I started my running career pretty late, my first race being in 2001 at the age of 31. Prior to this my first love was baseball. After playing for over 10 years and over 100 career hits I managed to blag a place on the GB team for a few games in California. Needless to say I was pants and struck out twice, but pulling on the Great Britain jersey was something that brought a tear to my eye.
My first half marathon was completed in 1.34 at the New Forest in 2001 and I crossed the line with my daughter, her beaming smile as I lifted her up at the finish made me realise that this was the sport for me. Baseball was ditched, I struck out again in my last bat of the season and I knew it was time to pack up and focus on running. The times started coming down and after following a training plan from coolrunning.com I managed to run a 1.13 half marathon at Wokingham and a 2.40 at Abingdon as a V40. Now I’m a V45 and the goal is still to run a PB, I truly believe that I have it in me. One thing that I have noticed (being old and all that!) is that recovery is harder. My times are certainly not getting worse, so I believe that with better nutrition and learning from previous training then I aim to have a solid PB attempt at London this year. I do have a tentative plan of going longer in training, maybe 25-26 miles, but realise there is a fine line between staying fit and breaking down. After running 6 sub 2.45 marathons I realise I have to mix things up a little.
Races I love: New Forest 10, Reading Half, Berlin Marathon, Finchley 20 and Perivale 5 go hand in hand as crackin’ old skool races, anything on the Isle of Wight but most of all I love the London Marathon and the atmosphere of the whole day.
I like to eat around three hours before a race, but I keep it simple. My training entry for 2015 London Marathon reads as follows; Breakfast: porridge pot, banana and PowerBar carb isotonic drink. I will also consume another sports drink but stop drinking around an hour and a half before the race. This way I am not dying for a lash during the race.
I actually never used to pay much attention to fuelling during a marathon but in recent years I have come to realise that it is essential. My gel of choice is PowerBar with caffeine and tend to take them at around 8M, 16M and 22M. I also try to get some Lucozade sports drink down at some point on the course, although at the finish I’m sick of the stuff. I think I will try to take on more gels for my next marathon.
I try to get a high protein shake down your neck at the finish for recovery. Oh, who am I kidding, get straight down the pub and celebrate your run with a few pints! Hmm, maybe this area needs a bit of work!
Keep the training simple and I focus on intensity and then recovery which works for me. My typical week will read.
- Mon: Recovery
- Tues: medium run steady
- Weds: Club track session
- Thurs: easy run
- Fri: Tempo run
- Sat: easy or rest
- Sun: Long Run.
Fairly standard but if you follow this then you won’t go far wrong. Listen to your body, one day off won’t hurt in the slightest and don’t be a slave to the schedule, they are only a guide. Most of all, have fun and celebrate every time you cross that line cos you've earned it.