Friday, 22 June 2012

My first official race!!

Well tomorrow brings my first official race - a 10K in Manchester - called "We Love Manchester 10K"
The weather in England has been absolutely dreadful of late with huge downpours and big storms.
Not ideal running weather!!
So I've been doing most of my running inside on the treadmill at the Gym.
I did a 10K in just below 44 minutes which felt OK.
I started off at a 9mph pace and did that for 5K, but struggled to sustain it, so dropped to 8mph which felt much easier. Hence on Sunday I'll aim somewhere in between and then hopefully pick up faster nearer the end.
In general the training's going well, although I've picked up a slight niggle with my left foot which is a little sore, bit I'm hoping nothing too serious.
Fingers crossed it doesn't rain too hard tomorrow.
I'm actually quite nervous about the race. I've played football in front of tens of thousands of people, but I know tomorrow I'll be nervous for the race and the adrenalin will really be pumping.
Bring it own!!

Here's one of my favourite tracks from one of my all time favourite bands.
Keane are probably the most underrated groups in pop music history.
IMHO they are so much better than Coldplay - but never received the same adulation.
There is no justice in the world!!

Keane - Nothing In My Way

Saturday, 16 June 2012

All the "nice" things that come with those extra miles!!!

It's funny now I'm reaching the 8 to 9 miles stage in my training you start to become more and more aware of all those things which are never necessary in shorter runs.
That being that the real need to apply copious amounts of vaseline to avoid chaffing that occurs from these longer runs, to ensure "nipple protection" which is critical and extremely painful if not protected.
That's in addition to the need to continually hydrate and also to consume calories post run to ensure adequate    body recovery.
When I get to longer runs (in excess of 12 miles) I'm also going to afford myself the luxury of ice baths.
I tried it once after playing football and it really was amazing - very invigorating, I got out of the bath feeling like a new man!!
More of that to come.

Here's another bit of choice music - a track which I've always loved and always will!!

REM - Loving My Religion

Friday, 8 June 2012

Upping the mileage!!

Front Cover
The training programme is going well, I'm managing to keep upping the mileage nicely, although steadily.
I even manged to stick to my training programme on my holiday which I thought was pretty impressive as I'd not anticipated that.
I'm now running for 60 mins at a time (which is by far the longest I've ever run without stopping). Even as a professional footballer we never did any running which was longer than 20 mins non stop. It was all high tempo but short bursts and hence my body is not accustomed to long running periods.
However, I'm running at about an 8 mph pace so I'm up to 8 mile territory.
I'm also working on my injury prevention programme which I do on my "rest days", hence I run one day, do an injury prevention circult for my core body one day, then run etc. (I'll detail this ina future post)
Hence my programme is looking like this;
Monday - Core body Injury prevention circuit
Tuesday - Run - approx
Wednesday - Core body Injury prevention circuit
Thursday - Run
Friday - Core body Injury prevention circuit
Saturday - Rest day
Sunday - Long Run
I've been reading avidly on marathon training books - one by Ricahrd Nerurker  - 
Marathon Running : The Complete Training Guide
which is excellent and I'm taking in this guidance although also doing what feels right for my body and fits into my daily routine, including work and family commitments.
I've also been reading this book
"Keep on Running : The Highs and Lows of a Marathon Addict"
which is very good and very humorous. It describes one man's obsession with running marathons and the euphoria he feels which then fuels his marathon addiction and counteracts the lows of marathon running.
Well worth a read.

In terms of music I've been listening to this a lot and really like it. Very cool, very current and very addictive!!
Until next time.........

Marina And The Diamonds - Primadonna Girl

Friday, 25 May 2012

Progressing nicely!!

Hello All,
I've had a good week this week with my training coming along nicely.
I'm up to 6 miles now which is the furthest I've run in a single run.
As mentioned before I've played football at professional and semi-professional level for many years, but long distance running has never been something I've tried.
I must admit that it does feel strange because I always feel like I'm running too slowly and hence I blast off at a high tempo pace and then after a few miles realise that I have to scale it back and slow down, as I can't maintain it.
I need to learn to pace myself for the longer duration and hence I'm thinking of investing in a effective sports watch so I can track my pace better.
I've also started to incorporate injury prevention sessions into my training, hence I run Monday, Wednesday, Friday,  and do injury prevention circuits at the gym on Tuesday and Thursday for my core and upper body. I'm conscious that all the hard road pounding that I need to do will put some real stress on my body and hence trying to prevent and minimise this impact feels like the right thing to do.
I generally rest over weekends although I'll soon start to do my long runs on Sunday to get me in tune for long distances on Sunday (which will be race day).
Another thing which I realised is that when running 6 miles plus, you really need to take some water, so you don't dehydrate, something I've never really thought about too much in the past, but is essential for the long runs. I did quite a bit of research on various methods and found some really good articles, this one was good
as it anlaysed many different types
In the end I plumped for a Nike belt (pictured) and wore it yesterday and it was excellent - really comfy and after a while I'd forgotten I had it on. It's got 4 small bottles which are really easy to load in and out of the pockets and use when running. It's also got 2 pockets one for your iPod and a bigger pocket for keys, phone, gels or similar.

