Recovery…

Post-marathon recoveries are tricky things to get right. After London in April, I abandoned the sport for a fortnight, then ran 30 miles in the following three days. My body was all at sea. There was an illustration of how not to recover after a marathon. After the Lakeland Trails Marathon  in July, I was running sections of the…

London 2012 (the marathon, not the Olympics)

I knew what had happened, what was happening, from my news feed on Facebook. My dad was happy. A former work colleague was exultant but nervous. Another friend was disappointed. I hastily began home; a letter from the people who run the Virgin London Marathon beckoning me. I was in. Of course, I was. I…

Lakeland Trails Marathon

I’m inbound to the Lake District this weekend for the inaugural Lakeland Trails Marathon, a 26.2-mile circuit around Coniston Water, starting and finishing in Coniston village. Seeing as it’s the Lakes, Kendal Mint Cake will be handed out at water stations. The marathon route looks ever so pretty on the map: around Tarn Hows, across high…

2.50.23

Marathons are cruel. They slowly but surely destroy participants, emotionally and physically. They wear down the mind, eat away at thoughts, until pre-race aspirations, hope, motivations are smashed. All that is left is a desire for this suffering to be over, and quickly. They wear down the body, finding little niggles that become groaning aches, before…

When time is all that matters

There was an advert – for Lucozade, I think – at Custom House, the DLR station for ExCel, that read: ‘ When all you think about for 3,29 is 3,29.’ What runner could not empathise with that? There lies a runner’s obsession: time. Tsegaye Kebede wants to break the world record tomorrow, dipping under 2,04 in the process….

The pain game

I’ve had various brushes with sports therapists over the years – the consequence of bursting the fluid on a knee cap, general knee pain (tight IT band to blame), plantar fasciitis (five weeks before a marathon), scar tissue on the soleus and badly bruising a knee cap (the other one) in a fall on snowy ground. So…

January – a month of mileage

Marathon training continues apace; the prospect of a comfortable sub-three hour time becoming ever likelier. I covered 235 miles in January, which included weeks of 45, 49, 55 and 59 miles. The pattern was not deliberate. The month culminated with the South of England cross country championships, a nine-mile battle of attrition and mud around…

Sub-3 – seventh time lucky?

Having ran four Flora’s, it is time for a Virgin. The London Marathon on April 17 – 14-and-a-half weeks away – will be my seventh attempt at the 26.2-mile distance. The marathon, however, has been my nemesis, a constant bridge too far. I ran 3,40s in my first two races during a period when times concerned me…