It Begins

10th October 2019

First day of training starts with a hangover. This isn’t going to be that kind of gonzo blog and I refuse to self-deprecatingly humble brag my way through these. Ergo it will probably be boring but we’ll see how it goes. Anyway, I’m not running until tonight so it will be fine.

First up let’s set out some baselines. I’m 51 years old and this won’t change between now and race day. I have no significant health issues or concerns. I’m 5’8” and have been told I could lose a little running that far, I hope this isn’t true as I don’t have it to spare. As of today I weigh 13’ 12” and that is sadly the most I have ever weighed so if for no other reason I need to get that down. I am prone to plantar fasciitis, calf cramps on longer (10 mile plus) runs and occasionally sore knees and a recurrence of any of these scare me as much as the training. I must look at ways of preventing these.

I don’t have a particular finishing time targeted, completing it will be enough at this stage, but I am a Garmin owning runner who tracks every run and piece of exercise so I know where I’m at and I can’t help having a secret target in mind. Let’s look at my numbers, my 5k PB is 25:03, 10k is 54:30 and my single half on a very hilly route in Kent was 2:16. All of these are a few years old now and current parkruns are completing around 29-30 and 10k races 59-61.

I would love to break five hours, I would be happy with anything less than six. If I finished over six hours I think I would be disappointed with myself, despite the achievement, as I know I should be better. Failing to finish or make the start will be awful. As a by-product I’m hoping to get close or improve those PBs as training progresses.

My run training currently is unsophisticated. I go out and run between 4-12km at whatever pace I feel I can manage, a few hill sessions (or what passes for hills in my leafy London suburb) and that’s it. I feel I will need some more variety in my running plus strength work in the gym and a good stretching regime.

With this in mind, tonight I’ve done some sprint work. While waiting for my daughter to finish her dance lesson at a local school I’ve gone to the fields behind to make use of the football pitches. Sprint the length of the pitch (approx. 80m), walk back and repeat. Distance covered 2.5k. Yes, I think in kilometres. Wonder when that will change to miles.

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