Monday, January 23, 2012

14 weeks to go

My training plan tells me that I have 14 weeks to go until the MK marathon... GULP! This means I am 4 weeks into the plan, and happy I can run a good half marathon but not entirely convinced about a full. I finished last week with the second highest mileage I think I have ever run for a single week, which gives me some sense of the scale of this thing (I ran a total of 29 miles over 7 days, whereas I want to run 26.2 in half a day!). To say that I am developing the jitters is perhaps an understatement... I have them and it is bordering on the fears!

I am deeply enjoying the training so far and last week was a real achievement... it is growing on me that I will have to set and set and set many such achievements over the next 14 weeks!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Picking up the miles

I have had a real stinker of a cold which laid me up for a few days right at the start of my sixteen week marathon. Even though it hasn't completely gone I have at least this week managed to pick up some miles. Doing 11.5 miles at the start of the week and 8.2 yesterday, with only what I consider (hope are) general stiffness and aches to show for them. When I am looking at training and training plans it is really all about the numbers. The numbers look good for the week, but the numbers ahead are more than a little daunting right now - especially the number "26.2".

It will be tough to turn up to my first marathon likely never haven't done it in training. I am one of those people who feels greatly comforted by complete and thorough dress rehearsals. Perhaps this is being heighten also by the notion that I won't have run on the course before either. Hmmm, I am hoping with following the training plan comes a little more race confidence.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Well now New Year discovery - I need to be another Andy

I have on occasion noted how my weight relates to sports people (not my fitness though it has to be said), at one time I was as heavy as Worlds strongest man contestants and heavyweight boxers, then rugby players and rowers, and lately I wasn't sure where I fell on this comparison spectrum. Moreover I was unsure what type of sport person weighed what BMI sheets tell me is my ideal weight... it turns out the answer is tennis, and indeed another Andy.

Image of Andy Muarry borrowed from an article in the guardian online Original image
"Andy Murray following his five-set victory over Jurgen Melzer". Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images.
Yes, the sports person who I reckon comes in at roughly my 'ideal' BMI is the world class tennis Brit, Andy Murray. According to event stats that I bumped into online he's roughly my height and roughly 2 stone lighter, i.e. around my ideal BMI. This might not seem to mean a great deal to anyone else, but in terms of my motivation it is actually useful. I had labored under the impression that being that weight I would be considered 'skeletal' but my view has been adjusted by the revelation. I didn't really have a proper New Years resolution but now it seems to be to trim down to Andy Murray proportions - sadly matching weight won't mean matching talent but hey I reckon I will be running PRs if I do manage to shed anything like the 2 stone.

Okay, it really is only a feeble a motivational 'trick', I know that really being somewhere near that weight will make running my first marathon a great deal easier on me cardiovascularly and muscloskeletally (heart and joints, etc. ;-) ).

Friday, January 06, 2012

1yr caffeine clean - a blogger pats himself on the back a bit

One whole year caffeine free, time does fly. How did I find it? Well truth be told there has been the odd hour of a long day now and then when I have been sorely tempted to 'use' some coffee medicinally, but I easily set the temptation aside. I have found too many benefits to really consider going back on my stance - see my original post on the issue 'Caffeine-free' from back in July 2011.

Perhaps the funniest part of being caffeine 'dry' is the reaction of others, it can be really odd. The drinking of tea, coffee, cola, etc. seems to be hard wired into society, so much so that at many meetings I had noted there is nothing caffeine free available to drink (I once had to take a coffee cup into the bathroom to fill up with water as I was caught out by thirst). People don't seem to know what to do with themselves when you say "That's okay I don't drink caffeine thanks", often they get very animated and oddly apologetic while rapidly telling you how they consume their coffee / tea. It is a little like everyone is mildly addicted (and some heavily) and while beneath the surface very aware of it they only get challenged by it when someone says "No thanks, I don't". It's funny how many friends and colleagues are willing participants in the caffeine roller coaster - awake, charged, tired, anxious, alert, hyper, sleepless, twitchy - and so on. I for one will continue on my merry way without it thanks.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Oh, I enjoyed that - a good running day

Tonight I headed out to run an hour and indeed managed just that on an improvised route. I managed 1hr and 48sec for 6.7miles and enjoyed it immensely. It was an interesting route through the city centre passing Cardiff Castle, the weather was half decent, I aced my rhythm, managed to cruise the pace, and hit a potent negative split to boot... runs like this are a large part of the reason why I run.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Slings and arrows of finding new balance

Bloggers own - Drawn in a my own special way using Microsoft Powerpoint
There are many things that crop up when you begin anew with training and eating plans, quite aside from the straightforward logistics of how, when and how much. Indeed I have found that one of the major consequences can indeed be mood. In the efforts of eating sensibly and training more it is all to easy to forget to keep an eye on the consequences of the changes in balance going on within your physiology and biochemistry, of your whole body very much including the brain. I suppose in most cases involving sensible exercise plans mood changes mostly brought on simply by tiredness of extra training and reduced calorie load. Happily in my experience these effects do not last very long, undoubtedly because bodies (and brains) are very adept at finding and maintaining new balance once a new regime has become the 'norm'.

The last few days I have been very on the move and aware of tiredness, but I am so happy to be going in the right direction again. I am still looking around and trying to absorb as many ideas and as much information as I can about marathon training to make sure I tackle the next 15weeks as sensibly as possible and injury free as possible. Know a good source of knowledge? Let me know if you have a moment, ta.