness class without leaving you incapable of running the following day. They worked amazingly for me a couple of years ago, so I’m excited to add them back into my routine now that I’m working full time in London again!

Monday – Barrecore class 

I nanny on Monday nights so am taking one of the girls with me to class, she’s sort of happy about being dragged along! I’m also going to do my best to utilise the evenings that I’m nannying to try new healthy recipes and to make everyone (myself included) packed lunches.

Tuesday – Track Tuesday 

Wednesday – Run commute  4-5 miles & Barrecore Stretch. 

I nanny for a couple of hours on a Wednesday too, so on the evenings that Tom is working late (or at a Chelsea football game), I’ll go to Stretch after nannying. I love the Stretch classes, they are like enforced foam rolling and hip opening for 45 minutes.

Thursday – threshold/tempo run 

This is going to be my other serious run of the week, with an early start to get the workout done. Not sure if I’ll try to do it near home or once I get to London but these are the important runs that I’ll try to make happen no matter what.

Friday – Run commute 4-5 miles and Barrecore

I have self study in the library on a Friday afternoon so I can utilise a longer lunch break for a Barrecore class.

Saturday – off or long run 

Sunday – long run or off 

I’m giving myself a little bit of flexibility to do my long runs on either weekend day, depending on my evening plans. For example, next weekend I have a hen party on Friday night so Saturday will be my day off!

I’m studying for my PT qualification (you can read the whole post here) for the next 5 weekends, so my long runs will have to be done early! Again, I’ll probably try to run commute part of the long run to make it more efficient, especially as I should be starting with shorter distances!

Tom has a lot of weekends off over the next few months so I’m trying to be careful to give myself a full day off training at the weekend – although if I can convince him to come to parkrun or F45 I’ll definitely make the most of that.

Project BQ - Phoenix Marathon Training

Overall, I am willing to put my all into marathon training but unfortunately I have a lot of non-negotiables, like placement and nannying, in my life right now. We all do. Running isn’t our full time job, it has to be slotted in around ‘real life’. My goal is to share the realities of the hard work, determination, sacrifice and chaos!


  1. W.Purves.
    September 14, 2018 / 10:31 am

    Well done getting your heavy schedule sorted out. Hope it works well. G

  2. Steph C
    September 14, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    Running and life is no joke. I struggle with half marathon training, social obligations and working full time. I can’t wait to watch your journey. I’m planning on my first marathon next year and seeing the reality of how hard it really is will be super helpful.

  3. September 14, 2018 / 8:35 pm

    That’s great that the hospital was able to slide your schedule. Run commuting is the best. Still trying to sort it out the best, but can’t wait to do it more
    I’m curious for your Phoenix code, but can’t commit to the Half just yet as I have two others in winter/spring but weighing it
    Insta needs more doses of reality

  4. Gillian
    September 15, 2018 / 1:16 pm

    Hey there – good on you for going for the BQ, your hard work will pay off 🙂 Were you training for a race recently? Hopefully the base will help!

    Question – your run commute, what backpack do you use? I need to get one that will fit a surface pro and have decision fatigue. Thanks x

  5. September 17, 2018 / 2:26 pm

    Good for your employer to agree to the schedule. It helps out with the stress of a running plan and work combo!

  6. James
    September 18, 2018 / 5:32 pm

    Hi, I’ve only just discovered this site. Was looking up the marathon majors. It’s a great site. Where is that cool running track with all the trees, featured above?

    • C
      September 20, 2018 / 10:19 pm

      Nike track at their campus in Oregon I think!

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