Training Recap – 4 Weeks to London Marathon

It’s starting to feel real – an 18 mile run, arrival of the registration form, making arrangements to meet up with folks at the Expo, it’s all happening. I’m caught between excitement and paranoia.

I had to defer the London Marathon last year 3 weeks before the big day due to facet joint issues in my lower back. This year I’m working it a little differently with regular core and stretching (OK, so it’s meant to be daily…), pilates and the occasional sports massage. Any niggles I’m getting on to straight away. Last week I had an issue with my calf muscle but physio, rest, hot water bottles and rolling sorted that out. This week, on Wednesday I had the lurgy so a little runner envy. I didn’t run which means I’m a few miles down. Continue reading “Training Recap – 4 Weeks to London Marathon”

What’s not to love? Spicy Lentil and Carrot Soup

This is a lovely quick soup to make – full of protein rich lentils and veg. It has a rich flavour that will have you wanting more.

It’s a great option for a quick meal if you’re in from a run and happen to have a bag of carrots lying around. It’s also incredibly cheap to make.

Play around with the spice mix to suit taste. You probably don’t want to use too much more cumin, but if you want to really spice it up, just up the chilli flakes. Continue reading “What’s not to love? Spicy Lentil and Carrot Soup”

Is a sub 2:00:00 marathon possible?

Two Hours: The quest to run the impossible marathon by Ed Caesar (2015)

I watched the men’s and women’s marathons at the 2012 London Olympics. I was standing in St James Park within spitting distance of the runners as they flew past. It was extraordinary to watch. It was more than just the pace – it was running form, tactics, drama and facial expressions – each runner pushing themselves to the absolute limit.

The world record for the marathon stands at 2:02:57. It was set in Berlin in 2014 by Kenyan runner, Dennis Kimetto, and it was the first time a marathon was run in under 2:03:00. While this might not mean much to non-runners, it’s an extraordinary achievement. Now the race is on for the first runner to beat 2:00:00. Continue reading “Is a sub 2:00:00 marathon possible?”

Training Recap – 5 Weeks to London Marathon

This has been a week of irritations, mainly in my left calf.

After a short set of hill reps last Thursday, I felt a bit of an ache in my calf muscle. On Friday it hurt a little more. I tested it out on my long run on Saturday and it seemed fine – a few slight niggles but no pain as such. If there had been pain, I would have stopped.

Come Sunday and Monday, my calves felt tight so off to the physio I duly went. As suspected, I have either a slight tear or muscle strain between the soleus and the gastrocnemius. Grrr. I was told to use heat, roll, more heat. Continue reading “Training Recap – 5 Weeks to London Marathon”

Saag paneer

What’s not to love about this dish? Once you try it, you’ll be coming back for more.  And it’s full of lots of good stuff for runners – spinach, garlic, dairy and spices – and quick and easy to make. This is the lazy version as I don’t cream the spinach  but feel free to do so if you prefer a smoother texture.

And what I love about this recipe is nothing goes to waste – any paneer or buttermilk left over can be stored in the freezer for next time. Continue reading “Saag paneer”

Training Recap – 6 weeks to London Marathon

Spring has sprung!

It’s been a mixed week when it comes to running. There have been highs and there have been lows. But it’s spring so I’m slowly getting over the winter blues.

However, on Sunday, things did not go to plan. I apologise now to anyone who came across a very grumpy runner swearing very loudly. That was a bad run that seemed to go on forever. I just couldn’t get it together. I can’t blame the gels as thankfully I didn’t have any issues with them – perhaps doing a fast run Thursday, sports massage Friday and Parkrun the day before wasn’t such a great idea.

The only thing that put a smile on my face was coming across the tail end of the march for International Women’s Day along Tower Bridge. However, that did coincide with a short and sharp downpour with some hail straight into my face so my face hurt to touch for about the next hour. Continue reading “Training Recap – 6 weeks to London Marathon”

Getting the Basics Right – Nutrition and Fuelling for Marathon Day (Part 1)

With thanks to the folks at SiS!

We all know good nutrition is essential to performance. With this in mind, I was lucky enough to be invited to an event hosted by Science in Sport (SiS) on nutrition and fuelling for marathon day. In return, I was asked to write this post. I also wanted to share some of the key takeaway messages.

The afternoon included a number of presentations and a run.

Continue reading “Getting the Basics Right – Nutrition and Fuelling for Marathon Day (Part 1)”

Training Recap – 7 Weeks to London Marathon

One of the many landmarks on the London Marathon route.

It’s been a week of highs and lows.

My long run was slow and steady as planned and I ran part of the London Marathon route. It did give me shivers  – not long to go now!

But then things got tricky. My run on Tuesday was awful – one of those runs that makes you question the point of it all and if I can really do this – the bad run. I know this is normal as the miles start to build and I’m running on tired legs.

My run the following day wasn’t much better but what had changed was my thinking. My legs hurt but after 7 miles the day before and a tough pilates session, I wasn’t surprised and was able to be a little more sensible in how I responded.

Then Thursday, I got the kick I needed. Thanks to the Science in Sport team, Continue reading “Training Recap – 7 Weeks to London Marathon”

The Bad Run

Snoopy Where Am I Going by Charles SchultzEver had a run that sucks? I mean, really sucks? One of those where you doubt your ability to run even one mile.

This was me on Tuesday – 7 miles with heavy legs running slower than I have for a long time.  I wasn’t ill and I’m not injured. This run sent me into the dreaded downward thought spiral. Doubt. Fear. A bit of an existential crisis. Yep, it’s all there.

But over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about how to deal with runs like this and try to switch my headspace from the emotional to the rational. It becomes a little conversation in my head and goes a little like this – Continue reading “The Bad Run”