Overdoing it

Since I cocked up last year's attempt to run the marathon by buggering up my leg, I was determined it wouldn't happen again.

The result?

A summer of physio, and a new cycling regime to keep the fitness up without the pressure on my ridiculously feeble knees.

Fitness-wise, it's going great – 22 mile round trip every work day has got me into fairly reasonable condition.

Unfortunately it's also introduced me to a previously unforeseen problem – carb depletion.

Sometimes I get absolutely drained with the running and cycling at the same time as I'm burning more energy than I'm getting in.

Common sense would suggest I kick the bike into touch, but such was my foresight into my own psyche that I deliberately closed other transport options so I wouldn't be able to skimp on the cycling because I couldn't be arsed one morning.

This seemed genius in the summer and autumn ('fall' for you crazy yanks) but when training for a spring marathon it's definitely got it's disadvantages.

After skirting around and being generally quite male about it (it'll sort itself out once I'm used to it) I've decided to take drastic action.

I'm eating more.

Yeah, I know it's hardly the most outside the box solution, but it's harder than it sounds.

I'd been relying on good sized portions of high 'good' carb meals in the evening to get me through the next day. But these and my breakfast tended to only get me through my morning commute and work and lunch then got me home.

So when I go for a run in the evening and eat afterwards, it was replacing lost carbs, as well as storing some, but not enough, for the next day. Over several days this would screw me over.

So I'm trying to adopt a new strategy.

Breakfast is a good bowl of porridge. Once I've cycled in I'm having a weird Lucozade recovery drink and three or four portions of fruit/veg (bananas, apples, carrots). Lunch is a sandwich with some protein and slow release carbs, then more fruit in the afternoon and a traditional runners carb meal in the evening.

Did this all last week and it's really helping – most noticeably when I missed evening meal on Weds and had to have a gel on Thurs morning to pick me up!

So a bit more discipline and this ridiculously lame body will start to behave so I can stick to the running as it climbs to the daft lengths of this period of training.

Blogging's hard

Last year, in my ultimately unsuccessful attempt to run the London Marathon, I managed to write oodles of posts of variable quality.

I'm somewhat behind this time.

Cycling to work means less time on public transport to write these missives, and more hectic work day means less time to post them – I don't have a dongle...

Last year blogging really helped me reflect on each run, and the overall progress I'd made – as well as get in contact with other like-minded e-marathoners.

I'm missing that a bit this year and I've no-one to blame but myself.

So, I'm gonna try to post something – probably of variable quality – after each run as it's getting to that strange time where it's only a couple of months to the start line in Greenwich Park and I need to stay focused if I'm gonna crack this marathon malarkey.

Muddled week

I've got this week off work so I've had a jiggle with my runs.

Today's normally a rest for me, but I had that yesterday and did my long one on Saturday - which was odd, but a nice change.

I did an 8 miler with 4 miles at race pace (3 easy, 4 hard, 1 easy) and I did it in my new Nike's.

I've had better runs.

Couldn't settle into a rhythm for the first 3 miles - don't know if it was the trainers, or just me being an idiot.

Also saw a dead hedgehog on the path that appeared to have been hollowed out.

The beast of Chertsey Bridge strikes again!

When I picked it up for miles 4-7 it started ok, but it was a bit more uncomfortable than usual.

I also made the strange error of pausing to yank up a slipping sock and ripped the bugger, which got me very wary of rubbing/blister issues.

Obviously all this training has given me killer biceps so I no longer know my own strength.

Or I need to wear less battered socks...

Anyway, the last mile was pretty good. Not only because I got to slow down, but I also found my 'training rhythm' - that comfortable pace where you feel like you could keep going forever.

I didn't though, as I really needed the loo - possibly more info than you needed, but I'm nothing if not honest!

So, a bit of a 'meh' effort, but the new trainers seem to work, and hopefully will help save my ridiculously lame knees!