Eleven weeks left to go. I’ve done a little over 18 miles this week without any real ill effects so I think that’s probably got to be a success. I have learned a few things so far though:
· Training in the summer for an autumn marathon is harder than training in the winter for a spring marathon. As you’re almost certainly aware, it is HOT out there at the moment and this has obvious impacts for anyone thinking of running middle to longer distances. Plenty of fluids are a must so I’m lugging (at least) a litre of water around with me each time I go out. The heat has an impact on my diabetes as well. Insulin is absorbed more rapidly in the heat so it can lead to hypoglycaemic episodes if you’re not careful. Basically, it means I can end up with too little sugar in my bloodstream and that can cause dizziness and disorientation – not good when you’re miles from home!
· I am still embarrassingly overweight. I tipped the scales at 199lbs this morning – now a good 12-14lbs heavier than I’d like to be. This is bad for three main reasons. Firstly there’s the unflattering sight of an overweight man in his (near) mid-30s lumbering about in a running vest. No-one wants to see that. Secondly, it’s obviously not good for your health to be overweight – avoiding some sort of heart attack while I’m running is fairly high up on my to-do list. Finally, it’s a lot harder to run carrying a load of unnecessary weight. I’ve resolved to fix this problem so hopefully I’ll be able to report a downward trend in my weight over the next few weeks.
· I definitely need to pay more attention to warming up and cooling down. It seems like an obvious thing to say but it’s something I tend to ignore for the most part. A lot of that is down to time pressures. Fitting in 3 runs a week around a job, family life and my commitments to the local Diabetes UK group mean I’m usually up against it so warming up is the thing that’s sacrificed. I’ve felt a few twinges while I’ve been out this week and I’m going to be more diligent in doing some warming up and stretching before running now. There’s no point in skipping on a warm up only to get injured is there?
This week will be my first 20 mile week for quite some time - at least 6 months if not longer. I feel like I’m starting to get more mentally focused on what lies ahead of me which is good. Towards the end of last year, I was running regularly and I felt a lot better physically than I had done for a while. Hopefully I can drop a few pounds this week and string a few confidence boosting performances together over this week.
My ultimate target of a 4:30 marathon means I need an average mile pace of 10mins 18secs over 26.2 miles. In 2012 I averaged 12min 35secs a mile so it’s a big challenge to come down by 2 minutes a mile. At the moment I’m certainly in the right area (between 9:55 and 10:20 typically) but I’ve not done more than 10 miles for quite some time! The next few weeks will be crucial I think.
Finally, another mention of the charity I’m running for. Diabetes UK work tirelessly to support people of all ages with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They run events across the country, offer risk assessments and support voluntary groups across the UK. Whilst diabetes is estimated to affect around 1 in 12 people in the UK, Diabetes UK rely on donations to ensure they can continue to help people. I’m trying to raise £1000 this year which would be enough to send two families on a Care Event weekend, allowing them to learn more about how to manage diabetes and understand the impacts it can have on family life. If you can spare anything at all, you can donate at http://www.justgiving.com/broomhead