Tag Archive for training

Too tired and flat tyres

Another day on the personal training course today and another early morning run… Running at just after six am on a Sunday morning is even worse than running at just after six am on a Saturday morning!

Anyway, I was pretty shattered when I woke up: a week of increasing my mileage to five miles a day plus three days of cycling too and from central London, along with a long shift on Friday, staying up and studying and the mental preparation of studying for the first time in nearly 20 years had all caught up.

And so, I did just three miles this morning – I like to call it a recovery run 😉

The course is getting more interesting now. We’ve paired up and are working out gym programmes for each other that we have to demonstrate in our assessments in a couple of weeks and have to learn correct teaching methods for all the equipment in the gym, from cardio to the resistance machines.

The way back was an interesting one: when I got back to Streatham, there was a bit of backed up traffic, so I decided to jump a curb on the bike and ended up with a flat… With no puncture kit on me it meant a nice mile and a half walk back to the house.

Just round the corner from home, there was a young couple, Im thinking 15 or 16 having a massive row in the hot afternoon heat. And so heated were they that all their pals had got involved, so there was pushing, shoving, slapping and all sorts going on. thankfully the slapping was the boy punching himself rather than his girlfriend.

Click here for a link to Garmin Connect for a route map and details of the run

Miles today: 3
Target: 864
Miles to date: 1,136.61

Please donate to my chosen charities by clicking here

Fancy joining me for the 1095th mile?

My experience of Bank Holidays is that they tend to fly past – but this weekend seems to have been a pretty slow one, with today, especially, seemingly lasting 40 hours instead of 24… I’m not sure if that has anything to do with not having a full-time job any more or not, but it has seemed satisfyingly long.

Last night we went to see Lady Gaga… another few drinks and another slightly bad head this morning when I woke up  (I must stop doing that). After the high of completing the 100oth mile yesterday, I needed some inspiration this morning and so dove into the pages of the latest edition of Runner’s World and decided to do a fartlek run.

I’ve mentioned these before early on in my marathon training. Basically, they are an easy way of doing interval training: pick an object in front of you and run as fast as possible to it, then slow down till you get your breath back and keep repeating. If you look at the heart rate graph by clicking on the details link below, you will see lots of little peaks, these are from when I was sprinting.

In the middle of one of these sprints, I was reflecting on yesterday’s run with David and how nice it is sometimes to run with other people, so I am extending an invite to anyone who fancies it to come on the run that completes my 1095th mile.

I’m planning to do this with a 5miler on Saturday June 26 and probably in Hyde Park… if you fancy joining me, give me a shout by clicking here, the more the merrier

Click here for a link to Garmin Connect for a route map and full details of the run

Miles today: 3
Target: 762
Miles to date: 1,003.17

Please donate to my chosen charities by clicking here

Cheered on by a stranger

So after last night’s couple of beers turned into a  couple more, the last thing I wanted to do was get straight up and go for a run.

As I was working at home today, I stalled all morning and then, when the afternoon came and I was about to head to the gym, I got a call from my stepmother who’s been alone since dad died four years ago and is in pretty bad shape herself.

Despite having the single lung and requiring regular oxygen and nebulisers, she smokes a good 40 a day and refuses to believe it is bad for her. She had a particularly bad day yesterday and asked if I would run her to the supermarket – naturally I was happy to help.

But what should have been an hour round trip turned into a three hour one. The traffic through Streatham to her house two miles away was dreadful. Then when I got to hers, she’s just switched on her nebs – cue a half our wait.

When we finally got to the supermarket, she’d forgotten her wallet and she wouldn’t let me pay so we had to go back for it.

Her state naturally made the trip to get a loaf, a couple of buns, a tin of beans and 60 fags painfully slow to the point it was two hours after setting off when I began to head back. Of course I got stuck in traffic…

While inching through Streatham, Laura sent me an email to pick up some things for us that turned into another shop at another supermarket near us… Even paying turned into a pain – the woman in front of me entered the wrong pin three times and had her card confiscated.

