THE story so far – “January 18: It would seem I’ve somehow agreed to run the Edinburgh Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. In 12 weeks’ time. With only a 5k under my belt. Crazy? Probably.”
MONTH two – running is hard work, the professionals don’t deny it.
You constantly fight physical and mental battles but apparently the pain and perseverance of training are worth it ...
To be honest, I’m not sure these people ever had the Beast from the East to contend with.
Arctic temperatures, torrential rain dripping from my face, gale force winds threatening to push me into every nearby fence, dog and small unsuspecting child, topped off with giant, blinding snowflakes throwing themselves into my eyes. I did not sign up for this.
On top of this, I seem to have developed a severe case of running rage, which is mainly caused by pedestrians.
Surprisingly, they come in many forms. The worst culprits are the Gawp-ers– you would think they had never seen a beetroot-faced, wild-eyed, out-of-puff runner before – and the Pavement Hoggers, who hear and see you pounding along the pavement towards them, yet when the moment to pass arrives you still have to ricochet off of their shoulder, infuriating.
All that combined with the fact I’ve already lost count of how many episodes of Hollyoaks I’ve missed to subject myself to this.
I’ve realised this must be what dedication looks like – particularly on the Friday night runs, when I know every pedestrian I pass is on their way to the pub, meanwhile I’m en route to the fiery pits of hell.
On the plus side, I definitely feel stronger and my legs and lungs are finally coping.
Weeks 1 and 2 were a bit of a struggle but I eventually set my pace in week 3 and the five-mile mark has now been reached, far more comfortably than my first attempt.
I’m finding it helpful to vary my routes so that I’m forced to concentrate on where I’m going, as opposed to the urge to chew my own legs off just to make it stop.
However, I still feel less Born to Run and more Take the Long Road and Walk It but I’ve just about convinced myself that with another eight weeks to go, there’s a good chance I can actually finish this thing without being last ... penultimate maybe, just PLEASE PLEASE not last!
Eat to go distance
FOOD psychologist Christy Fergusson (http://thefoodpsychologist.com) has these tips:
“Opt for low glyceamic load foods in the lead-up to the run, as these will help to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Food like brown rice, oatmeal and berries.
“During the run, keep you energy levels going by staying hydrated. If you find your energy levels lagging then keep a high energy food like a banana with your to give you a surge of glucose into your bloodstream.
“After the run replenish your glycogen stores by taking in a protein shake such as hemp protein.
“Have a well-balanced, low glyceamic load meal for dinner such as a portion of fish, green vegetables and brown basmati rice.”
TRAINING PLAN: Week 5
Set yourself a challenge this week and take on a 5k –
this will give you a good
indication of how far you’ve come.
• Monday: Rest or core/strength and conditioning
• Tuesday: 30 – 40 minutes easy run
• Wednesday: Rest
• Thursday: 30 minutes easy run
• Friday: Rest
• Saturday: 5k park run
• Sunday: 45-60-minute run. Try to run all the way