Keep updating this – keep forgetting to post this, so excuse the huge info dump.
You may or may not know that I’m currently in the process of training up to run the London Marathon this April. A (so-called) friend persuaded me that signing up would be a good idea so I now find myself out 4 nights a week wondering how on earth I allowed myself to be dragged out doing this – of course is the point is to raise money to help support the charity VICTA which works with visually impaired children, giving them the things they need to make life easier.
So how’s the training going? Well a couple of weeks ago I moved onto my new marathon training plan (which should all being well) have me ready to run the marathon in about 14 weeks time (conveniently when the marathon actually is). This has lead to a change in my running habits – I used to go out 2-3 times a week and do a shortish run (5k/3.10 miles), I’m now going out 3-4 times a week no matter the weather (can’t make any more excuses) and running 3 shorter runs (started at the 5k/3.10 miles mark and getting longer) and one longer run (this started at 6miles/9.65km) and this distance also builds up over the next few months with the view of getting to the point where I can run a marathon and (more importantly) still be alive at the end of it.
This training scheme is taking the pattern of having the three shorter runs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday evenings, followed by the longer run on Saturdays, so slightly different from the Monday, Wednesday and Saturday jogs I was doing before. I started this off with a nice 6 mile jog – which was hard but I managed, and was pretty chuffed I managed this. This was followed by three 3 mile jogs – the second of which was harder, due to the proximity to the other runs, but by the time I got to the third my body seemed to be picking up the idea a bit more. Then the following weekend it was a 7mile jog – which was a bit harder than the 6mile jog – I was generally feeling more tired after the week/new training scheme but managed to pull through what I would say was one of the hardest runs (bear in mind until the weekend before the largest distance I’d run in my life was 3 miles). In the new week it was a 3mile run for Monday & Wednesday, and a 4 mile run on the Tuesday. The Monday run was on a hideously cold night and I ended up having major problems from cramp and stiff legs, leading me to the point where I was really dreading going out for the 4 mile jog on the Tuesday evening.
Turns out I was right to dread the 4 mile jog – I found that I was able to jog in fits to the 2 mile marker and then had to walk the rest of the way home – unsure if I was going to make it. Still I pulled through enough to get home, and then did a bit of research into what could be causing the problem finding out about something called runners knee where the symptoms seemed to match – this wasn’t good as the main thing it recommended was resting your knees something I’ve not really got the time for… So I walked the three mile run I had planned for Wednesday, and skipped the 5 mile one at the weekend – giving the knees a chance to rest. I’ve also tried using my running shoes all the time I don’t need smart shoes – they’re designed to boost your midstep and have enabled me to get around over the weekend without any knee issues (walking was getting to be problematic).
Following the weekend, I decided to repeat the week and went out for a 3 mile run using the newer running shoes, rather than the older flatter based ones I usually wear. This was followed by another 4 mile run which also went well. I then got a bit cheeky and skipped the last three mile run of the week to allow my knees to rest up a bit further before going for 5 miles at the weekend – this went well and for the first time I really felt I was hitting a steady pace and getting a good stride – hopefully I can keep this going.
The first 3 mile run of the new week went well except for a slip up as I was going into my end cooldown thanks to a patch of icy pavement. This lead to a grazed knee and a sore hip – nothing serious and hopefully nothing that’ll have long lasting effects with a 5 mile, 3 mile, and a 9 mile jog to go before the end of the week.
The other side effect of all this running is that the local sales of banananas are going up – I find that they provide a good source of potassium which helps out with the leg cramps I get after really pushing it when out on a run. It would probably really help if I liked the taste…
So that’s what I’ve been doing. But how can you help? Well you can sponsor me by going to the sponsorship page here (http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/alexanderjwalters). If your around at the weekends and fancy helping out as a “water station” on one of the long runs I’m not going to say no either – if you think you can help with this, drop me an email to AlexsMarathon@gmail.com – your support is and will be appreciated especially when running along the dark streets on a cold January evening.