Tag Archive for training

The closest I've come to quitting

I’m sitting at my desk with an ice pack on my left leg, just back from this afternoon’s run.

The exertions of last week’s half marathon, running all week,  a weekend of cycling, running and hiking and the fact my legs haven’t had a day off in more than five months is finally catching up with me.

I knew I was in some trouble this morning as soon as I got out of bed. My first step with my left leg sending a tense pain up the inside of my calf… but I ignored it, took a couple of Ibuprofen and got showered, but I was in no mood to do my usual early morning run. I wanted to give it an extra couple of hours before I ventured out.

When I did start running around 3.30, it obviously wasn’t right – I wasn’t running freely and each step hurt – not massive pain but the kind that just makes you wince.

Feeling sorry for myself, I decided to reduce the impact on my legs by getting off the hard pavements as soon as possible and veering into Norbury Grove, where the grass is usually short and springy.

The best laid plans and all that… the last few days rain has left the whole park waterlogged. Cold water seeped in to my trainers, my legs were splashed with mud and each step that I had to forcibly pull my leg out the gloopy mess hurt even more. It took me about two minutes to head back to the road and start feeling more miserable than Morrissey.

As an example of how slow my progress was, I finished the first mile and a half in about the same time as I did the three miles of last week’s race  and I seriously thought about giving it all up.

It’s not the three mile a day challenge. I can still do that I think- hobble about a bit, keep icing every day – it’s the stuff that’s started to come with it through my upping my own ante.

I began to cast my mind’s eye back to five months ago when I started the challenge and was hurting so much after the first three or four days that I thought I could never continue to where I’ve come: seriously bitten by the running bug, signing up for half marathons and marathons, achieving a time in my first race I never dreamt I could get with legs as dodgy as mine…

And I realised I’m not ready to give it up just yet. The worst that can happen is I continue doing my three miles at a snail’s pace and finish the original challenge… or I can take it easy for a few days, grit my teeth at my annoyance at going so slow, make sure I stretch, hydrate, get the ice packs on the hurty bits, stop moaning and just get on with the bloody business of training for that Brighton Marathon …

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

Miles today: 3
Target: 489
Miles to date: 627.36

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Seriously concerned about an injury

I was supposed to do a long run today as part of my training for the Brighton Marathon, but it would have been impossible.

I’ve still not really recovered from last week’s Portsmouth Coastal half marathon and Friday’s 20-mile cycle into the peaks, three-mile run yesterday morning and 12-mile hike yesterday afternoon haven’t helped – my left calf has started to give me some seriously worrying gip.

I’m not too bothered about not doing the long run… they’re mainly about getting time on your feet as much as distance and the fact that the hike took us more than five hours is good enough for one week – but on the face of this morning’s run, I might have to drop Brighton.

David and I set off around 8am while the other boys were still in bed. The wind war swirling sprinkles of snow around and we headed downhill into the village. Less than half a mile in, the heavier force of running down hill kicked in and I felt the calf tweak tighten right up.

We continued on but I was hobbling behind David with gritted teeth until we completed the circuit.

I’ve iced and taken lots of Ibuprofen but it’s not really helped much. Tomorrow will have to be very light and I’ve an hour of sports massage on Tuesday that I am finger crossing for… having to drop out now would be a real pain. Especially as I have another half marathon coming up in three weeks and have also signed up for the Leeds half marathon on May 9.

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

Miles today: 3.17
Target: 486
Miles to date: 624.36

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Why you should always pooh before running

Still with a bit 0f  soreness from Sunday’s Posrtsmouth Coastal Half Marathon and with a shift to do in town, I was up early for what I thought would be a nice, slow recovery run this morning. In a bit of a rush, I threw some clothes on, wolfed a banana and went out.

Regular readers wont be surprised to see a crucial incident missing from my pre run prep… a visit to the bathroom.