I'm also going to use this blog to start putting on some of my favourite tracks which I often listen to when running. Here's a classic from Radiohead and one of my fave songs. The mix of the guitar and piano in it is heavenly!!

Radiohead - Karma Police

Friday, 18 May 2012

Absorbing information!!!

As mentioned I'm trying to absorb as much information as possible in terms of building up my knowledge and understanding of the requirements of marathon running and the intense training that is required.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) when I do something I always want to do it properly and give 110% and this means in the preparation as well and the actual activity.
Thankfully there is loads of great information on the internet and I'm always  very keen to hear advice and experience from fellow marathon runners, so please share your thoughts and experiences with me on this blog.
I'm developing my training plan which I'll upload to the blog when finalised, it's just taking a little bit of final tuning (more of that later).
I've also been reading a fabulous book by Grete Waitz - the fabulous late and great Norwegian marathon runner.The link to the book is here;
It covers pretty much everything you need to know about prep for your first marathon and who better to inform you then someone who has been there and done it at the very elite level.
Sadly Great passed away last year after a 6 year battle with cancer.
She was most definitely one of the finest female marathon runners ever and was a significant figure in terms of bringing the popularity of female marathon running to the masses .More info is on the link below.
RIP Grete!!

New running shoes!!

As a new comer to marathon running/training I've been like a sponge and taking advice from wherever I could find it. That being asking people who I know who've been through the marathon experience and doing copious amounts of web research.
The consistent advice which you always find, is "make sure you get a good pair of running shoes/trainers".
This is essential as you will be pounding out lots of miles and you will increase the likelihood of injury if you have an ill-fitting pair. I was also advised to get the trainers from a reputable running shop who were also able to monitor my running gait whilst I jogged on a treadmill.
So following all this advice I took myself off to "Up and Running" a Sports shop especially suited to runners and purchased myself a pair of new running shoes.
The full specs details can be found on the link below, although mine are Blue as the image shows and not red and white.
They are Saucony Jazz 15 - which suited by neutral gait (I never realised running could be so technical).
They had their first trial out on Friday and they felt like a dream.
I was advised to get a size above my normal size, hence got a UK 10, as I was informed that your feet can swell during a marathon and hence best to go with something with slightly more room.
This comes in stark contrast to my footballing days, when we always purchased boots which were as tight as possible and moulded to your feet, so that you had a better touch and feel of the ball.
I'm up to 5 miles running at the moment and did 2 5 miles runs on the treadmill, one on hill inclines, so I'm gradually building up my mileage now.
26.2 miles bring it on!!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Welcome Runners!!!

Welcome to my new blog.
This blog will focus on my love of Sport, my current focus on running and how I intend to share my experiences starting as novice runner to training to run a marathon.
The blog will detail my journey, with the hope of sharing my experiences, enthusing others and also raising money for charity.
I aim to share best practice and knowledge of all the things I learn on my marathon journey and I will try to engage others to also share their experiences and knowledge as well.
I would welcome comments, interaction and advice.
I am by no means an expert although I have a strong sporting knowledge from my previous career as a Professional Footballer.
I will be known as The Running Man and will use this name for my future marathon conquests and interaction in this blog.
Importantly this blog is dedicated to raising money for my designated charity - Get Kids Going.
It is a wonderful charity more details below
Get Kids Going! is a National charity which gives disabled children and young people - up to the age of 26 yrs - the wonderful opportunity of participating in sport. We provide them with specially built sports' wheelchairs so they can do: athletics, marathons, tennis, skiing, rugby, sailing, boccia, basketball, sledge hockey, table tennis, fencing, shooting, archery, powerlifting and many more sports. Get Kids Going! inspires British disabled youngsters to compete in sporting events, from start to paralympic level, by giving them 'sports grants' to help with their; training, physiotherapy, travel, competition fees, design and development of sports' wheelchairs etc. With your help many can become world record holders and paralympic champions

I look forward to interacting with you all in the future,

Very best regards, The Running Man