Archives for May 2011

What motivates the motivators? London Marathon 2012?

In my blogs I normally give tips, statistics and ‘do’s and don’ts’ about exercise, but this time I have decided to let you in to my own recent exercise programmes and what has driven me to do the routines I have over the last few weeks.

After a couple of clients achieved the amazing goal of running the London Marathon and running it in a very respectable time, I decided to enter it myself for 2012. It has been a dream of mine for many years but has always taken a back seat because of my football career. Since retiring from football through knee injuries and being told I should avoid certain things(like running on concrete), the dream of running a marathon faded too. Although, being stubborn and wanting to prove my mental strength has made me believe anything is possible, even the impossible! So, when the ballot opened on April 26th I woke up and the first thing I did was grab my phone, entered ‘London Marathon entry 2012’ into Google and typed my details in to enter the ballot. From this moment on, all I have had in my mind is ‘what time do I want to finish the marathon in and what pace can I sustain?’ There has never been one thought of ‘can I get through the marathon?’ My fitness thoughts have been taken over by running 26.2 miles!

The next step for me was to think of a target that I would be happy with and come up with a strategy for running it in that time. So, I have two targets:

  1. I have always said anything under 4 hours is fantastic but I want better than that, so the first target is 3 hours 45 minutes. I would be very happy running 26.2 miles in under this time which is roughly an average of 8.55 min/mile. This is a good pace to sustain for such a long distance, but the competitive nature inside of me always wants to push for more, which leads me on to my next target………
  2. The second target is 3 hours 30 minutes. Now this is what I call pushing the limits! To get this target I would have to sustain an 8 min/mile for the duration of the race, which if you run a lot, you will know is a tough pace to run at for such a long time, especially if you are 90kg like me! It could also be harder if the heat is as gruelling as it was for this years marathon.

As a personal trainer I always look at things with a positive mental attitude (PMA, the old cliché!) and when I put my mind to it, there is no turning back. I currently run 10 miles 2-3 times a week between 6.45 – 7 min/miles, so slowing my pace to roughly 8 min/mile is possible! Isn’t it?

The next step was to add a few miles to my regular route and slow my pace to see if my theory could become practice. Since then I have had two longer runs in amongst my usual 10 mile runs. The first being 15 miles in 1 hour 54 minutes and the second being 17 miles in 2 hours 7 minutes(through the empty streets whilst our future King was getting married!). What I found is, it is quite tough to slow the pace that I am used to running at, hence the quick times for both longer runs. It has given me a strategy that I think will help me achieve my goal, but neither of these runs were easy, in fact the last few miles were draining!

In conclusion, I have realised that I can maintain the pace needed to complete my goal and the new strategy will help me towards that. Obviously(unless you are a professional runner), running for that many miles, everyone will slow naturally as they fatigue, but what I want to do is to get to 16 miles in roughly 2 hours. This will leave me 10.2 miles to run in 1 hour 30 minutes (roughly 9 min/mile), which will hopefully leave me enough time to cover the miles at a slower pace once fatigue starts to set in. The only thing left to do is actually run the marathon!

That’s if my entry is successful, ha ha, it could all be for nothing! Or would it?

Some might say why train until you know if you have been accepted or not(which is early October)? I say, why not? If it inspires you to push harder, get fitter, stronger and healthier along the way, is it a bad thing or a good? Many people struggle with motivation and dreams like this are a great way of motivating anyone, so the answer is…..becoming fitter, stronger and healthier can only ever be good no matter what your goal is. Even if you don’t quite achieve it, your body will always benefit from the training you have done.

My tip for you this blog is; don’t wait to start becoming healthier, we can’t change the past, we don’t know what will happen in the future but we can do everything we possibly can in the present, to help us achieve and be successful when the chance is given to us!

I hope you enjoyed reading how my mind works and just think, whilst your reading this, I might be pushing the limits a little harder on my next run to achieve a life long dream………..the London Marathon!