In early 2017 I was lucky enough to win a competition by Threshold Sports in Running Magazine. The prize was a place in their Race to the King ultra marathon, a double marathon from Arundel in Sussex to Winchester Cathedral and coaching from ultra marathon runner and coach, Kerry Sutton. This was to be my first long-distance ultra marathon and real challenge for me in terms of building up to running further than I've ever run before, handling nutrition on the day and other aspects such as kit. I wrote an article for Running Magazine about my training and build up to the event. See the article below and in Issue 201 of Running Magazine.
As I entered the Bois de Boulogne park, winding through the tree-lined paths, runners were starting to drop around me and beginning to walk. "Keep going" I told myself, just put one foot in-front of the other, you'll get there faster and as soon as you can see the Champs Elysees, that's it you can stop and rest. Approaching the end of the Paris Marathon, just over a month ago, I felt a million miles away from where I was four years earlier; completing my first marathon at what felt like an agonisingly slow place having hit "the wall" and torn my calf muscle! I glanced at my watch and knew that this time, the target was on, a few more minutes of running and my goal would be achieved, one of my running goals that I'd been working towards over the last four years - running a sub-3 hour marathon. Heading
Spring marathon season is upon us. With the likes of Manchester last weekend, Brighton and Paris this weekend and then London and Boston on the horizon, to name but a few, it's the time of year when runners see their efforts of three months hard training, hopefully, pay off. Winter marathon training isn't easy. With training plans and schedules starting at some point around the Christmas holidays, the days are colder, shorter and far more dull than their counterparts in the Summer months. The accumulation of these factors can make it harder to get yourself out of the door. A week before Christmas 2016 I started my training for the Paris Marathon. A 16 week training schedule that would see me through to the race on April 9th 2017. Excited to be re-visiting the home of my first marathon in 2013, I trained harder than ever, putting in more miles, getting out
At the end of January I had the opportunity to visit the Lake District for three nights. Over the years I've had a few trips to the Lakes, but I've never visited since getting into trail running; my preferred running terrain. I wanted to use this chance to take in the trails, check out the lakes, countryside and try out some fell running. For years I've been fascinated with the Bob Graham Round, a running challenge in the Lake District, where runners attempt to complete a 66 mile, 27,000 ft circuit of 42 of the highest peaks within 24 hours. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to check out some of the route. Keswick Keswick was my base for the trip having booked into a B&B that was located just outside of the town centre. The town is perfectly positioned on the edge of Derwentwater and with easy access to the Northern and Eastern
It was an early start for a Saturday morning, making the trip from Suffolk to West Sussex with Pip and Carl for the Maverick Inov-8 Original Race, the first of their 2017 series. I'd heard about the Maverick races through their social media channels and my mate Carl had and taken part in their Oxfordshire race, towards the end of last year, and really recommended the event. I actually won my place through Running Heroes, which was a nice bonus as I was planning to enter anyway. If you've not heard of Running Heroes, you get rewards for being active and can win prizes in challenges, it's totally free; what's not to like! Check it out at https://uk.runningheroes.com. The Start The start/finish and event HQ was at Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre which made for easy parking, lots of toilets and plenty of space for registration. There were stalls selling Maverick merchandise, refreshments and headline
As runners start gearing up for Spring marathon training, many will find that the long run features as part of their traditional marathon training programme. As the distance increases and the time that it takes week-on-week, it's easy to fear the long run. The long run shouldn't be feared, I was re-acquainted with the "Long Run" over the Summer through my training for September's Berlin marathon and tried a few things to keep it fresh, interesting and most of all to help me enjoy it. Here's a few tips and suggestions from my experience of the long run and the hours that I've spent marathon training. Hopefully there might be something to help you with yours