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Week 5 – 2013 London Marathon – running blues

Posted by DarrenG on November 13, 2012

A decidedly mixed bag this week with a mix of highs and lows where the running is concerned. The first run of the week was three miles on a one and a half  mile out and back course. The plan was to run out at normal pace and then try and run the return leg faster. But I cocked it up and ran way to fast on the outward leg and couldn’t beat that pace on the return. Still, it did result in a pace of 10’09″/mile, my fastest so far.

Thursday was an unremarkable four miles as was Friday’s three miles and then on Sunday I decided to try and add another mile to the long run , taking it up to seven. Whilst I completed it, I wasn’t a pretty sight when I made it home and my legs were decidedly wobbly. Still, my Garmin watch tells me I managed my fastest 5k in the first half of the course and my fastest 10k (by virtue of it being the first time I’ve run 10k’s!).  But I felt really nauseous afterwards, possibly a little dehydrated?

Whilst it’s quite an achievement for me, seven miles is, as someone was kind enough to remind me, only a quarter of the distance I shall have to run on the big day. That suddenly made this all seem a lot more daunting than it had before. For the first time I’m wondering how the h*ll I’m going to build up the miles if I’m struggling at a mere seven!

I’m running the 2013 London Marathon in support of the National Autistic Society. See my fundraising page here

Week 4 Training Complete – 2013 London Marathon

Posted by DarrenG on November 05, 2012

Just a quick update this week, I’m still working to build up my pace and general fitness and, slowly but surely, I’m starting to see improvements.  My pace is noticeably increasing and I can feel that I’m running faster now which is great.

Back in the summer when I was running the couch to 5k program I was close to 13:00/mile pace. That had improved to 12:00/mile when I started out on the marathon training and now, four weeks in I’m running a consistent sub 11.00/mile and my best average pace so far was 10:15/mile over a three mile course.  If I can get my pace below 10.00/mile and maintain that for a marathon distance then I’ll be over the moon.

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Week 3 Training Complete – 2013 London Marathon

Posted by DarrenG on October 29, 2012

Week 3? Where did that go? Not a great deal to report, I’ve stuck to the training and added 17 miles to the odometer which is all good. The more miles I cover, the better used to it my body gets (or so all the stuff I keep reading assures me!).

I’m still finding each run to be a very mixed and unpredictable bag. Some days I go out and find my pace is quite fast and I’m loving it, other days I go out and my pace has slowed again and I’m finding it hard going. It doesn’t seem to be related to tiredness or energy as far as I can see so who knows what the cause is.

I find it takes me 20 mins or so for my breathing to settle down and for me to settle into a rhythm and this seems to be perfectly normal. The new running shoes have been great and the only side effect (that I think is down to the change) is aching knees. Hopefully this is down to the readjustment they are causing to my gait and the aches will settle down in time.

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Week 2 Training Complete – 2013 London Marathon

Posted by DarrenG on October 22, 2012

Week 2 is now behind me. A visit from my sister (an experienced long distance runner) mid-week has convinced me that I should not be following a marathon program at this early stage.

All the marathon programs are intended to be run such that you reach the end of the plan in the week before your marathon event, that means my 16-week schedule should commence in the first week of January. So I’m now planning to stick with the four runs per week but, rather than building up mileage, concentrate on fartlek and other interval and speed type training instead.

Fartlek (a Swedish term meaning “speed play”) involves constantly varying your speed on a run. At varying intervals during a gentle jog you set ourself a target such as ‘the third lamppost” and then sprint to it at 80% of your maximum effort. You then return to a gentle jog.  A few minutes later you repeat but this time at 90% effort. By constantly varying the distance that you sprint and the maximum effort you should big benefits in overall fitness.

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Week 1 Training Complete – 2013 London Marathon

Posted by DarrenG on October 15, 2012

Well I’ve survived the first week of proper marathon training and learnt a few things.

I’ve learnt that the 16-week program should ideally be started so that you complete it just before your marathon event. As the London Marathon isn’t until 21st April I’d finish the training programme months too early. At the moment I’m not sure how I’ll adjust the programme,  I might follow it until I get to a point at which I struggle and then repeat it, or I may take some time out and concentrate on overall fitness training, fartlek and other exercise regimes that improve my cardio and pace.

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