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Trying to be a runner…

January 13, 2013 | 4:00 pm

The London Marathon is on Sunday 21st April 2013.

So, 14 weeks to go….

That’s over 3 months. When put like that it sounds like a long time.

Since the New Year, I’ve been increasing the amount of running and the distances too. As of this morning, I’ve run 45 miles since the start of January. I’m running four times a week and reckon that if I follow the following schedule, I’ll get my distances up in time for the Marathon:

Monday night – a loosener of just 5k (3.1 miles)
Tuesday night – 10k (6.2 miles) working on speed, as much as I can
Thursday night – My “long” run, at the pace I hope to actually run the marathon. Every other week, I will increase this distance by 2 miles, as I try to get used to running longer distances.
Sunday – another 10k at a my ‘marathon’ pace

In a couple of weeks, I will need to swop the Thursday night ‘Long’ run with the Sunday run, as I just wont have time on a Thursday night. Once the distance of that run gets up beyond 13 miles, it will mean I’ll be out running for over 2 hours and that’s just too long in the evening. So I’ll either get up early on a Sunday morning (I need to be back by about 9.30am to get to church) or I’ll go after lunch.

In addition, I am continuing to swim once a week and go for a bike ride once a week. I can’t give these up as I have a half IronMan distance triathlon six weeks after the London Marathon.

This is by no means a technical training programme, or one that I’ve found from some online running guru! I have read some stuff online, and got sent a couple of example training programmes when I entered the race. However, like most of my training, its just me making it up as I go along.

The further I run, the more confident I feel that I will be able to complete the marathon – which is a strange feeling, because if you’d have asked me only a couple of years ago, I’d never even have considered such a long run!

I’m by no means there yet though of course! Most importantly, I need to stay injury free – something I have been quite fortunate with over the last couple of years. If I can increase the distances as hoped, I aiming to be running a long run of 16 miles by the end of February, and be up to 22 miles in one go by the end of March.

Everything I have read suggests you shouldn’t actually run the full 26 miles & 385 until the actual day of the Marathon – which is on 21st April. In the couple of weeks running up to that, I’ll taper my distances down so as to be fresh for the actual day.

The end of March also coincides with the ‘Cranleigh 21‘. My buddy Tim “The runner” Dowdall lives in Cranleigh, Surrey, has done a couple of marathon’s and runs with his local running club. They organise a 21 mile road race every year, four weeks before the London Marathon, so you can see if you are ready for the main event or not.

Entering this race gives us the perfect excuse to go and visit the Dowdalls, and will allow me to judge just how far I’ve come, and where I’ve got to go….

I deliberately haven’t set myself a time goal for the marathon yet. I want to get some longer distances under my belt and see how I recover before nailing my ‘time goal’ flag to the mast.

Whether I do this before the Crableigh 21 or just after, I’m not sure. But don’t worry, I will…

Posted by Gareth

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