Friday 18 February 2011

112.3 miles or bust (hopefully the former...)

Right, it's probably time that I started actually using this blog for its intended purpose - to document the run up to the London Marathon (that pun still isn't funny...). I think what I will do is have a weekly post about my training for that week (probably not terribly interesting, but it should help me keep track of how I'm getting on), as well as a couple of random posts about other things as and when they come up.

Anyway; training. How does one go about preparing to run 112.3 miles (thanks Google Earth!)? Well, oddly enough, the answer is to run. And run. Then run some more! So that's what I'm doing. I'm currently trying to walk a very fine line between putting the miles on my legs, whilst not causing any permanent damage or suffering from over training, and trying to make sure that I actually see my lovely fiancee Jen (who has been amazing through this whole thing, even though she thinks I'm mad!). The problem with long distance running is that it can make a serious dent in your free time...

I aim to get about 80 miles running in a week, and to do this in the least obtrusive way I tend to combine running with commuting, and run very early in the morning on weekends. Commuting is quite a good way of doing this actually. I live in St. Ives, but work in Cambridge. Door to door, it's about 16.5 miles. This is a great run to do in the evening to get rid of the cobwebs of sitting in front of a computer all day, and let my brain wind down from all of the sciencey stuff going on inside. So I will strap on my hydration pack, whack on some podcasts (currently making my way through the Answer Me This back catalogue, which I can thoroughly recommend!), and get cracking. Heading home makes use of the currently unused (mis)guided busway that links Cambridge to St. Ives, and it's great in the evening. Nobody around, nice and quiet, nice views of the lakes and fields in the surrounding area. It's great, but does usually take about 2 hours 15 mins... I usually do this journey home, but come in with Jen in the car in the morning and run the 3 miles from the Park and Ride, giving me a nice ~20 miles in a day. If I don't run it, I will generally cycle it (much quicker - less than an hour home!), although it's a bit worrying that I now consider the days that I cycle 20 miles as rest days...

A perfect week (if life doesn't get in the way...) will look something like this:

Rest day - Run or cycle 6 miles total (to and from the Park and Ride)

Run 20 miles

Cycle 20 miles, an hour of squash and an hour of climbing

Run 20 miles

Cycle 20 miles

Saturday and Sunday:
Run ~28 miles (Head out at 6:30am, back just after 11am)

I just about managed this last week, but generally something gets in the way every now and then so a typical week is less than this. I'll track exactly what I do from now on, more for my own benefit than anything else. I'm at a stage now where these distances feel comfortable, but I do tend to reduce the distance for one week after every 3 full on weeks to avoid over training. I run at a comfortable pace (~9 minutes a mile) rather than my half marathon pace, and I don't do any speed work at the moment so would probably be terrible over a shorter distance!

So that's it really. I run when I can, I cycle when I can't. Climbing is great for keeping the upper body strong (my poor arms don't see much of a workout these days). I'm keeping my mind on the goal, and feel really happy with everything is going. It's definitely worth it, and I really hope that it helps in some way. The donations go a long way to helping the Epilepsy Society, so thankyou so much to everybody that has sponsored me already. I also think that just talking about it can help, so hopefully me whittling on in these interviews will have a positive effect. I may not have any knees left after this, but at least they will go out on a high!

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