Saturday, 18 December 2010

Blah, Blah

So it's snowing again, and I've got tendonitis in my foot so the doctor says not to run until after Christmas. So to sum it up I'm fed up! I know it's not the end of the world, I've got plenty of time to train, and it is better to get this sorted out now before training kicks in, but it is still frustrating.

Next week I'm intending to do a marathon training plan, so I'll post about that at some point.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Let it snow

So this is the reason that I have not run outside this week, and I was glad to take the local gym up on the offer of a free five day pass.

Luckily the snow didn't arrive until Tuesday, and so while my long run at the weekend was cold, at least I was able to complete it. I just don't think it is worth running outside when it is like this - the pavements are really slippery and the risk of injury is too high. So I have been hitting the treadmill, which is fine for shorter runs, but there is no way I can do my long runs on one. I just get too bored.

Another thing that has been getting me into my running gear when the weather isn't great is running clubs. A couple of the local running/sports shops now offer a free running club once a week, and I have tried out the ones at Sweaty Betty and Sweatshop.

I have actually been going to the Sweaty Betty running club for over a year. It is a really great group of women, and I like the trainer too. The focus is on running, but we also do some circuits too, so it is more of a full body workout. Lots of shuttle runs, lunges, squats and tricep dips!

Sweatshop on the other hand is purely a group run. I have only done one so far, so I have much less experience of it. First impressions were not quite as good. The leader of the run sped off with the fastest people, leaving those of us who were a little slower on our own, and no one was entirely sure of the route. This was good for motivation to get out of the house, but didn't really offer much more. They are talking about organising long runs on Sundays through to the marathon though, and so that is something that I might well get involved with.

Fingers crossed the weather improves so that I can run outside again. Otherwise I am going to have to join a gym!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Regular Routine

It's a little difficult to know what I should be doing at the moment, since it is a bit early to be embarking on a formal training plan for the marathon, but at the same time I don't want to lose the fitness base that I already have. This, combined with the deteriorating weather and the fact it seems to be dark all the time, means it can be difficult to find the motivation to go out running.

At least I am not working at the moment, and so I can make the most of the daylight that there is. I am running about four or five times a week, which roughly breaks down as:
  1. Long run (10-ish miles), normally on a Sunday
  2. Sweaty Betty running club (4-ish miles) on Tuesday
  3. Two other short-ish runs (3-4 miles), incorporating some sprints and also some squats/lunges/ab work etc
  4. Slightly longer tempo run (about 6 miles)

I am also trying to go to either hot yoga or pilates on a Monday, since this is normally the day after my long run, and I think it's a good idea to incorporate some deeper stretching.

It's working OK so far, and my routine won't change too much once the marathon training kicks in after Christmas. The runs will just get longer...

Thursday, 18 November 2010

15k, Regent's Park

photo by: Robert Piwko /

This is the only photo we appear in, and R was too busy trying to keep the dog under control and stay dry to take any, so it will have to do! Also features Alison and Tess.
Having trained through the summer and run a half marathon in September, I wanted to find a couple of races before Christmas to give me some motivation to maintain the fitness base I have achieved. As the weather turns colder and wetter an incentive is definitely needed.

Luckily some of the girls that I do running club at Sweaty Betty with were keen to carry on running slightly longer distances too, and so four of us signed up. To be honest I didn't do too much specific training, just keeping my weekly long runs at about 10 miles, and trying to do some speed work where possible.

The advantage of this race distance is that I had no expectations as to time, since it is slightly odd distance. No one else had a particular aim either, and in the end three of us ran the whole thing together.

Pre-race I ate a muffin (gluten-free) with peanut butter and a banana. I also had half a Clif bar about 40 mins before the race started. This seemed to work pretty well.

The weather was miserable, and poor R and Gus the puppy got soaked as they cheered us on. We did appreciate the regular offer of jelly babies though as we made our way around the three laps. Not the most exciting race ever, but we finished in 1:24, which works out almost exactly as 9 minute miles. If I can keep that up for the marathon I'll finish in four hours!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

What, when and why

Running the London Marathon has long been on my 'bucket list', and as I entered my thirties at the beginning of the year (how did that happen?) I realised it was something that was likely to be easier to achieve sooner rather than later. Cheering on a number of friends in the 2010 race inspired me further, and so it was that I found myself contacting MSRC to ask about their charity places for 2011.

MSRC (Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre) is a charity that is very close to my heart. It provides support to those affected by multiple sclerosis, a disease that we have direct experience of in the family. It does this by providing unbiased information and advice, with a particularly useful 24-hour telephone counselling line.

MSRC is not a large charity, and the marathon is hugely important to them, and is their biggest fundraising event of the year. I have pledged to raise at least £2,000 for them, and I would appreciate it hugely if you could donate what you can. The easiest way to do this is at my Virgin Money Giving site (there is a link on the right). This also allows you to easily add the gift aid.

I am intending to update this blog regularly as I undertake the training and fundraising, so check back to see how I am getting on.

Tanya x