Hello there and welcome to another training log and update on my progress for my 5 consecutive marathons happening in April and May of this year.
Last week was a write off running-wise.
I contracted man-flu. Somehow I managed to avoid going to A&E at the hospital, I survived a couple of rough nights where I thought I wouldn’t, but am now happily back running. The reason that I am not offering up a video log for this is that as a result of my life-threatening disorder last week, I have a very red nose.
Video will be back next week.
So firstly, here are my training miles for this week:
Mon 5th Mar 1M jog, 5M (or 45 mins) fartlek, then 1M jog
Tues 6th Mar 6M (50 mins) slow
Wed 7th Mar 9M (72 mins) steady
Thurs 8th Mar. Cross Train
Fri 9th Mar. 4M (36 mins) easy or parkrun
Sat 10th Mar. Rest
Sun 11th Mar. 20M (3hrs) slow Mad March Hare Christchurch Race
Yes, I have a 20 mile race on Sunday which I will report back on next week and though my schedule dictates that I am supposed to run it in 3 hours (9 minute miles) I suspect I’ll be running it faster than that – it is a race and I struggle to contain myself in competitive events.
I did want to add that I hated every second of taking time out of my schedule due to illness. I felt guilty. I felt like I was getting behind. I thought that I was going to lose fitness.
I thought a lot of nonsense. A lot of crazy.
In hindsight, I have reframed the entire experience and instead now consider the days off will illness as a valuable opportunity for my body to rest and recuperate.
The mind of a marathon runner does some crazy things sometimes and it is worth having people around to discuss it with – because you end up realizing that every other runner goes through much the same as you and that you are not on your own… and also use self-hypnosis and other psychological tools to keep you on track and thinking progressively.
Since I hit the streets again, I felt awesome and much better for the time out. I loved having the Spring air in my nostrils and lungs and the legs feeling charged again.
Later this week, I’ll be including another self-hypnosis process to aid the running and training process.
Also today though, in response to email questions I have had, I am sharing with you the pieces of kit that are essential to me for race day, and with my training kit. Let me know if you have any other things that you cannot go without.
- Nip Guards: If I am not wearing a tight fitting t-shirt, then I find that with the longer runs, and especially when I am sweaty in races or in cold months, I get the classic runners nipple – very sore. But these amazing creations are tiny stickers that you apply and your nipples are protected. They stay stuck on through very tough conditions and are a godsend as far as I am concerned.
- Vaseline: Though any petroleum jelly will do. I use this stuff daily on my bum cheeks (like you needed to know that) and other places on race day. My wife has to keep her own supplies of Vaseline lip guard away from me for fear of me using it for my own ends.
- Compression shorts: I use Skinsshort tight. I have to wear this sort of garment under my shorts to help avoid chafing. I am thick set and there is only so much benefit I derive from Vaseline. Plus you get the recovery benefits of compression too.
- Water bottle: I have a camel water bottle which has a lock to stop water coming out when you don’t want it to – a rare bonus. I do not use belts to keep stuff in as I find them off-putting and uncomfortable. I am always amazed with marathon runners who manage to cart around what looks like a confectionary shop around their waist as they run in races.
- Sennheiser Adidas PMX680 headphones: I never race or do my long runs with music as I do not want to have to rely on music to be able to run well. But I do a lot of my other training runs with music, especially high tempo runs and intervals. The reason I love these headphones is that you can switch tracks and adjust volume without touching your MP3 player. They work well with my monumentally large head and boy are they loud?!
- Garmin Forerunner 610: My beloved GPS watch. Tells me how fast I am running, how fast I did the last mile, what my average pace is, what the cadence is, how far I have run – I can’t stand bleeping noises, so I get it to buzz when anything important happens (such as completing another mile).
I also love being able to download the runs on my PC and look at the stats – it is very motivating and satisfying. I’ll be posting up the stats from this Sundays race here on the blog next week. It has a touch screen too. I have remained loyal to Garmin over the years. I had one of the very early forerunners which was like having a brick on your arm, not dissimilar to a 1980s mobile phone and have carried on getting the latest models each time one came out… I suspect I’ll keep using this one for many years to come though, it is brilliant.
- Energy Gels: I use Lucozade’s orange flavoured ones because I have always used them and I feel conditioned to them. I have used others with varying degrees of satisfaction. I keep a couple of them in my shorts pockets for when I hit 15-20 miles or if I ever need them in a race. I think I prepare pretty well for races and have a nutritional routine that serves me well that I have used for years, so I do not need to consume 5-6 gels during a marathon like many people I encounter, but I like having them around if need be.
- Foam Roller: I while away many hours rolling my calves and hamstring on one of these in front of the TV in the evenings. It aids recovery, squeezes all that lactic acid out of the legs and adds to my stretching procedure, which I do in a disgruntled fashion after training – I do it because I have to rather than wanting to, I am not all that flexible (perhaps becuase I do not stretch enough) and so find it hard work.I have written about my choice of shoes/trainers before, so shall not duplicate – they are most important, of course. I race in shoes that are minimalistic compared to my training shoes, but offer a little bit of support. I swear they make me run faster! I have spoken before of my use of compression recovery stockings and my love of Cherry Active juice for recovery enhancement too. But this little lot mentioned above are some of the things I cannot be without…
Be back later this week with a self-hypnosis process. Happy running folks…
So right now we are getting into the real business end of the challenge. I ran 20 miles today with a heavily strapped up leg after a week of rest….. this is where we separate the men from the boys.
I have just completed a 20-18-20 combination over 3 weekends which as close as I will get to the 26-26-26 and I won’t lie to you I am hurting in all sorts of places….
What I have not mentioned yet is that I love it! I love the challenge, I love the impossibility of it all and I love overcoming it all.
This weeks biggest target for me has not been the mileage, it has actually been the continual stick that I have been getting about how ‘easy’ 3 marathons in 3 weeks is compared to John Bishops week of hell. Let me be clear, Johns achievement is fantastic as he ran 3 marathons having a break every 7 miles and a team of 65 people around him providing massages and support.
When I tripped over and lay on the floor on Monday of this week, no-one was there to pick me up, no-one was there to guide me or offer me support. Other than the guys around me doing a similar challenge, I was on my own.
I reiterate one point, John Bishops efforts were amazing and I whole heartedly support his cause, but please do not compare it to what I am doing. I am also holding down a full time job, have zero support and this morning set out at 5:50 so that I could be back to take my son to rugby training. I am not convinced that the challenge is the same.
The programme is going well, and this week I was visualising the crowd and support and utilising to help me as i demonstrate success, it gives me goose bumps just thinking about it….
5 weeks tomorrow until marathon 1, and I can’t wait. I am sitting on the sofa typing this with my feet up as they are sore but bring it on….
Additional kit that I find invaluable;
– Today I used compression socks for the first time. I shall never run without them again.
– I run with a water belt that I got from Poundland and love it so much that I went back and spent £20 on 20 about 6 years ago – I am only through 3 or 4 of them.
– Music – an essential addition and right now thanks to the IKEA advert I can’t listen to many things without “you’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties”
– I have to use a headband because my ears are too big and my headphones would fall out otherwise.
– I also have a pair of asics 3/4 length trousers that are 12 years old that I am still wearing and look awful….. but nothing is as comfortable.
– I have not run without an under armour top for some years now – sensitive nipples methinks!
– Plus the app Imapmyrun – love it!
Over and out
I crack up that you still have those three quarter length bad boys. I recall thinking they were a bit old and required replacing several years ago! 🙂