Edinburgh Taper Time

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Hello blog, anyone there? I wouldn’t blame if you¬†found pastures new for your vegan running blogging tales. It has been ages and I apologise but let me bring you up to speed.

In 2 weeks I will become a marathoner, I am not injured and I feel the fittest I have been in 10 years.

The past few weeks have seen me go on holiday to Poland then Berlin with my girlfriend Kasia. This happened to coincide with the longest run in my training plan; a 20 mile plus run. So with the trainers in my suitcase we went about mapping out a 20 plus mile run to the Polish countryside. Setting out from Brzeg we headed out of the town, whilst running I spotted a stork or top of a lamp post, it was seriously cool and apparently it is the Polish national bird. The weather was very hot 21 degrees but luckily I had Kasia riding with me on her bike passing me water and my raspberry clif gels.

I did the 21.7 miles in 3:15 it was tough. When we turned around at mile 11 we went straight into a strong headwind and the pace immediately slowed. I had stupidly played football the day before and my hamstrings were very tight as a result. After this my target marathon time is 3:45, I feel if my hamstrings are a bit looser than they are at the moment, hopefully the taper will help, I could push to get around 3:30 but we will see.

To be honest training the last few weeks has been sporadic at best, I moved house and then came down with a crazy 24 fever which set me back. I need to remember I am in taper mode but 23 miles solid running last week and only 13.5 this week isn’t probably where I should be.

I have been getting all sorts of little niggles and anxieties as I am running less but I hear this is to be expected. My friend Sam Sparrow has been doing a great job of reassuring me this is just my head being a bit crazy. I do actually feel pretty good, even if I do worry my longest run was too far away from the marathon.

This Friday’s run was difficult I collided with a pedestrian who dodged my friend Clare and stepped out from behind someone else straight into my path. It was windy and we ran to Highgate before rambling around the trails of Hampstead Heath, it was muddy it was windy it was hilly but we did a decent 8.5 miles.

I have been swimming lots and making great improvements in the pool doing 1 mile swims of front crawl. I am finding the cross training is really helping with my core strength.

I would love to hear from people who have run Edinburgh before, is there anything I need to be looking out for with the course? How much should I be running this week with the marathon 2 weeks away? I feel tempted to crank out another 15 mile run but I know that is actually pretty insane. But I am tempted… Very tempted.

Thanks for all of your comments and support I can’t believe I am nearly there. 14 months ago I was heading towards being overweight and couldn’t run 2 miles. Now I am on the verge of running a sub 4 hour marathon on my first go. It feels like a big deal to me and I couldn’t have done it without you.

 

 

 

 

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Harder, Faster, Longer

10 mile run

Want to go harder, faster, longer? If so, you have come to the right place, get ready to receive some advice that will change your running for the better.

1) Believe in yourself

It sounds simple but so many runners needlessly¬†doubt themselves, I include myself in this category. If you have your trainers on and are getting out of the door you’re already doing great. Our bodies were designed to endure incredible physical stress, our minds on the other hand are prone to the odd wobble. For example this weekend at mile 7 of my run I thought I was literally done for but I got a mouthful of water and ended up running miles 7-10 quicker than miles 4-7. It was my mind that was playing tricks on me, my actual body was more than up for the challenge.

2) Get your carbs in

I am not a doctor or a nutritionist but this much I know. A high-carb vegan diet rich in fruits and vegetables of over 3000 calories a day has seen me lose 7kg and this weekend I ran 10 miles in 1:17.23. I am still 10 weeks away from the Edinburgh Marathon and currently my recovery and energy levels are great and the PB’s keep coming my way.

3) Swing your arms

It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing, isn’t that how the song goes? Well anyway, swinging those arms really helps especially when tackling hills. You want to have your arm bent at a 45 degree angle and push them right back it shouldn’t feel forced, just find a rhythm that works for you. I did some work with the amazing Ade at Fit City and I have seen some massive improvements in my times and running form as a result

4) Hydration

Get up drink a litre of water. Before breakfast, before radio 4, make it the first thing you do everyday. Hydration is essential to maintaining a health digestion. A well hydrated runner will start to come into their own in the later stages of the race. I made a mistake of under hydrating in my December Ashford Marathon and I will never do that again. I aim to urinate at least once every 2 hours making sure my urine is clear (I can’t believe I talk about urine in blogs).

5) Smile

Runners smiling at me lifts my spirits and keeps my pace up, runners who saying hello actually make my day. Runners are a special breed; we only really understand each other the very least we can do is smile at each other.

In 10 weeks time I will be running the Edinburgh Marathon, I literally can’t wait now Spring has arrived, I am getting faster, starting to dream about that 3:30 perhaps it is possible. After my 10 miles in 1:17.23 perhaps it isn’t a pipe dream after all.

Let me know your tips for great running. Thanks for reading, you’re all superstars I appreciate all of you very much.