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Thursday, 25 November 2010

It's in the post

Blog 1 of a marathon training diary that should see me through to the Flora London Marathon on April the sumthing 2011.
After winning a lucky dip style draw within the Aberystwyth Athletic Club to run for the club in next years event, I finally filled in the relevent paperwork last night and and waved goodbye to 41 british pence for the stamp and twenty eight pounds for the entry fee, so as they say, there's no turning back now.

Fellow Aber AC runner Dan Burgess also won a spot. We are of similar age, ability and also posses fairly equal amounts of excess body hair, so I guess it's nice that we get to train and run together in the same edition of the race.

I've been submitting an entry for this race for years, with the thinking that I'll drop everything and go for it should my number ever come up. It's not me, or maybe it is now that I am getting longer in the tooth. The old me would complain about the length of a 400 sprint effort on a Tuesday night speed session. 10k was my absolute performance limit and 10 milers were done with no feeling from the waist down.

So i want to do it well, thats my new professional attitude speaking. If i manage it remains to be seen. My shins haven't got the best track record thanks to my plain refusal to wear moulded shoe inserts as a 5 year old which were meant to cure my flat feet. We'll see how it goes.

I started running again after a summer of doing my first choice sport of cycling. After the Teifi 10 in May, I didn't run anywhere apart from the Spar on Northgate Street, from Cambrian Tyres on er, Northgate Street until September the 7th, so although fit, my running muscles were in hibernation.

I've been rudely awakening them gradually as per most winters, Tuesday speed night and one other run usually at the weekend. It suddenly dawned on me that this is nowhere near enough for the Marathon. For 10k's yes maybe, but this required more, much more.

So I've been forcing myself to run at weekends for no less than one hour, without any stops and at a fairly fast pace of about 7.30 min miling pace. It's hard but doable (just), but the problem is recovery. My calves hurt, hips, knees etc etc. I'm putting it down to 'adaption' from cycling, and into week three of this new four times a week regime, the shins are creaking but there are no major issues to report.

Last Tuesday night was a pyramid session at Erw Goch. Brian Ashton insistst that I keep up with speed work as it will improve my stride and enable me to push on and change pace should I need to on the big day, and who am I to argue, the man has run well under three hours for a marathon and so I'll take all his knowledge in as red.

I was volunteered into the group containing the club fastmen and we zoomed around at a good pace, some efforts done at sub 5 min pace! :

That free Powerbar i nabbed from a customer at work did it's job and enabled me to do the second set of intervals at the same pace as the first - nice and consistant.

I haven't yet set a target time for London. I'm going to give the thing the utmost respect. I know people who've crashed & burned, who are far better runners than me. It's double the distance I've ever run before but on the other hand, I''ve been racing road bikes for the best part of 20 years, I've completed the Welsh Road Race Champs twice, in 1992 and 2005 when it was flat out for four hours, over 100 miles of pain, and the Dragon Ride in 2010 in 6hours 21 minutes!! So why am I scared? Because it's bone jarring running, unlike cycling where the bike takes the road shock. I'm thinking 6 hours on the bike is around the same on the body as a 3hour marathon would be.....

Time to get for an easy 5 miles, I'm full of lurgy but it's not life threatening so I'll plod on & write some more when there is sufficient progress!!!

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