It was gone 7 when I got home and 7.30 when I went out to run – the last thing I needed. I did start off fast though, running off some of the frustration of the afternoon. At one point I heard a cycling passing: ‘How long have you got left,’ he shouted, obviously reading the ‘3 miles a day, every day’ slogan on the back of my shirt. ‘About 140 days,’ I yelled back.

‘Keep on going then, you’re doing a great job’…. just the kind of thing I needed to hear. Thanks mr cyclist.

Click here for a link to Garmin Connect for a route map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 669
Miles to date: 883.52

Please donate to my chosen charities by clicking here

My earliest run

I’m actually writing this post for Thursday’s run on Friday evening, as I just didn’t have time yesterday.

I had a day hosting a media training session that started at 7.30am at the BBC on Regent Street and so was up at 5am and had my trainers on and was on the road by 5.08… and still only just managed to get the run in, get showered and get into town on time…

After the session, we went for a few beers that turned into a few more as it was another friend’s birthday and, well, you know how it goes…

Click here for a link to Garmin Connect for a route map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 666
Miles to date: 880.52

Please donate to my chosen charities by clicking here

Passing 800 miles near Wales

We were up at my stepbrother’s for the weekend, his little un was Christened today and Laura and I were godparents.

This morning I just managed to squeeze in a 4miler – I decided not to do too much with the Brighton Marathon just a week away – before we headed off.  I tried out the new Brooks GTS10s again today and they felt much more comfortable than yesterday.

It was only when I got back that I realised we were close enough for me to have ran to Wales, which would have been nice. Nonetheless, another milestone passed: 800 miles.

Click here for a link to Garmin Connect for a map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 4
Target: 612
Miles to date: 703.09

Please donate to my chosen charities by clicking here

Overwhelmed by peoples' genorosity

Please donate to my chosen charities by clicking here

I won’t harp on about this every post otherwise the blog will become more about fundraising than about the challenge… but I’m overwhelmed that, with Gift Aid, I’ve already raised more than £700. Thanks so much to all that have donated and to all those that haven’t… get your fingers out 😉

Last night, I finally gave in and after three days of not taking any Ibuprofen, I slipped a couple before bedtime. This morning, the legs felt looser than in days, still a little bit of grief but not even a quarter as bad as yesterday. Was it the Ibuprofen that did it or time? I’m not sure but it made today’s run on the treadmill at Virgin Active much easier.

I’ve also taken my running quests a little further and signed up for this year’s Athens marathon on October 31 (six weeks after this challenge ends). This year is the 2,500th anniversary of Greek messenger Pheidippides running from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to declare victory over the Persians. He promptly said ‘Nikee’ (which means victory and is where the Nike brand comes from), keeled over and died… Lets hope I don’t have a similar fate.

Click here for details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3.13
Target: 561
Miles to date: 738.07


One forward and two back

I was feeling pretty good after yesterday’s run… hardly any pain at all, which saw me forgo my evening session of icing the bits that hurt: big mistake as when I went out this morning, I felt stiffer than I have all week to the point where I had to leave the on-road route I was going to do and head over to the softer ground on Norbury Park for some relief.

My running shades have come though and I tried them out on the run and they seem to be pretty good. You shouldn’t really run in regular sunglasses, they’ll just steam up, but running or sports glasses have small openings at the top of the lens to stop this from happening. The last thing you need is to not see where you’re going.

I’d looked around and searched the internet for advice and most people tended to think, the higher priced you go, the better the quality. I got a pair of these cheap DHB ones from Wiggle – just £15,99 each and I cant think why people would want to spend any more: they keep the sun out, are lightweight, UV treated and, crucially, non slip. What else do you need?

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 540
Miles to date: 706.56

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

Trying to plan ahead to the upcoming races

After yesterday’s mammoth, I left it till the early evening to go out and run today, which is a shame as after a lovely sunny day, it was getting chilly again.

