Sunday, 17 April 2011

Step it up

So, the Monster is now less than 2 weeks away, and the Marathon less than 5.  I thought I was doing ok, until...

I have a couple of challenges with what I'm doing, ones that are new to me this year (aside from the obvious change of adding running to cycling).  The first is that after doing an event like last Saturday, there's a temptation to take it easy for a week or so afterwards, basking in the warm afterglow of a sense of achievement.  The other is that the training required to a) time trial on a bike (which is what the cycle section of the duathlon was), b) run a hilly hour-long course, c) run a long distance, and d) do a 15 hour endurance event, is all quite different, and so there's a danger of being the proverbial jack-of-all-trades physically.

Those two challenges combine with the unpredictable nature of work to mean that training has to be planned week by week - and it's very easy to under-train.  So, for example, I went out on what turned into a glorious morning yesterday to run further than I ever have before - 20 miles, which took 2 hrs 45.  How's that under-training?  Well, this morning, which surpassed yesterday in terms of its springtime wonderfulness, I convinced myself that what I needed was a gentle spin on the bike, as the thighs were still a bit sore from yesterday's miles.  I thought an hour long spin on the mountain bike round Macc Forest and Wildboarclough, with low gears and no real effort in the hills, would be all I was capable of.  In the event, I was out for a couple of hours, and whilst the slopes needed a little more effort than usual, they were reasonably straightforward.  I sought some extra ones out, but should have / could have done more.

And then it was of course London Marathon today, and watching the highlights tonight I was struck by what the times many of the "masses" (as the non-elites are termed) were doing - loads under 4 hours, Nell McAndrew in 3 hrs 8!  Ok, so many of them have done marathons before, but really, how hard can it be?  (copyright J Clarkson).  Quite hard actually - what we don't see on the tv is the hours of pavement pounding they've done leading up to today.  I had kidded myself that I was going to be the Ledley King of the running world - irregular training and appearances, but a solid performance when I do get out there.  I'm losing faith in that theory though, so my resolve is now firm and clear, the weather forecast is set fair for the week...time to get some miles in.  All I have to do now is keep doing the exercises to keep my ITB (illotial band) problem under control, as that's going to be the main barrier to going well.

Meanwhile, I packed for the Monster this morning - separate bags for each of the changeovers, a bag of spares for dry weather, a bag of stuff if it's wet, etc.  Yes I know it's 2 weeks away, but Easter weekend is looking busy on the domestic front, and I wanted to be sure I had everything I need.  And I'm sad enough to find packing for these things fun - it's nearly as good as going on holiday.  Off now to get some more clothes out - this time for tomorrow's early morning run in pursuit of my new resolve.


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