The Great North Run race pack arrived yesterday.
A high level of anxiety followed its opening. Enclosed was a Team Bupa technical t-shirt which was so tight it finished a good few inches above my belly button. It might have super wicking properties but I don’t think the good folk of South Shields deserve the full exposure of my midriff.
I was spurred into action by the reminder that it’s only 6 weeks til the big day.
I’ve been following an unorthodox approach of weekly 10 mile runs interspersed with about 4 high intensity but short (20 min) spurts on the treadmill.
I always come away from half marathon events determined to maintain my physical peak by rattling out weekly 10-milers. I reckon that if I can manage that, I ought to be able step up to 13.1 on adrenaline alone.
The trouble is, the weekly 10’s often turn into 8’s and then holidays happen and 6 weeks before race day I discover I’m no longer a perfectly honed running machine.
I discovered that today while the full cycling family entourage were called upon to push me around the 8 mile circuit of Richmond Park. It was hot, I moaned a lot and I crossed my imaginary finish line in an irritable, damp and salty heap. And, I was still 2 miles too short.
When I got back home I headed for the treadmill to rattle off the last two. Inspired by the Australian version of The Biggest Loser, I set myself up for a 2 mile hill climb at maximum incline (12). I let myself down by gradually dropping the distance target until I decided that a 1km hill sprint had a lovely ring about it. I was less irritable but equally damp and heap-like at the end.
Perhaps I’m not too late to take some training advice from the Bupa Running team.