Welcome to my running blog. I am currently training to run two marathons in April 2011 - Paris and London - to help celebrate my 30th Birthday. I often get asked about my training methods so thought would write a blog so you can see what it takes -also it provides me with a momento of the last few months of my twenties! In addition to the personal challenge I will be raising money for charity - please see my fundraising page for more details: www.justgiving.com/mikes-30th-marathon-run/
Friday, 15 April 2011
Race on sunday - here's a detailed guide to the best places to watch and a full description of the route. It all starts at 9.45 and I will be running around 6 min 30s per mile so you can get a rough idea of where I will be at any point in time.
Afterwards will head to the gardens on the embankment - between embankment and temple tube - to drink beer and eat food. If you're coming by please bring plenty of both ;) Everyone welcome.
For anyone who can't make it out please show your support by sponsoring me - link at the intro to the blog. Thank you for everyones generosity so far.
Posted by Mike at 07:25
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Marathon completed. 3hrs 20mins. Next up . London
And how did the weekend go? Tres bon since you ask. J’ai arrive a
on the Friday night feeling relaxed and rested after a chilled week of training. Saturday nous sommes promenade from cafe to cafe and manger beaucoup de crepes pour le carbo loading. Un petit relax in the jardins in front of le tour Eiffel followed by a charming trip along the seine dans un boat. Lots of soleil and not a cloud in sight. Tous le monde ( parents, sister, partners, parents neighbours etc.) decamped to a belle Italian restaurant in the evening to fill our bellies with pasta ahead of the big day. And so to bed filled with a certain I don’t know what or even a little je ne sais quoi. paris
(mange tous Rodney mange tous– but that’s enough of the cod French for now),
Up early for a breakfast of museli, a couple of bananas, nuts and orange juice. Running clothes on with attractive emergency poncho to keep out the early morning chill and into the metro to join the forty thousand other runners all rendezvousing at the Arc de Triomphe. What a start to a marathon! Lining up on the Champs Elysees, the rising sun lighting up the whole of
before us. The only downside was the lack of toilets – queues for miles for the few portacabins that were provided. As usual at a running race the thousands of over-hydrated people made use of any available wall or shop window turning one of the poshest streets in Paris into a giant urinal. Herded into our starting pens we had a few words from the mayor of Paris Paris and a moment of silence for the victims of the earthquake and then we were off! Japan
The route meandered through the centre of
, past many of the major landmarks, out through a large park to the east of the city and then back, along the bank of seine through the Bois de Bologne and finishing just short of the Arc de Triomphe. The wide streets meant there was plenty of space, however, compared to other marathons, there was a scarcity of water (only every 5k) and only one measly sports drink station. On the upside there were plenty of bananas, oranges and raisins at every water stop as well as hoses spraying down the runners at regular points. I had my stash of gels to keep me going through the last few kilometres. Paris
|The front of me - in red shirt and glasses|
As this was my first of two marathons within a week my aim was to get round in a steady 3hrs 30mins. My training has all been for a speedy sub 3 marathon so my main aim was not to get carried away with the crowds and excitement and go too fast. For those of you avid blog readers you may have noticed I get a little competitive and in a marathon with so many people around it is very easy to keep trying to overtake. There is a real ebb and flow of runners even though the majority of people around you are aiming for a similar time – keeping focused on who you are keeping pace with is essential. Luckily technology is there to help and the instant feedback that a GPS watch is invaluable with speed readings rather than the old fashioned method of trying to calculate every mile in your head. One downside is the modern runner relies too much on this and when we went through a kilometre tunnel chaos ruled as everyone lost satellite connection and watch pace alarms started beeping left right and centre.
