So what’s made you smile this weekend?

I remember when weekends used to be about ‘relaxing’ and ‘ taking it easy’ after a hard slog at the office all week.. since the marathon training began however, weeekends became the place where the hard miles truly take place. Training sessions Tuesday – Friday being all about shorter distances and getting more hours in on the legs and Saturday about preperation for the ‘long run’ Sunday session.

Today was half marathon distance.. 13.1 miles. Having ran 2 event half marathons this year with times of 2hrs1min and 2hrs4mins I was confident I could better these times even if it was only by a second.. Id broken the 2 hour mark once before during training for these half events.. so knew I was capable.. Id decided that if I couldnt after all the training and being only 4 weeks from my first marathon then I may have a slight problem!

To give you an insight into my preperation (whether it be right or wrong for you I dont know).. all I know is it works for me. If you couldnt care less what my prep is and just enjoy my witty jottings then scroll down a bit further.. Id understand as like i said theres nothing I hate more than a blog which details someones entire workout regime and not a great deal else.. I’ll try to keep this brief:

Night before:

  • No fizzy drinks consumed the day before a long run. I only drink coke zero anyway but I avoid these and stick to water the night before.
  • My dinner is aways a homemade cheese pizza with light mozerella topping and a few vegetables. I avoid any meat or spices. (the other one is the wifes!) IMG_5415
  • Filter coffee with dinner. (without going into too much detail this helps me with my stomach during my morning routine on ‘race day’!)
  • Sip water during the majority of the evening.
  • Plan your route! It really does help to try a new route for those longer runs so you dont get bored and continue to push yourself.

Run day:

I’ll try to replicate the timings of an actual race as best I can. I really recomend this for your own training. For example most races start between 9-10am.. with this in mind I’ll get up at 6.30am to prepare my breakfast (no sunday lie ins in this dojo im affraid!).

  • Breakfast consists of 3 poached eggs, 2 slices of white bread and brown sauce (love it, dont judge me).
  • 1 filter coffee with creamIMG_5027
  • Keep sipping water
  • Stretch
  • Take energy gels with you
  • Vaseline! I use Carmex which I definately recommend

Consuming this by 7am means my body has 2 hours to digest the food and also means theres enough time to ensure Im not caught short during my run and so I dont have to take the andrex puppy along with me.

Anyways.. thats an insight into my routine and if you found it shit then fair enough! If any of it was helpful then feel free to incorporate it into your own routine and let me know if it works for you. I’m also open to any suggestions if you think my routine could be adjusted to my advantage!

So the prep was back on track, I felt I’d got it spot on and followed it the best I could. I didnt let the disappointment of ‘Match of the Day’ not having recorded get to me and to my luck, all the goals were on sky sports news as I ate my eggs. Lovely.. Coupled with the knowledge that Arsenal v Crystal Palace and Man City v Chelsea were on the agenda later in the day, the day had definately started off well.. I usually get ready half hour before I intend to run after an hour on my Xbox to relax. This gives me a good 20 minutes of stretching, listening to music and getting in the zone for the hours ahead. This time I decided to post on facebook my aim, which was to achieve a half marathon time of 1hr 55. With my marathon pace being 9 minute miles this would ensure that I was running pretty much on track with this (slightly quicker) heading into the next few weeks. My thinking behind this was that during my run I wouldnt want to write on facebook that Id failed.. so this spurred me on.. It definately helped in the last few minutes so Id definately recommend setting youself some goals.

Fast forward 2 hours and Id completed the run.. I definately messed up with the ammount of hills in the last couple of miles but I’d done it. This is the part where I will say that because youve all read my journey so far (and no doubt see me as a friend now).. that your going to let me off the 34 seconds.. My half marathon personal best is now 1hr 55 mins, 34 seconds.. A time im incredibly proud of..and let me just say I dont care if your reading this as an elite runner whos completing them closer to an  hour than 2.. I started this blog for the average guy, looking to better themselves.. so if your laughing at that time.. jog on.. literally. To be honest Im sure your not.. Ive had some great comments from guys achieving amazing marathon times and it’s much appreciated..

IMG_5442-0Stretching, a few sports drinks and a shower later and I was ready to watch Arsenal with my favourite post run treat.. a pick n mix.. (obviously after id had something more substantial)..

I had a smile on my face as the clock struck midday and I thought about all the people who were probably only just waking up or tucking into their fry ups..  I promised myself I’d achieve big things this year.. and that hasnt changed..  Everything is on track and that negative blip is a thing of the past now.. (I hope).

So.. 4 weeks to go.. what next? Well next sunday is 22 miles training distance.. and that will be the longest distance I’ll cover before I line up on race day ready to compete. It probably doesnt help that Saturday is my wifes birthday.. and I dont think she would appreciate a night in with a homemade pizza again! (remember that left hook I told you about!!)..Luckily she’s had her present early so no last minute rushing around.. (Iwatch incase you wondered!)..  As I sit here aching massively I find it hard to work out how Im feeling about next weeks distance.. but thats natural after today. Completing long distances leaves you mentally as well as physically drained and I’m also certain its a feeling I’ll revisit the days in between my consecutive marathons.. and I’m ready for it.. rest day tomorrow and 5 days training and I’ll be ready to achieve another personal achievement in completing my longest ever distance (the current being 18 miles).. any Idea what kind of time I should be aiming for?? Let me know.

The final test I have to face this evening is struggling my way down the stairs to go get the biscuits.. Hard work PAYS off.. put in the work and treat yourself.. Or do fuck all and just feel sorry for yourself and eat the whole packet.. something tells me that if your following this blog you wont take that option.. Ive read some great blogs since I joined this site and I look forward to hearing how your own journeys are going..

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Shout out to everyone reading my journey from countries I never imagined would give a shit about some idiot from the UK running 3 marathons.. Thanks for your support!

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