For a while now I’ve been debating the idea of running a good hard marathon however I’ve never really committed to it. That is to say, I’ve dabbled with the training, but not followed the maintenance, diet and strengthening work required to support a good, hard marathon. Neglecting this over the last few months/years has resulted in my chickens coming home to roost and I now have some sciatica/piriformis issues that have resulted in a DNF at a local 10k and a DNS for the up-and-coming Liverpool Marathon.
Since the sciatica/piriformis flare up I have had a long hard think about my training and what I really want from my running and have come up with the following; to run a ‘no limits’ marathon. The question is, how can I do this from where I am at the moment? A more detailed ‘warts and all’ analysis shows that the following have been the limiters on my marathon performance; flexibility (I am as flexible as a brick), strength (I don’t do any real core and strength work), weight (I am currently weighing in at a heavy 12st 10lbs). So despite my reasonable quality of run training I will never truly fulfil my full potential until I do something about my performance limiters.
Every journey starts with a map or plan if you will and, mine is no different however, before you can draw up the map/plan you need to know where you want the journey to end-up. So here is my thoughts on what a ‘no limits’ marathon looks like to me, a 46 year old, overweight, asthmatic runner; 2h:59m:59s [or less]. So how do we get there from where I am today and what progress checks do I put in along the way?
Well the current and most pressing issue is to address the sciatica/piriformis flare-up and, this is currently being handle by regular visits to the physio. So what else do I need to do when mapping my journey out? Two things need to be addressed asap, flex/S&C (I’ve combined these together as I plan to do flex work at the end of my S&C sessions), and my weight. Even the most basic maths lets you know that if you’re lighter you become faster for the same effort. My thoughts are, today at a whopping 12st 10lbs I am capable of running a 5k at 06:40/mi average. A loss of 1st 10lbs (24lbs in total) should, in theory, take this minute mile pace down by at least 50 seconds. This alone would be sufficient to take my 5k down to the low 18’s. Map this up to the marathon and all race pace predictors would have me comfortably under the 3 hour mark.
So, we now know what I need to do. I have the desire, and the journey begins now.
I will update this blog with a weekly summary of my running, training, and thoughts as I journey along to becoming the best runner I can be.