The Strider: Only 10 weeks of blisters and twinges to go

Click to follow
The Independent Online

At the end of January there can be no more excuses. My aim for a sub-3hr 30min London Marathon requires immediate hard work.

At the end of January there can be no more excuses. My aim for a sub-3hr 30min London Marathon requires immediate hard work.

Even though there are more than two months to go, it's time for radical action – out go the myriad published training schedules, in comes a bespoke regime, tailor-made by coach Ollie Wright of the Dulwich Runners.

His task is to devise a schedule that not only gets the best out of my running but also allows me time to work long, irregular hours and also to see my family.

This is no mean feat, as most thorough schedules timetable your running to the last minute. My customised regime differs in that it does not stipulate the days on which each session should be run. I am not exactly my own man, but at least I am not entirely the schedule's either.

Here's what coach Wright devised for me last week, for instance: an easy-paced 45-minute run during Monday lunch-time; on Tuesday evening, a speed session of my choosing (I went for 4 x 8min at my 10k-race pace); and a hard 60min run at the club on Wednesday evening.

Thursday and Friday ended up being rest days; Saturday saw me run a six-mile cross-country race; then on Sunday it was an "easy" 16-miler, at 11pm.

How did I get on? Well, the 16-miler almost killed me – I limped home with a painful twinge in my thigh, and an excruciating blister under my big toe. Despite these setbacks, though, I was happy – I had managed to run 40 miles over the week, and I got three evenings at home.

But it all sounds so easy when I read it back to myself. Running my usual eight-mile course twice in one session meant one thing: pain. And if 4 x 8min sounds a doddle, why don't you try it and see how you get on...

It's becoming clear that completing these sessions is a rigorous mental training as well as a physical one. Which I hope will pay dividends when the going gets tough at about 12.30pm on Sunday 14 April.

Entries are now closed for this year's London Marathon. Visit www.london-marathon.co.uk for details of the entry system for next year.

The Strider returns on 10 February

Comments