After running the London Marathon in 2010 I continue my pursuit for sporting greatness without the aid of running shoes. I now run 'Barefoot' full time and aim to run the London Marathon 2012 'bare'

My blog is an account of training for running, triathlon, staying fit for life and pushing my body to it's limits to become 'superfit'. I hope it will inspire others to go out and get fit for life and see how enjoyable and rewarding it can be

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

And so it clicks into place....

So guess what? I've been running :)

Last week I managed to get my first 5 mile weekday run in on Thursday and I will be gradually getting rid of the 4 milers. It felt good and it was nice to push myself a bit more during the week. I bloody ached the next day but that's a good sign I guess that I pushed my body a bit more than normal.

On Friday I did another 4 miles which was same old same old which I have decided to work on. I had noticed I had become complacent with running average 4 mile times and it wasn't feeling like I had a workout. For Tuesdays run I decided to pick up the pace and treat my run as a bit of a time trial. It really is amazing what a change a slight increase in effort can make to a run. In the end I shaved 2 mins off my average time and averaged a pace of 9 minutes a mile (as opposed to 9mins 20 average). It felt good and it was good to break a sweat again and I was really feeling the pain after.... the good kind of pain.

SOooo Sunday's long run (10 miles)! I woke up with earache and a tummy upset and was really contemplating running in the evening but the prospect of a dark road run instead of a scenic, country run gave me a kick up the backside to get out. I spent Saturday evening concentrating on nutrition, ensuring I ate (mostly) good food and complex carbs. Now that I am running over the 90minute barrier I need to ensure I carry water, energy drinks and a few snacks for the way. So i stocked up on Gatorade, packed some Jelly Babies and some Sesame Snaps and off I plodded.

I opted for a there and back route (which I will be doing again) on the route 64 cycle route from Newark to about a mile away from Collingham. This is a cycle route that me and Craig have done before (but up to 18 miles) and its wonderfully flat once your off the roads and really pretty. There is also a mixture of surfaces to run on too (tarmac, gravel, soil) so it makes it more interesting. This run just felt right in every way, I was nervous going into double figures but something just kicked into place and I felt great. My pace was consistent, the weather perfect, my legs were coping fine and there was not a soul about other than the odd runner every 4 miles or so. I felt so good that I managed a 200m sprint at the end (7 mins a mile). No aches and pains the next day too = RESULT!

So following my fast run on Tuesday, tomorrow I'll be doing 5 miles and then another fast 4 on Friday. All in all feeling pretty good and thinking of investing in a new tattoo once I've finished the marathon so I best get designing! Going to be investing in one of these for race day too..... brilliant idea for the target time hunter

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Running, the cure for all

After a pretty stressful week I have managed to keep on top of training and if anything it has kept my spirits high.

I managed 22 miles last week so the mileage is creeping up and I seem to be getting through training fairly unscathed, I have a few niggles with the ankle injury I picked up last year but I'm hoping that as I get stronger, my body will learn to cope with the 'niggles'.

I had a fabulous run on Sunday morning (lovely, sunny and about 8 degrees), and managed to clock up 9.45 miles in under and hour and 33 minutes which is a fair time but I really need to focus on taking the long runs easier. At the moment I am only running about 20 seconds per mile slower/easier on the long run which I feel I could take down to 4o seconds slower. At the moment I'm not struggling with the distances so that may well be something that automatically happens as the distances get longer.

I'm now introducing 5 mile runs into the weekday training and will attempt a 5 mile route in the
morning. I am possibly still being overly cautious about over training as I sometimes feel I have a lot more in me to run. I guess this is probably a symptom of being addicted to running.... is that actually possible? Running has been my saving grace this week and whilst my routine has been disrupted, my running hasn't at all and I could quite easily just keep running some days.
If I wasn't training for a marathon I would probably be out running for a lot longer each day.