A mile from home, I started to feel the first tummy cramps but knew finding a loo at 6.45am in Streatham other than the one at home was going to be impossible. I momentarily weighed up the idea of running back, making a loo stop and what would have been two miles and setting off again but I convinced myself I could sweat it out… quite literally as it happens.

Each step over the next two miles sent another signal to my brain saying ‘you need the loo, you need the loo’ and as I ignored the stiffness in my legs and speeded up the pace to get home quicker, there was more sweat coming from the feverish need to go than the running itself.

Past two miles was a total nightmare… to the point where I began to feel light headed – I was clinching my bum as though I’d just got in to the prison shower with Mr Big and his very big gang.

I finally made it home in time, bursting through the door and frightening Laura and the cats… but I dont think I could have taken another step if still outside.

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

Miles today: 3.00
Target: 474
Miles to date: 612.19

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The body must be punished

Or that’s what it feels like anyway… my calves, particularly the left one, are still stiff after Sunday’s Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon, and the blisters on my feet rub with every step of the run, sending shooting pains through my feet. I have no idea how I will be able to run in the day’s after the Brighton Marathon.

All that said, it’s worth the pain to still be glowing in the pride of a fairly decent time on Sunday. I actually looked up the full results yesterday… 207th from 800 runner and in the top 30 of my age group!

Check them out here.

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

Miles today: 3.00
Target: 471
Miles to date: 609.19

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Suggest more songs for tomorrow's race

Thanks to David Whitely, Steve Swift and Kate Popham for suggesting tracks for my playlist for tomorrow’s Portsmouth Coastal Marathon: Manics, New Order and Eminem all added…

If anyone has any more suggestions, please leave a comment below or email me by clicking here.

For this morning’s run I did a nice easy amble on London Road through Norbury – the first time I’ve had energy for a run all week and the least my legs have ached. I can only conclude that running 15 miles last Sunday less than 18 hours after getting off a flight from America can’t have been that good an idea.

I’m getting quite excited about tomorrow now… my first big race since I did the Athens half marathon at 17 – that’s 25 years! Now get me inspired! Suggest a song.

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

Miles today: 3
Target: 462
Miles to date: 590.32

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

Suggest a song for Sunday

So as part of my training for the Brighton Marathon I have my first proper race this Sunday, the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon raising money for the RNLI.

For 13.2miles or around 2-2.5 hours, I’m going to need some inspiration for my iPod playlist, so please, if you have a great suggestion, leave a comment below or email me by clicking here.

In order to look smart, I’ve gone and got some new kit ready for the race and tried it out today. Aside from the worrying fact that my legs are still tight from Sunday’s 15 miler, I can conclude the following.

1. New Adidas running shirt – absolutely fine, no problems at all – made with Climalite materials to cool you down.

2. New Asics GT 2150 trainers – these have inbuilt support to stop by ankles from turning when I run. My old trainers (GT 2140) did a good 550 miles and its around this point the support tends to go… a return to turning in the old trainers could be the cause of my leg ache this week. The GT2150 are simply the new generation GT2140s so there was not much difference. the

3. Given it’ll probably be cold at the weekend by sea, I decided to invest in a new base layer by Skins. Despite getting a large size, I almost felt like I was being asphyxiated. I’ll probably revert to my old Adidas one to keep warm (which, despite being a medium, is much more comfortable).

4. New New Balance shorts. Again fine, although they bunch a little around the privates which could lead to chafing. Extra vaseline or old shorts could be in order.

Finally I also tried a carb gel for the first time. These are supposed to give you energy as you go but as you have to drink half  a litre of water with them, you still end up running with a bottle. I think I’ll stick to a bottle of Lucazade Sport when I run Sunday. They tasted bloody awful anyway, so I’m not too fussed with not using them.

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

Miles today: 3
Target: 459
Miles to date: 587.32

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

The hills are alive

As part of my regime for the Brighton Marathon, I was supposed to do some hill training last week while in Orlando. Pushed for time though and given Orlando is as flat as one of this Tuesday’s pancakes, I’d missed it out in favour of a flat run and so decided to do it today.

