Tim’s London Marathon is steadily getting closer. But, as you’ll read below, his preparations are steadily intensifying. Please sponsor him if you can using the link at the end of this blog.
“So this was the month when I started my formal training plan. And after the dispiriting month that I experienced in December, I was a little trepidatious at the start. But now, a few days into February, I’m feeling optimistic! I’d put my progress down to a few key points:
- Following the plan – which is an achievable steady progression, with a focus on time not distance. It doesn’t matter how far I get, I just have to keep plodding along for the allotted time! If you’re interested, you can see the plan here.
- Being inspired – I really enjoyed reading ‘Running with the Kenyans’ – a tongue in cheek Christmas present from my wife! It’s a book about a journalist/running enthusiast who takes his young family to Iten in the Rift Valley in Kenya, for six months, to learn the secrets of the best runners in the world. I’m sure it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it inspiring in a geeky kind of way!
- Staying motivated / managing boredom – I’ve really enjoyed listening to audiobooks using the Audible app on my phone. At first it was simply a case of having company during my wheezing runs– because I was unable to concentrate on the story! But as my fitness has increased, I’ve been able to make use of my running time to listen to some of ‘War and Peace’ – chosen intentionally because of its length! I’ve also enjoyed the ability to connect with and compete with other runners using the Strava app: so now whenever I complete a run, I get kudos from my sister, and a mix of old and new friends alike; it’s weirdly addictive!
- Losing weight – I guess I’ve also been getting through my training both as my body has got stronger, but also as I put less pressure on it: so far I’ve lost 12lbs since New Year, and apparently I need to aim to lose another 4-5lbs. It’s been great to do this using a system in a book called Racing Weight, where the focus is on ensuring your body has the right fuel to optimise performance, rather than on depriving it of calories. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about how to eat healthily and I feel better as a result.
- Post–run foam rolling – which I have written about before, so I won’t bore you again!
As a result of the above, I look forward to each run and I am itching to run further every Sunday. February is going to be tricky as I have a 10-day trip to Africa to fit around my training! And the time that I have to find for each weekly long run is increasing. But bring it on is all I can say!
As always, thanks to you all for your ongoing support. We’ve passed 50% of our target goal during the month which is awesome! Every penny will go to help secure the safety, wellbeing and development of the children at the Children’s Home and Rescue Centre in Mwatate. The Home is a voluntary charitable institution which has over 30 orphaned and vulnerable children in its care, aged from 3 to 18 years. It also runs outreach to support vulnerable children living at home. It has no government funding: all funds come from local well-wishers and supporters, which is why Education Exchange is involved and why I’m running!
I still have a lot of money to raise, so if you haven’t sponsored me yet please visit the following website: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/educationexchange
- Distance this month run: 106k – for the eagle-eyed amongst you, yes that’s exactly double the figure for Dec J!
- Funds raised to date: £2175 (incl gift aid)”