I decided to run Streatham Common to get some hills back into the training and actually felt surprisingly good though, naturally, a little stiff. At about 1.7 miles I had a bit of a scare when my right knee just locked up but I stopped for a minute, stretched it out and it was fine. Cramp around the knee? That’s a new one.

I’ve also not mentioned much about nutrition on here (other than the occasional hangover run!) but I am trying my best in the run up to the upcoming Water Of Life Half Marathon at Bisham Abbey this weekend and the Brighton Marathon in five weeks. One of the things I have introduced after most runs is a smoothie: half pint of milk, a banana, punnet of blueberries and a scoop of Maximuscle Promax protein shape all go into the blender… I figure it’s got carbs, protein and antioxidants in spades and doesn’t taste half bad either.

I’ve also been indulging in my running consumerism ahead of the race. With the sun out yesterday, i had a few of those bits where when you walk or run past a fence, it has a strobe affect and no I’ve ordered some cheapish running sunglasses from Wiggle to try out… I also ordered a hydration pack that stores about 2 litres of fluid in a bum bag with a hose to drink from during long runs.

I’m not sure how much use it will get but running with a bottle, either in hand or in a belt is a pain. The hydration pack should, theoretically, sit in the lumbar of the back making it easier to carry. I’ll let you know how it fares when it turns up.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 531
Miles to date: 697.56

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

Inspired by the fat tranny

This has, admittedly, been quite a bad week for me. Since running the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago, my legs have ached like never before and last weekend’s sojourn to the Peak District did no help at all.

Throughout the week, I’ve come close to downing tools, too tired to carry on, legs in too much pain and mentally, hitting a wall with the sheer boredom of not only having to get up every day and run but to also then find the time and the inclination to try and write something new about it.

Last night before bed though, I sat down to watch the first part of Eddie Izzard’s Comic Relief Challenge, Marathon Man, on BBC3. For anyone who’s not heard, he ran 43 marathons in 51 days for charity. It’s the kind of thing even the best endurance runners would find tough.

He started the challenge though with no running behind him, he was 47, overweight and more used to wearing high heels than proper trainers. And yet he completed the challenge largely thanks to a positive mental attitude. (Okay, so if I was being petty I would say he might have been helped by the fact he’s a millionaire, doesn’t have to worry about working for a living and had a team following him that massaged both his ego and his feet.)

But it did show me that the human body, however unfit and untrained, can get through some appallingly painful conditions, providing your head is in the right place.

It obviously worked in inspiring me… for this morning, the sun was out, there was a chill in the air, no wind and it was almost perfect running conditions as I set off around Streatham Common. And funnily enough, the legs are stiff, but the pain seems to be subsiding again.

For all those who’ve stood by me during the week and offered notes of sympathy and encouragement, thanks. And one thousand and ninety five apologies for being such a whingeing bastard.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3.04
Target: 501
Miles to date: 634.40

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

Some company on the road

For Lillian, the sports masseuse

I woke up this morning with the calf still sore and was just about to go out for a slow one when an email popped into my box: ‘You sound sore, fancy some company?’ It was my pal, Ben Maher, who is training for the London Marathon and was working from home today.

About 30 minutes later, we were out around Tooting Common, chatting away and catching up as we ran in the bright sunlight… having someone to run with and something to talk about took my mind off the injury and we went around at a decentish pace of about 9.5 minutes a mile and I didn’t feel too bad at the end of it.

Later in the afternoon, I had a full hour session with Lillian, the sports masseuse at the Reaqua Spa at Streatham’s Virgin Active. It costs £52 an hour but I cannot recommend her enough… she gave my legs a thorough going over that had be squealing in pain at times and warned me to expect to be a little sorer for the rest of the day (which I have been) but said I should be feeling better tomorrow.

The best thing about it is she confirmed a comment from Steve Swift on yesterday’s post: she could find no specific injury, just some tight soft tissue from overuse. Hopefully, she’ll have loosened it all up a bit.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 492
Miles to date: 625.36

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here