I’m not absolutely sure of what the benefits are but it hill training is in every training programme and, I think it is meant to strengthen certain muscles that are perhaps not put under the same stress when running on a straight.

Anyway, the program involved running for a mile as a warm up, finding a hill and running up it for two minutes fast before jogging back down in three minutes to the start. And then repeating this nine times.

So I headed out into Norbury as far as Norbury Hill – which is pretty steep – and went up and down it, veering off to side hills a couple of times to break up the monotony. Some builders in one of the houses there were just looking at me as though I was mad.

Toward the end of the run it started to rain, heavily and I began to curse my stupidness at going out in just shorts and a tee. By the last hill, my arms were red and sore with cold and to compound things, it started hailing as I was running home. Hard, fast hail that stung as it hit my head – but quite enjoyable in a masochistic way.

I’m off to do my first official half marathon on Sunday in Portsmouth and was chuffed to hear the doorbell ring this morning with the postman announcing the arrival of my new pair of trainers. There are the ones I’ll hopefully be running Brighton in but I’ve had to upgrade from Asics GT2140s, which you can’t find any more to Asics GT2150s… I’m hoping they’ll be as good and faithful as the last pair.

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

Miles today: 5.27
Target: 456
Miles to date: 584.32

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Sometimes you just don't feel like running…

… and today was one of them.

On top of a slight cold I’m sure I got by taking an ice bath after Sunday’s 15 miler, my legs are still slightly sore from that run and my chest muscles ache from a weights session at the gym yesterday.

To top it all, I hardly slept last night and gave in at around 4am to take a melatonin tablet which is meant to release sleep inducing hormones – cue me almost not being able to get up this morning and feeling like I have no energy all day.

I was supposed to do a speed session this afternoon as part of my training regime for Brighton but I just didn’t feel like it (plus I was worried about the legs) and so I did an easy 3miler around Streatham Common.

Unlike my mood, at least the sun was out as I set off on the route which takes me straight into a massive climb. I wasnt too fussed about the steepness as at least it slowed me down but on the way back, when running on the Common itself, it was ludicrous. The heavy rain from last night was still running down the grass (water on Streatham Common gathers from the Downs I believe) which was waterlogged and had me slipping and sliding all the way back.

I’ve never been more glad to see the front door but I guess day’s like today come to test the resolve. I managed to grit the teeth and carry on and, as a reward, ordered some new trainers ready for the big Brighton push.

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

Miles today: 3
Target: 453
Miles to date: 579.05

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Day 150 and thank heaven for sports massage

For Natalie Onions – as mad as me

Crickey, day 150 and still feeling very tender after Sunday’s 15miler… this training for the Brighton marathon is taking its toll.

I felt even more tender when I visited my sports massage therapist Lillian this morning. When I told her where it hurt, she started sucking her teeth like a plumber who’s found a blocked u-bend… ‘Don’t say shin splints,’ I said as she went to work and continued to suck on her teeth.

She eventually, after half an hour, said my legs aren’t in too bad shape for someone who’s been running continually for six months and just told me to look after my legs over the coming weeks.

‘This is the time when you are more prone to injury in your training, luckily you’re seeing me early enough for me to help,’ she said.

And so I did a very very gentle run in the gym to celebrate and you know what, it didn’t feel too bad.

If you’re wondering who Natalie Onions is, she’s a woman who is also doing a year long challenge… but not with a run every day, but a thusfar entertaining blog. She even runs dressed like a pirate. Check it out at www.run1000miles.com

Click here for full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3.11
Target: 450
Miles to date: 576.05

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

Ouch, ouch, ouch

Really stiff from yesterday’s 15miler and my left calf has quite an ache, so I spent today’s run going very, very slowly on the treadmill at the gym. Ice and paracetamol on their way to help out…

Click here for full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3.01
Target: 447
Miles to date: 572.94

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