Building a New Runner…

That’s what I’m doing to myself…building a new runner.

Over the previous years I’ve not really focused on getting the best out of my training and race performances, hence some rather poor PBs. Since I’m attempting an aggressive (for me) marathon performance at London in April I know I have a lot of work to do. As I’ve stated previously, one of my biggest limiters of performance is my weight.

Post Christmas I tipped a whopping 187lbs. That was quite a shock..! The heaviest I’ve been in around 7 years and, that was despite running every day during December. The issue for me is I’m not great at controlling the calorie intake. Sure I can burn through 800 calories in a steady 50 minute run, but I can easily put it back on by making some very poor diet choices. To that end, my diet and associated weight has also become part of my focus in the marathon buildup.

I’m a chubby little northerner at the moment and, despite that I’m comfortably capable of running 10 miles in 75 mins. The most conservative running weight calculators suggest that I have around 33lbs to lose and, this corresponds with my weight when I used to play soccer as a youth. They also say that each pound of excess weight lost can give you 2-3 seconds per mile of free speed. So…if I shift the weight and all things remain equal, I should be looking at being able to shave 66-99s per mile for the same effort. Or to put in another way, my 75 minute 10 mile run should be at least 10-15 minutes faster for the same effort. Imagine that…running a controlled 10 mile run somewhere between 60-65 minutes. Now if that’s not motivation enough to lose the pounds then nothing is.

Since the start of January I’ve begun building the weekly mileage. The plan is to run two or three weeks of high (for me) followed by one easy, cut down week. The advantages of the higher than normal mileage for me are two fold…one, I will improve my run fitness and two, the higher mileage will help control my weight. Indeed, since the start of January I have already managed to shift 4 or the excess pounds and, look on course to be anywhere between 8-10lbs lighter than Christmas come the end of January.

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