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The more I run, the more I like cycling

March 25, 2013 | 7:12 pm

Less than a month until the London Marathon, four weeks to be precise.

Over the last month, I have been steadily increasing the length of my Sunday monring runs, building up my stamina as well as working out what I’ll need to eat and drink as I go along.

Considering I had not run further than 8 miles ever before I started this little adventure, looking back and analyzing the effects of running 13-15+ miles is a little surreal, to say the least. But that is what I need to do, because I learnt a couple of weeks ago that this isn’t necessarily going to be plain sailing.

In all my challenges to date, since I started this blog, I have pretty much gone with the following formula…

1) Find challenge
2) Train for challenge
3) Do challenge

Be it cycling, duathlon or triathlon, if I have put enough training in, I have always managed to finish said challenge. I’ve never had a problem with injury (thankfully) or more importantly, biting off more than I can chew…

Until now!

Two weeks ago yesterday, I went to do my longest run so far… 18 miles, and wasn’t able to do it! I got to 15 miles and had nothing left! I walked for a quarter of a mile and tried to start again but was literally running on empty…

Nada… rien… nichts… zilch!

Up until then, the training seemed to be going well. I’d done my fastest 13 mile run the week before, and 15 miles with hills the week before that. I had also done a 16 mile run in February, so it wasn’t like it was my longest run ever, even though I was hoping it would be.

This is when the doubts started to creep in. If I can’t get past 15 miles, how am I going to finish 26? I dont know for sure why I ran out of gas. Whether it was three weeks of hard work in a row, or the wrong food the day before… Who knows?

I rested for most of the two weeks since then, only doing a couple of ‘shorter’ 6 mile runs, because I was entered into the Cranleigh 21 race yesterday.

This is a traditional test event for those running the London Marathon, who live in and around South Surrey. Tim, a friend of mine who I think I’ve mentioned here before lives down there and is closely involved with the race. So I thought it would the ideal opportunity for me to build my mileage up and experience a race day atmosphere. However, the snow over the weekend put paid to that. Driving a round trip of nearly 400 miles overnight with the family was never going to be a good idea with the snow we had on Saturday, so I had to bail out!

Instead, I did my long run in Tickhill yesterday morning. 20 miles around Tickhill – 6 laps and 20.5 miles to be precise…

The last four miles were hard… very hard… and I was walking as much as I was running. But I did it, which has gone some way to allay my fears about finishing the marathon.

Some way. I need to take it more steadily in the first half to save some energy for the last 6 miles, but I’m more confident than I was two weeks ago!

All this running and then resting in between running has also meant I haven’t been in the pool for ages, and even worse, out on my bike. The last time I rode my bike (apart from a couple of times on the turbo) was January 12th!!!

The more running I do, the more I realise I am a cyclist!

Posted by Gareth

8 Responses to The more I run, the more I like cycling

  1. avatar avatarPhill says:

    I’m in awe. There’s no way I’d even think of doing a marathon (notice I didn’t say “running”?). I’m sure the atmosphere and adrenaline will help lots on the day – not to mention all the bloody training you’vee done.

    Go out and love it, sir.

    • avatar avatarGareth says:

      Thank you for those kind words, Sir.

      I am looking forward to the day and fully intend to enjoy it… even if I’m on my knees!!!

  2. avatar avatarMatt says:

    Hi Gareth

    Well done on the 20 miler! Ref your running out of gas a few weeks back, are you taking on fuel while you are out and about?

    I normally have a big meal the night before, then a huge bowl of ready brek in the morning, then take on more carbs during the run whether this is from gels / drinks, roadkill etc.

    Completed my first 30 miler last week which was More of a plod than a run but good to cover the distance.

    Best of luck with the marathon! London is as flat as a pancake and the occaison will carry you through no sweat….!!



    • avatar avatarGareth says:

      Hi Matt,

      I tend to do the same. Big carb meal the night before and a bowl of porridge in the morning. I then have Torq Gels on me and carry a bottle of water whilst running. I can’t be sure but I dont think I hit ‘The Wall’. I’ve done it once on the bike and this felt different – think it might have been fatigue from lack of rest or perhaps a mental thing – or both.

      Hopefully through the other side now, though – having done the 20 miler!

      Congrats on the 30 miles – I know the feeling of wanting to increase your mileage but not sure if I could cope with the thought of doing 15 miles and thinking that was just HALF way!!!!



  3. avatar avatarPaul says:

    Hi Gareth,

    I am sure you can do it, treat it like a monster hill on the bike, nice and steady for the most part and keep plenty in reserve for the final push.

    Anyway, Good Luck mate

    Best wishes,


  4. avatar avatarRobin Crampton says:

    Hi Gareth
    I’ve been following your blog about the training for the London with interest. You look to be doing fine to me and the crowds in London will get you round, its a great day out. I did the London twice myself back in the mid 80’s with a best time of 4 hours and 2 minutes. Have a great day and enjoy it. I’m training for my next challenge in June, the Way of the Rose’s. 170 miles in 2 days.
    All the best


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