Bournemouth Marathon training update – Steve

As the Bournemouth Marathon edges ever closer, the gap between New Year’s good intentions and reality becomes ever more stark. The intention was to gradually develop a solid base level of fitness, undertaking a range of outdoor events to improve my endurance. While doing so I would be enjoying learning new skills and training drills before embarking on a marathon specific training plan. As we approach the start of the summer, it has dawned on me that I am nowhere near where I intended to be for entirely self inflicted reasons.

The year started well enough and I did complete a 10 mile and half marathon race along the Bournemouth sea front, albeit rather slowly. I had even managed to get some information from my garmin that suggested that I was able to run for a while at a consistent and steady pace. Back in March, with the race 6 months away, things were heading in the right direction.

The first problem was an alcohol related accident in a hotel room. Attempting to get to the bathroom in the night, I declined my wife’s helpful offer to turn on the light, explaining that I regularly stayed in Holiday Inn rooms and knew where I was going. Sadly I didn’t know where my wife had left her bag and I fell heavily in the darkness. While this appeared to be the highlight of the weekend for someone, I acquired a hip injury and could not contemplate running for 4 weeks.

This brought us to our holiday to Southern Africa. I had intended to enjoy some relaxing runs in the beautiful scenery in a sports mad country. The first issue was an argument with my wife as she removed my running shoes from my case to accommodate a spare hair dryer and hair products. I eventually prevailed and the shoes regained their rightful place in my case on the grounds that it was my case and I had little use for a hair dryer (or products) and I was sure that 1 would suffice. 2While technically right, that the spare hair dryer and products were not needed, nor were my running shoes. After arriving in Africa, I clearly underestimated; how hot Africa is ( predictable ), how much I would enjoy the very cheap food and wine ( predictable ) and how weak and lazy I would become ( even more predictable ) Suffice to say the only time the running shoes came out was to make room for a couple of bottles of wine in the case.

After about 8 weeks of total inactivity, it is fair to say that any gains made at the start of the year have been lost. For most of that time my muscles have been well rested while my liver has had to work rather harder than normal. The first goal is to reverse these roles. My comeback run was painful and more difficult than it should have been but the injury was fine.

Having spoken to several friends who happen to be annoyingly good athletes, I am now in possession of a 16 week training plan to run a marathon. My summer looks like it will consist of interval training, hill efforts and the weekly long run with sea swimming recovery sessions. Sounds like fun!

One of my childhood heroes, the great All Black rugby player Sean Fitzpatrick has said that if you want to achieve something, tell people and use the fear of failure as a positive motivating factor. While I’m paraphrasing slightly, it does make sense. So here goes, I am aiming to complete the Bournemouth Marathon in under 3 hours and 50 minutes.

Wish me luck!

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