A Soft Approach to the London Marathon

I’m taking a softly softly approach to this years attempt at the London marathon. No early heroics or ambitious time targets. I need to make it to the start line this year and that means, at the very least, that I have to still be capable of running when the proper marathon program starts at the end of December.

I started my preliminary marathon training schedule this week.

An 8-week program that will hopefully drag my aching plantar fascia through to a 10k standard without me needing to hobble to work on crutches.

While I may be easing may back into the running, I’ve gone full steam ahead with the research and planning. As befits my gentle approach I’ve opted to follow the non-runners marathon trainer. It’s not exactly lightweight, no successful marathon plan can be, but despite having run for quite some years I do still identify with it’s target audience of non-runners and I’m happy to build up slowly. If I ever get into double digit training weeks I may be tempted to amend the plan slightly as it never gets beyond 18 mile long runs and I think that is leaving too much unexpected pain for the big day.

I am also reading more hardcore running material. Marshall Ulrich, the ultra runner almost as famous as Dean Karnazes, has just released a book called Running on Empty. It gets a huge “must read” recommendation from me and has already provided much inspiration and encouragement to get on the treadmill.

By his own refreshing admission, Ulrich has had something of a flawed character, not the best of husbands or fathers, and has spent much of his running life running away from his emotions. I identify with him to a point but unfortunately haven’t developed his skill of zoning out of the pain and maintaining the relentless “one foot forward” maxim to life.

Ultra runners are a funny breed but I do enjoy taking inspiration from them. He reminded me of Eddie Izzard with his crazy multiple marathon feat. It seems that if you run far enough, for long enough, your body breaks down and then re-emerges from the ashes as a runner.

Hard to moan about plantar fasciitis when you read about an ultra runner’s woes.

The distances were taking their toll. The tendons in my upper and lower legs had begun to throb constantly, as if someone had cracked them both with a hammer. My muscles were so tight that they felt like guitar strings strung over the bridge of my aching bones. My achilles tendon was giving me no relief, and my bones and joints hurt from the incessant pounding.

Unfortunately I am unlikely to run the necessary 2000 or so miles to convert my grumbling body into a finely honed, injury proofed, running machine between now and April 2012 but I can enjoy the read along the way.

Apologies in advance for much whining to come.

3 thoughts on “A Soft Approach to the London Marathon

  1. fortnightflo

    Oooh Shazruns sent me that book when I found out I had got in to VLM and I love it so far – I am also adding a couple of extra weeks in so I can go up to 22 miles as I think 18 is not quite enough. Good luck with the training – I’ll check back often.

  2. jogblog

    As someone currently taking 3 hours to do a half-marathon, I think I also need the Non-Runners Marathon Guide.

    Good luck with your training, I hope you’ll be blogging lots so I get encouraged to do my own training.

  3. Amy

    Good luck getting fit enough to run the London marathon. You’re a stronger person than me!

    Are you looking at doing any short 5k runs in the future? This http://www.poppy-run.com/ leaves Trent Park in Middlesex on the 30th of this month, in aid of the Poppy Appeal.

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