Beating the Weather

IMG 2248I’m sitting in a café writing this blog entry, looking smugly out at the weather I would have been slogging wetly through if I’d gone out for my normal Sunday run.

It’s a typically British Spring selection of random sunshine, showers and hail out there, rotating about every five minutes. Nice. Luckily, I took a look out of the window yesterday, clocked the nice sunshine, and nipped out for a quick 5K then, instead. It was lovely and bright and mild yesterday, perfect jogging weather.

That was probably my last jog before Sunday’s half marathon, unless I particularly fancy a short evening run at some point this week. I’ll try to walk to work rather than take the boat as much as I can, though, just to keep the legs ticking over.

Looks like I’ve raised £40 for the RNLI already — thanks folks! — which isn’t bad in a couple of days. I shall throw some begging tweets and Facebook status updates out this week and see if I can get a few more donations before the day 🙂

How Not to Train for a Half Marathon

From recent experience, here are a few tips on how not to train for a half marathon:

  • Pick a half-marathon that’s run at the beginning of March. This makes sure you have to keep training through the freezing, dark winter months. The Bath Half Marathon is an ideal choice.
  • Pick an over-ambitious training plan that has you running three times a week, even on Boxing Day. Make sure it’s a group plan, using something like a RunKeeper FitnessClass, so you can see lots of other people sticking to the plan all over the world, while you’re failing dismally.
  • Get stressed out by the spectre of an approaching Christmas, with all the shopping and other worries that it entails. Also develop a niggling ache while running. This two annoyances combined should let you decide to take the whole of December off from running, which is clearly excellent training.
  • Take up drinking again just before winter, thus ensuring you write off a few Saturdays where you could otherwise be running by drinking too much the night before at various Christmas parties.
  • Speaking of Christmas, try putting on nearly a stone in weight by over-indulging in December and carrying on eating at that kind of level post-Christmas, too. Even though you wanted to lose weight before the half-marathon, not gain it.
  • Be sure to get ill a few times. If you can come down with a cold before Christmas, something gastric between Christmas and New Year, and then follow that by another bad cold in January, that’s about perfect.
  • Make sure you pick a year where it rains a lot at weekends, especially if your normal favourite route takes you along towpaths that flood easily, and through forest paths that turn into foot-deep mudbaths after a shower.
  • In February, if you arrange for your job to go crazy with reporting deadlines, and also get the auditors in to double-check everything you’ve done recently, that’s excellent icing on your cake of bad training.

Sigh.

On the plus side, despite this blog being quiet, I have managed to run a bit in the last few weeks. I’ve not been out in the evenings — running is so much easier in daylight! — but a couple of weekends ago I ran 7K, last weekend I ran 8K, and yesterday I ran 10K.

Well, I say “ran”; the first couple of weeks I had to stop for a couple of breathers and walk up the hill, because my late-January cold was still lingering on and affecting my breathing. But yesterday I made a conscious effort to jog, albeit very slowly, all the way up the big hill in Leigh Woods, and I felt a lot better for jogging a decent continuous distance.

Especially as it’s now only a couple of weeks to the Bath Half!

Speaking of which, I’ve just set up my Just Giving page, where you can sponsor me to help out my chosen charity, the RNLI. A very worthy cause, and I’m not just saying that because one of my university friends now helps to crew the Clovelly Lifeboat!

January Sunshine

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Today I went out for my first jog of the year — my first jog in more than a month, in fact, having taken December off! It wasn’t as difficult as I feared it might have been. Helping with that was the weather — sunny, cool but not freezing, just right for jogging. I felt good enough not to bother starting back too gingerly and gently, so I did a full 5K starting with Bridge Valley Road. I was slow, but not much slower than normal, really, so I’m pretty happy with that.

Which is just as well, really, as it’s just under two months to the Bath Half Marathon. Hmm. Might have left building up my training a little late. Still, if I get back to my usual routine fairly quickly it shouldn’t be impossible. I guess we’ll have to see!

Happy new year, everyone 🙂