The London Marathon – Blog Post 3
In his penultimate pre-event blog, Andrew explains why he is only completing 2 runs a week.
“What? Only 2 runs a week? For a marathon? Are you crazy?”
That’s how most conversations start when I explain my training regime for the London Marathon and I’ve been assured several times, that only running twice week will end in a dismal race-day experience “You’ll hate it, it’ll hurt…you won’t be conditioned / have enough endurance / get loads of blisters…” and so on.
Well, I hope to prove these people wrong! Although being right isn’t the reason I’m training this way, let me explain…
I decided during my training planning to complete a maximum number of two runs a week, simply so I had time to fit everything else in. Work, mainly – something I’m sure we all recognise. As the UK Sales & Operations Manager for Aussie Grit Apparel, I travel the UK a great deal speaking to retailers, meeting customers and attending outdoor events. How was I going to find time to run three, even four, times a week as recommended by Martin Yelling’s plan? Frankly, I wasn’t. Especially as I still wanted to enjoy mountain biking and going to the gym. Could I have my cake and eat it?
What? Only two runs a week!
We’re now two weeks out from the event and I think I can. I focused on the known benefits of cross-training, as I was also concerned as to how my body would hold up solely running. I wanted to maintain a good overall strength and fitness, and I’ve mixed up my training accordingly.
In the gym I’ve focused on strength and conditioning training, mainly using kettle-bell workouts (Men’s Health magazine have some great video); this method of training is proven to be great for CV fitness whilst building the strength, adding power and conditioning the body, all of which are vital for endurance events. I also love HIIT classes (even burpees!), and 30mins of an AMRAP (As Many Rep’s As Possible) class will use just about every muscle in the body; to ensure good overall strength and balance. This way of training also avoids over-exercising any single muscle group, which can lead to injury and, I’m personally convinced, will make you a better all-round runner.
Fundamentally however, I simply wanted to enjoy my four months of training rather than have them feel like a chore, and I’ve still managed to squeeze in two runs (one short / one long a week), gym workouts, and classes AND – all importantly – my one true love, mountain biking. This also means I get to use and abuse all of the flint run and bike, apparel all the time (a clear perk of the job!).
The truth will out on race day of course, however my long runs have been going well. My last 22miler put me on a 3hr 45min-ish marathon time, which I’m happy with. Fingers crossed my friends and peers aren’t proven right!”
In his final pre-event blog, Andrew will be focusing on the event itself, exploring what preparation tips are out there for concerns like packing, fuelling, hydrating and pre-event pit-stops.