On top of the good runs, the introduction of pilates into my training has given me a welcome boost. My core already feels stronger and my posture when I run is a lot easier to maintain. On top of that I'm getting a nice flat stomach.....I haven't had one of those in

I am still in need of working on nutrition. I can now notice if I have eaten lunch a little later or if I've had rubbish to eat the night before when I run so now is the time to cut out all the crap. In all fairness we don't eat it a lot and I hardly have a single item of processed food in my cupboards, but occasionally the chinese/fish and chips comes calling! I also need to eat MORE (yes more) after my long runs and probably after the regular runs too as I'm beginning to notice weight coming off too quick. I never thought I'd say I've added some photos of my long run on Sunday! I do love Nottinghamshire :) They were taken running out of Coddington, (one of the many little villages around Newark) heading down towards Barnby Road (which is very farmy.... wel it smelt farm-like anyway)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Will the snow just bugger off now

I may well be the one of a few but seeing as I do all my running on the road this whole snow and ice malarky is driving me mad. For the first few weeks it had its benefits, my core was strengthening ten fold and each run was a much tougher workout rather than just a run. Now it is getting to the stage where I have no idea where I am in terms of training, I'm clocking good times but are they good enough??? I know this is endurance training and speed doesn't come into it yet but it is always nice to see how far you have come with training.

On Sunday I had a miserable 8 mile run in the snow, sleet, rain, ice, wind etc. I struggled at 4 miles and almost went home (I was doing laps) which was so frustrating as I had done everything right but the weather was so cold wet and windy that it felt like a slog the whole time. It was one of the rare times when i wonder 'what the fxxk am I doing'.

On a positive note the snow had mostly melted on the main roads by Tuesday so I got an OK run in, there was still a lot ice away from the main roads where I had to slow down but I got to pick up the pace on solid ground. Overall that was a good run and gave me a welcome boost following a bad day.

Today I was looking forward to another good run this morning but Newark was covered in black ice (and after Craig came off his bike in it badly) I decided to avoid injury. I was hopeful I would be able to run this evening but then the snow came, SNow + black ice is a big no no :(

So now I have spent the evening with itchy feet yet again DYING to get out and run, by tomorrow I'll be pretty eager though which can only be a good thing. I am temporarily unable to go to the gym so I have taken up pilates for strengthening and toning and will probably get out on my bike at the weekend (weather permitting)

All in all I just moaned about the weather which is typically British of me. I'm not one to usually moan about the weather but when it affects me doing what I love, it is very frustrating!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

A quick one

Tried pilates tonight.... on my rest day! What was i thinking, it looks easy but my god I feel like I've done 3 hours at the gym!

Note to self- don't do pilates on my rest days!

Pfft to Yoga, yoga was easy peasy compared that!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

And now for the hard work

So we are now 16 weeks from what I like to call M-day which now means I am on what they recommend as the minimum amount of time to sufficiently train for a marathon. So what does this mean? Well firstly no more slacking off, we are now into the intense programme so I need to bin all those excuses and just do my thing.

I think I have had a pretty strong pre-programme plan which I kept fairly flexible and still got in a lot of mileage. I'm now able to do 8 miles (13km) without stopping (and prob more if the roads were clear of ice and snow) which is where I wanted to be at this stage. All the running in the ice and snow has done wonders for my core muscles (but my knees are less grateful :)) and I'm still clocking in decent times which I am hoping that by the time the snow subsides I will be a lot stronger and faster.

So now the real training starts, I am hoping to do a bare minimum of 2 'short' runs (between 4 and 8 miles) a week but a preferred 3. On top of that I have an 'other training' day which could be cross training (cycling, hiking or god forbid....swimming) or specific workouts like Fartlek (tee hee, I said fart), hill training or any other random sport. I then have one long run each weekend which will start at 8 miles and will go up around a mile a week until I reach 20 miles, then I will taper back down. On top of that I have a weights programme at the gym which I will be doing at least 3 times a week

Just typing that out makes me feel tired but I am determined to finish the marathon with pride, I want to be sprinting(ish) to the finish line and I want to get a good time to show the world how hard I worked. This is something I wanted to do most my life so I'm going to do it to the best of my ability and I always know I can do better.... so I will :)

Not only has the training intensified but I'm starting to have to watch what I eat. At this stage it's minor tweaks like replacing fast releasing carbs (think white pasta, white bread etc) with wholemeal which release energy slower. I've also been experimenting with healthy post run snacks like muffins and ditched the frying pan for the grill . Over time my diet will no doubt change especially when I have to start experimenting with energy gels (yuk). To be honest I cant wait for the pre marathon binge which is basically 3 weeks of healthy carb overloads!

I have my first race on the 7th March which will be the Newtons Fraction Half Marathon in Grantham. Next up will be the Lincoln 10k which will be the 21st March which I will use as a race to get a fast time and then it will be M-Day!!!