Running from Shadows

My Marathon des Sables . . . and beyond

Another PB and a change of plan . . .

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It wasn’t until yesterday morning (Saturday) that I finally felt my cold was sufficiently gone to attempt a run. My last one was on Tuesday of last week, an easy 5 miler. Other than that, my body has experienced just an hour-long hard gym session this week. Almost 2 weeks with a cold and hence just 2 training sessions! It couldn’t have come at a worse time, with just a few weeks until I reach the start line of the 140-mile Ancient Khmer Path multi-stage footrace. So the question for me this week was how to recover quickly and try and get back some of that fitness edge I had 2 weeks ago.

Hence a call to my coach, Rory Coleman, to chat through my plan for November. My end-October double marathon attempt having been scuppered, it was very useful to chat through with Rory what I should do. The upshot? Lose more weight (FAST!) and go eyeballs-out-crazy-man on my fast runs. The endurance capability should be in my body now for the remaining weeks, having built it since June on an already-strong base. The key now is to maintain that with some speedier runs and dropping some more weight (22lbs (1 stone 8lbs) or 9kg has already melted away since the beginning of 2015).

So guess what I decided to do yesterday? A Parkrun! A phlegmy chest and cold? Pah! Parkrun would sort it out . . .

And what better way to kick the final remnants of that dragging cough and cold into touch? Run like a madman possessed around 5km or 3.1 miles of a park! Amazingly, I scored yet another PB yesterday in doing so, a leg-sapping 22m 54s and finishing in the top 25% of the field, off the back of my last Parkrun PB (23m 4s) of just 2 weeks ago.

It did wonders for banishing that last bit of illness and I topped it off today with an easy (ish) paced 8 mile run.

The big change to my plan, veering off the original programme, is that unfortunately there will be no double marathon this coming weekend, which is a shame. All the way back in June when my current training plan started all my marathons were carefully laid out to see me reach 55 marathon/ultra completions by the time I head to Cambodia for the Ancient Khmer Path. I’ll just have to make do with 51!

But it will be better to arrive fresh, ready and illness-free at Stage 1 of the AKP, a gentle introduction to 35C temperatures and up to 95% humidity over 20 miles, slightly under-trained rather than over-trained.

So at last this week I can get back to daily training, building over the week to a 20 mile/20 mile double over next weekend.

Some increasingly last-minute kit purchases are required too: there’s not much time left!


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