All systems go for London Marathon training
Before Christmas, we shared the exciting news that there were two ambitious runners in our midst. While we were looking forward to enjoying mince pies for breakfast, Heather and Ryan Smith were commencing training to take on the momentous London Marathon.
While completing the event is a reward in itself, the sporty pair are also using their run to raise awareness and money for Action Aid UK and the NSPCC. We caught up with Heather following the festive period, to see how training was progressing.
“I spent the run-up to Christmas in the Maldives, but even while on holiday my training didn’t stop – even if running in 30°C temperatures was a tad uncomfortable! I soon found an alternative to using the treadmill which, once the sun had started to dim, was a more convenient way to train, especially with the swimming pool and palm trees in sight.
I took full advantage of having a few days off work over the Christmas period, which really helped with my preparations – and to get into the swing of training, despite the amount of food that I consumed during the party season.
Now, being back into the working week and with the countdown to the marathon beginning, I’ve started the marathon’s official Intermediate Training Plan which lasts for seventeen weeks. Living in a place where there are plenty of hills nearby is great for short runs, but I do enjoy a long easy run on a Sunday morning whilst fitting in yoga and cross training throughout the week.
Once the days get longer, I’m aiming to notch up some off-road runs, as I’ve mainly been sticking to roads, the canal and the trusty treadmill throughout the winter season. Speaking of which, since much of my training has been outside, in the cold, I’ve increased my fruit and vegetable intake in an urge to curb any risks of unwanted illnesses. In readiness for the race itself, I’ve also upped my intake of carbs and protein – something which has been a clear change to my usual eating habits.
What works for one runner doesn’t always work for another either. So, I’ve been using my Sunday sprints as a trial runs for the big event. I get myself into the ‘marathon day mindset’ by having a bowl of porridge for breakfast and packing some energy gels for when I’m on-the-go. It’s vitally important that I know what works for me, in order to build my stamina for the race.
While many were making New Year’s resolutions they hope they won’t break, I brought in the beginning of 2019 with a new personal best of running a straight fourteen miles and signing up for the Reading half marathon on the 17th March!
Of course, there are days when it’s raining outside and staying on the sofa would be nice, but the sheer excitement of the race – and visualising crossing the finish-line – has me reaching for my trainers without fail.
The support shown so far – to both myself and Ryan – has been fantastic, and we’re very grateful. If you’d like to visit my JustGiving page, please click here. The Virgin Money London Marathon takes place on 28 April 2019.