The views were fantastic and the sun was out but not too strong and there was a preponderance of brass bands round the course – by my reckoning more brass than water stops. The crowds were thinner than for
London and and less vocal. Luckily I had my travelling band of supporters armed with cobweb brushes cleverly transformed into Union Jacks. The night before a plan of attack was drawn up and I knew where on the course and what side of the road to be on to see the GF! Chasing round after runners is a pretty tough task and the GF and Jason, my sister’s boyfriend, had the whole family to cheer on at various points. They did a brilliant job and helped break up the tedium of all those miles. New York
Finished in a slightly faster time than expected – 3hrs 20min but felt good. Mum and Vicky, her long time running partner, beat their target time of four hours by a couple of mins and dad was four hours on the button. Little sis, in her first ever marathon, stormed through the majority of the course but an injured ankle scuppered her final few KM – was a brilliant performance from her. Everyone together we decamped to a beautiful square to enjoy the sun, sample the delicious French food and enjoy a well deserved wine or beer.
It was fantastic to have the opportunity to do a race with the whole family. Mum and dad have been inspirational to me in many areas of my life, with running being one of the more obvious. They have never pushed me to run but I have always felt inspired by their obvious enjoyment and dedication to it. Ever since I can remember dad has been running - he also took me to watch my first
marathon a good twenty years ago. Mum took it up once we had grown up a bit and didn’t need constant looking after – and has promptly stormed round every imaginable distance often finishing in the top three for her age. Great to run the race with them and also have little sis there as well and celebrate together afterwards. London
Legs felt decent afterwards – managed a walk around town. Luckily GF's french cousin had joined us so took us on a trip to the Musee de Orsay and a few more café stops. I enjoyed a cheeky glass of wine and some more crepes before heading home on the Eurostar.
Round one of two done – a week of eating, sleeping and stretching ahead of me. Bliss.
|Mum, Dad, Me and VIcky at the finish (waiting on a pic including little sis - will be in a future blog!)|
|The whole crew enjoying a relax in a Parisian cafe.|
Posted by Mike at 05:44
Friday, 8 April 2011
Quick post before jumping on the Eurostar and heading off to Paris. Been a great week - couple of chilled runs, still off the booze and now off the coffees. Feel a different man! Just starting the tough task of carbo loading - someone has to eat those cakes! Now just a matter of staying hydrated and not stubbing my toe or walking into anything. Still aiming for a relatively steady 3hr 30min pace on Sunday ahead of the big test in London the week after. The whole family in Paris as well as mum and dads neighbour Vicky who is also running. My sister and I's better halves out on support and cheering duties. Wish me luck, sponsor me if you have the time and will let you know how it all goes next week!
Posted by Mike at 07:41
Monday, 4 April 2011
And finally the tapering period has begun – the longest run has been ran and from now on the frequency, distance and intensity of training decreases. Luckily this coincided with my 30th birthday allowing me a couple of nights of celebrations unhindered by the need to pound the streets. Not only has my running decreased but my blogging updates have been tapering as well! Its been fun writing about the training and hopefully you’ve got a rough idea of what’s involved in training for a couple of marathons but there’s only a few different ways of writing about the long slog of running to make it sound that interesting!
For the record, week 12 I managed a grand total of two runs: a rather stonking 29k run after work with some particularly strong speed work for the last 10k. The following day I limped around a 12k with sore legs. On the weekend I celebrated turning 30 and enjoyed my last few drinks before the marathon. By Monday I wasn’t ‘enjoying’ them so much and a slow start to the week culminated in a couple of light runs by the end of the week to clock another 44k. However the clocks have changed, the sun is out and the evenings are light – running is wonderful again! Shame the change in temperature and clocks has brought out all the fair weather runners and groups of school children – the south bank becoming particularly congested. I find the best solution is to drop the shoulder and lean in – amazing the distance you can get with a gangly exchange student.
In between the running have become a bit of a yoga fiend – a couple of bikram sessions at the weekend and the odd ashtanga class (which I have only discovered recently and is brilliant). The reduced training, increased yoga and lack of alcohol all helping me feel fantastic (although it took a few days for the previous weekends hangover to wear off). Hopefully that continues for the next few days – off to
with the family on Friday and marathon on the Sunday. Wish me luck! Paris
Week 12 Ran 41k (plan 60)
Week 13 Ran 44k (plan 40)
Week 14 Plan 25k (excluding paris marathon!)
Posted by Mike at 06:44