… the London Marathon! Next April I’ll be lining up for my second crack at the London Marathon. I’m going to write some more in another post about this particular race but for now I’ll just say that when I ran it in 2012 it was simultaneously one the of the very best and the very worst days of my life. The memories about stayed with me, somewhat haunted me, since then and I am very excited to set about putting them right.

I’d gradually been picking up my training for a while until a couple of weeks ago when I picked up an annoying foot injury. It’s a lot better now but I’ve pretty much had three weeks off. I start this set of training much like I did with my ironman training – not as fit as I should be and slightly injured. It worked out fine in July and I’m very much hoping the same will be true for this!

I’m a bit giddy at the moment, i’ve always struggled to find and follow a good marathon plan. I find them too complicated, not intuitive and basically I last about a week before dropping out. Having looked around for a bit I settled on one, but was not that convinced. Then one night last week I wondered if Don Fink (my hero, who’s Be Iron Fit book dictated my every waking thought for 7 months during IM training) did a marathon plan. 20 seconds on Amazon later and I have his book. It’s targeted at marathoners over 40 but his plans looked pretty sensible to me. They are time based (love) and heart rate based (love) and I know from past experience they work. The spreadsheet is all written out (LOVE) and I am pretty much ready to go.

The plan is based around three key running sessions and the other 2-3 sessions a week are made up of cross training – for me this will mostly be brick sessions where I cycle for a bit then run and finally a weekly swim session. What’s that you say? It sounds like triathlon training? Oh, what a co-incidence… Yeah it does. Definitely not as intense but the same building blocks are there which makes it feel pretty exciting and pretty achievable at the same time.

I just need to start the 4 week ‘pre-training-training’ to get used to fitting in several sessions a week. The 16 week plans starts officially on 23rd Dec (brilliant timing I’m sure you’ll agree), so weeks starts just about now. I’ve been doing a bit of swimming, I say a bit, I’m back at the Uswim masters session on Sundays where a light session like last night is a 4.5km swim.

So the last thing to do is set a target. Earlier in the year I wanted sub 3:30, but I feel that might be lacking ambition. So, I’m going for 3:19:59. Given my PB currently is 3:57:16 that is a pretty big increase. Gulp…..

Finally one of my favourite Twitter people put me in touch with a guy at Salford Uni doing a research study into the efficiency benefits of barefoot running, so this Thursday I’ll be donning an oxygen mask and set about being tested for science purposes. Exciting!