Running A Marathon. Training Plan Week 11. You Look Like A Runner Who Has Hurt Himself
Running A Marathon: Training Plan Week 11/30. “Do You Need Help? You Look Like A Runner Who Has Injured Himself?”
Running Do’s: Many runners find energy with simple sugars (e.g. boiled sweets) easier to digest and less nauseating
Running Don’ts: Unless you have a fetish for Mediaeval torture – don’t allow your toe nails to grow too long – they likely will go black and fall off.
Background: I have signed up to the London Marathon 2015, having never run before and recently having undergone major knee surgery (twice). This is my weekly diary which captures the highs and lows of my attempt to get fit enough to run the marathon in April 2015.
I am running for the mental health charity Mind. Please feel free to donate on my Virgin Just Giving page – every single penny I raise goes directly to Mind and helping people with their mental health – thank you.
I am following a 30 week marathon training schedule that has been defined for me by Jeff Galloway the American Olympic Marathon runner. Jeff espouses the run – walk – run method which enables you to gradually build up your strength, endurance and speed.
Week 11 Schedule: 15 Miles (3 mile walk then 10 sec run/40 sec walk) – completed in 3.31 hours. 2 X 60 min cadence and track sessions.
Weekly Diary: My schedule had me down for running 15 miles. Same routine as last time walk for the first 3 miles and then run/walk the remainder. I was going to keep to the 10 sec run/40 sec walk ratio as it this didn’t aggravate my Achilles.
I was determined to build in the good work from the Cadence Drills (CD) the week before. I also wanted to improve on my time for 13.1 mile time of 2.59 hours. So much responsibility on one so young!!
After warming up I set out for the walk. I have to say that I am still paranoid that I will get injured so I do tend to take it easy at first. I was clocking 14 min miles on the walks – not exactly supersonic – but I am happy to be cautious on these longer runs.
I moved in to the run/walk section and building on the CD’s I really focussed on improving my foot fall in the running sections and transitioning quickly into the walks. This seemed to be working and I my times improved to 11.58 miles per minute – just from improved footfall and transition.
Now as I moved seamlessly from run to walk and back again – I has visions of running like a gazelle – sleek, elegant, effortless – or perhaps like the runners in Chariots of Fire gliding across the beach?
Now just as I was starting to get ahead of myself a very nice gentleman in a VW Van pulled up ahead of me and wound down his window. I figured he was just lost – as we were deep in the Wiltshire countryside. I bounded up next to him and he uttered these immortal words:
“Do you need help? You look like a runner who has injured himself?”
Now on the positive side, at least he had clocked me for a runner – so being dressed from head to foot in lycra was definitely paying dividends. On the downside, my running style was clearly eccentric enough to stop traffic! I decided to look on the positive – it was Christmas and he clearly awestruck (probably wanted my autograph or something).
Anyway – I continued to plod and on, and on and on. Yawn. The landscape was ever-changing which was good as I was finding myself drifting off – which is fine but my timings drifted off too. Time wise I was fluctuating between 13:35 and 11:58 – the whole difference being down to paying attention.
I have to say I found it harder than the 13.1 – this is obvious ‘cos it was further – but I jut didn’t seem to strike the same rhythm. Perhaps I was pushing the transitions too much? One upside was that I improved on my 13.1 by over 10 minutes which I was really pleased about.
By the last few miles I was stiff, cold and generally feeling miserable. By this point I was running with all the elasticity and flexibility of the Tinman in The Wizard of Oz. The gels were also making me feel sick. My sense was that I had slowed down too much and was getting cold as a result – I should have kept my pace up. I finished – just – I am not sure where the next 10 miles will come from?
Now if only I could have found that nice man with the van?