Crack of Dawn …

I may have mentioned if before on this blog, but one of the major changes and improvements to my running training came when I got out of bed early in the morning and ran.

Although my day job isn’t manually challenging, it’s one that requires mental concentration and accuracy all day long and often when I get back home in the evening, I am just too tired to get any quality running done – sure I can force myself out of the door, but that often leads to disappointment and a poor session.

So, this morning I set the alarm for 6.30am and got all my running kit together, plus Garmin, plus iPod and prepared to see the crack of dawn once more.

Long Trail

Now I appreciate that 6.30am isn’t really that early and to be honest my alarm goes off at that time when the kids are at school, so it wasn’t a huge thing really, but making the effort and getting out of the house and on to the trails before 7am was and this morning I managed to do that and boy was it worth it !

The sun was warm and it was streaming through the trees as I set off for a 5.66km run around the locality – most of the run off road again with hardly a soul around … it was liberating and very enjoyable too – still not pushing on these runs, just “keeping it steady” which for me relates to controlling my breathing and keeping the HR to around 130-140 which is “the” zone that I run to when I am running well.

I think the pleasing thing for me today, was that although not pushing harder than last week (and the stats bear that out) I was running faster … dipping under 6.00/km for the whole run for the first time since coming back to running – that is further encouragement for me and very pleasing indeed.

The extra effort on the diet seems to be working too, with clothes noticeable looser and again that can only encourage.

As time goes on the “Crack of Dawn” club will get earlier, as I will need more time to run further and I am really looking forward to that over the winter time … there is something ace about running in the cold, in the wet and in the wind …. I love it much more than the sunshine in that regard.

And It Begins …

I have started this new blog to document the training and experiences I go through as I attempt to train for and complete my first ever marathon which will take place next Spring. Now I am not new to running, I have completed 4 Ironman triathlons, but I don’t count any of the runs I did as marathons as they involved a whole load of shuffling and walking as the inevitable struggle kicks in towards the end of the race.

One of my big goals left un-ticked is to run a full marathon, its like a monkey on my back and I need to complete this. It’s been niggling away at me for years now and I have had a couple of failed attempts during the latter years of my Ironman training where I suffered from injuries … I got to mile 18 in one race before problems forced my withdrawal and then the following year I didn’t even make the start line – it was then I decided to sort myself out and get the injuries looked at and to give running a rest. I managed to get the injuries looked at and after a 6 month program of physio and strength work I am pretty much injury free now and feeling great.

I did take a couple of years off now from serious run training with hardly any efforts at all other than the odd little jaunt, but in shock move last winter I got these:

Salomon Speedcross
Salomon Speedcross

I did a couple of short off road jog’s and eventually I got up to running 10km fairly comfortably and without injury or issue afterwards, and this started to ignite the flame inside me again. I do like running, but it’s hard to battle when you have loads of niggles and stuff that stops you getting to where you want to get to. So now with all the problems behind me I am ready to work at this and put together a good plan that will deliver me to the start line prepared. I will need to pay as much attention to the physio and core work as I will to the actual running and I have learned this now and will be working with my good friends at Summit Physio who have done a great job with me so far !

At the moment I haven’t run for about 5 months as I have enjoyed riding my bike and going to the gym quite a bit and all that has helped to build strength in other areas, so the journey starts from pretty much zero but with lots of enthusiasm to kick it off !

Hopefully when I come to look back at this blog in 12 months time it will provide a great catalogue and reference point for other aspiring marathon runners, that’s the plan anyhow.

I have a race in mind and I will post about that when the time is right, but for now, thanks for reading the first post and look out for some more soon.