'Splaining Training Spraining... It's all Good!

Three weeks ago I managed a Personal Best (PB) at the Bath Half Marathon, which I must say came as a bit of a surprise. But in so doing, I sustained some sort of ‘overuse’ strain—hot on the heels of which came a nasty head cold. Together, these gremlins set my training back by almost two weeks… which is not good at this stage of the game.

So it was even more of a shock when, yesterday, I got another PB at the Hornsea 1/3 Marathon.

Training for the London Marathon has been hard work; not to say time consuming… it all began on Christmas Eve, which seems a very long way off, now! This is the first time that I have ever followed a race-specific training regimen, but up until the recent lay-off I had totally kept up with the plan. However, ‘playing catch-up’ so close to the main event was not on the cards at my age; trying to increase mileage on top of an already heavy schedule could result in serious injury.

And so, I had resigned myself to treating yesterday’s race as just a regular training run and expected to finish in about an hour and three quarters. However, the benefits of training hard over an extended period paid off once more.

I started out quite steadily, close to the back of the field, so as not to hamper the quicker runners. But as at Bath, I soon found that I was passing quite a few other runners. Maybe I had set off too fast and would run out of steam! But no, I found that even well into the race I still had plenty left in my old legs and continued to make ground ‘picking off’ one, and then more runners who had been but a speck in the distance.

However, just as I felt that a sub-90-minute finish was within my grasp, I made a turn towards the finishing straight only to discover that there was a small hill to negotiate before I was done!

Oh well, considering that at the start I would have settled for an hour and three quarters, an official finishing time of 1:31:30 and first in my age category was not too shabby… I’ll take it (and the £20 voucher for a local running store)!

I’m not sure that I will be running any more marathons after London (which will be my fourth) but if anyone is considering a marathon themselves, I can strongly recommend finding a training plan that suits you and sticking to it.

I have been using one of the plans that I found in the book, “Hansons First Marathon” by Luke Humphrey, with Keith and Kevin Hanson, but any good plan is better than no plan at all. And of course the support of your local running club is also invaluable, so here are a couple of pics of Bridlington Road Runners team members... 

and prize winners at yesterday’s race. Pictured below, left to right, are April-Marie Exley, Phill Taylor (overall winner for the second year in a row), yours truly, Scott Hargreaves (third place overall), and Janet Porter.

Only 3 weeks to go, now, until the London Marathon, but still plenty of work to be done... both traing and fundraising. As always, your support is essential... and greatly appreciated. Thank You!

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