My Name is Simon and this blog all started when I signed up for the Dublin Marathon in 2013. It was to be a means of further recording how am I training, what was and was not working for me. An added information resource on top of the stats you record as you head out on your runs. Along the way I shared some ideas and thoughts with fellow runners and running bloggers and I learnt a little. So I decided to keep the blog, its primary aim will be logging marathon training so that myself and other runners can learn from the experience. But in-between the marathons I will add the odd post here and there.
I have a literature review page, which lists various running resources I’ve read, what I thought about them and what kind of runners I think they would appeal to. Eventually, I am hoping to have a page of useful links which will be handy for myselt and others as well.
I initially I found out I loved running, simply because it turned out I was good at it, I was a natural really. I was told I was the first person in junior year 3, to have ever made it into the schools cross country team, which may or may not be true , but I was the only one from my year in the team. The picture above, is me (On the left) at the end of my first every proper race, the South Ribble Schools cross country championships. Either way I loved running and still do till this day, although that said I went through all of college and university doing very little exercise of any kind. then in 2006 I returned to the sport I enjoyed most of all, long distance running.
Although by then running three miles was all that I could muster and a six mile run would be a long one hour plus plod. The years of excess had taken their toll. However, despite this, I set myself the dream of running the biggest marathon in each of the nations of the British isles , although I wasn’t going to be in a hurry to do this and I slowly worked my way though the difference distances eventually lining up my first marathon, in Edinburgh 2010.
To date I have now completed the Edinburgh, London and Dublin marathons and have just the Belfast and the Marathon of Wales to go before I’ve completed my initial marathon dream.
The Stories so far………
Edinburgh Marathon 2010
I ended up signed up for this one, after failing to get into London and as I have plans to complete a marathon in each of the British Isle capitals (Come on Cardiff bring yours back) it made sense to accept the guaranteed entry as getting into London could take years.
Training wise, I think I was doing 25 miles a week, following a runners world SmartCoach training program, and on the day this, together with extremely hot weather, would be my undoing. My dreams of doing 3:30 based on my half marathon times, were shattered by the 18 mile point and I staggered over the line in 04:14:05
I simply didnt do enough miles
London Marathon 2011
The big one, the one all runners want to do!!
After my experience of Edinburgh, I upped my training mileage to 20-30 miles a week, following a training guide from the Runners world book on running : http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/motivation/our-complete-guide-to-running/4945.html
One the day itself the weather was much better suited to running and with my partner in the crowd to watch me go by i spurred on to record a PB of 04:07:52. Still someway off 3:30 but progress and i was very happy.
The crowed was unbelievable, in some sections such as Canarf Whalf it was just a wall of noise. You have to run to experience it. If you’ve done the Great North Run, then think of the support you get during that great race and double it!! It was insane and inspiring from start to finish. Run this race, you never forget it or experience anything like it. Running across tower bridge to be faced with parliament before going onto finish right by Buckingham Palace, amazing, truly amazing.
Preston Guild Marathon 2012
With two Marathons under my belt, I was much better prepared mentally and upping my training to 30-40 miles a week would see me line up on the day in much better physical condition. I also had added speed work in my training for this one, as I had noticed by times in the shorter distances, 10k particularly, were not really improving and I was finding it hard to run the shorter races at speed. I had become to used to long slow runs.
I completed the race in what was horrendous conditions with none stop rain, which was very heavy at times, from the go and despite two bathroom breaks (I blame the caffeine energy gels for that – im not a tea/coffee drinker), I completed the race in 3:48:18 a great improvement on London and a big leap towards my sub 3:30 marathon dream.
Dublin Marathon 2013
The weekend didn’t start great, with me almost missing my plane. But my step in mileage, and use of the book advanced marathon to move up to a 55 miles per week runner. I recorded yet another marathon PB of 3:31:33, the course wasn’t flat but was manageable and the crowds were out in force. In Dublin is a good city visit and this is a great marathon to run in.
The Wales Marathon 2014
A race which boasts beautiful views, set in the sea side town of Tenby and the Welsh cost…..oh and apparently the toughest marathon route in the UK!! Boy was it hard, but i got my training right. Not only did i move up to the next training plan in Advanced Marathoning, the up to 75 miles per week plan, but also i got in as many hill runs as i could. The result another fantastic PB, i had prepared perfectly for this race and whilst the route is very tough i was ready for them. Also, despite being race that passes through country side and villages there is plenty of support out. Then you get back to Tenby and the place has gone mental, fantastic support. Oh and another PB 3:12:46!! Brilliant.