Week 1 – Baby Steps | VMLM 2019

This is my first training update for the London Marathon in 2019. I’m starting off on an epic journey to the start line (fingers crossed!) in April next year. Over the next 8 months you’ll be finding out about why I’m running London and essentially the progression of my relationship with running! Every week, I’ll be posting an update about how the training progresses. My hope is that when I get closer to April, I’ll be able to look back on these and notice how far I’ve come and have a record of the overall experience. My fundraising page is here. 

As you may or may not know – I’ve run before, in fact I’ve run 3 half marathons and a 10k timed. Somehow this feels very different. In previous events I’ve been able to almost wing it – I’m ridiculously competitive even though in a physical sense I’m far from gifted! I’ve found that before sheer grit and determination has gotten me across the line – not necessarily because I’ve had any structure in training, or even fuelled like a runner. But, this is where it’s all going to change!!

So far this week, I’ve run 2 x 2 miles and 2.6 miles – that doesn’t seem like a lot but I am slowly breaking my own records! The first run I set a personal best for 2 miles at a mere 28 minutes. The second run I ran the longest I’ve ever done without stopping – 6 and a half minutes covering a tiny half a mile! My plan with this is to go running across various distances setting “baseline” bits of data which then gives me areas to work on. I’ve come to my first realisation that one of the keys to me running for longer will be getting my breath in order. I have a habit of over breathing/breathing irregularly and I don’t think that’s the best habit for long distance running! So the first step to mastering my breath will be to practice a ‘running breath’ when I’m not running, so hopefully the same thing can easily be applied when I’m in motion! I am also hoping that as I get fitter that will also become easier – we’ll just have to see! I will also add that the 6 and a half minutes of consistent running included running up a hugggeee hill that I’ve previously avoided!

This week, I also went to have my gait analysed – it wasn’t necessarily in the plan but somehow we ended up in a running shop, they were offering it for free, so I thought why not! For the non runner, this is essentially where they get you running on a treadmill while videoing your feet. They can then play the video back in slow motion to investigate your stride. It wasn’t really a surprise when I turned out to be an ‘overpronator’. This is essentially when, during your stride your feet don’t hit the ground in a flat fashion – almost like you’re 10% penguin! I’ve also always known that my ankles are quite mobile and when I was a proper kid, I had lots of investigations for a multitude of reasons but i was also very hyperflexible! Ironically – with my metal spine I’m far from flexible, but thankfully I still have a bit of that left!! My first run with specialist shoes came when I ran for 2.6 miles. That run wasn’t particularly fast – I think I my muscles might be feeling the effects for over 6 miles in a week! I think for a long time that’s the most I’ve run in a shorter period of time for ages!

I’ve also started to investigate running nutrition – normally I’ve run with basically nothing and maybe the odd jelly baby, but I’ve also invested in a couple of energy gels – I’ve never had one before but we might as well go and try them out! As my training progresses, I’ll post some recipes and foods that are really helping to fuel the extra miles!

From my next run, I’m also going to start a training photo challenge. During every run, I’ll take a picture on that run so by the end of the training I’ll also have a photo record of my experiences. I’ll post the pictures on here but also on twitter @WildlifeClaire with a hashtag of #PhotoMarathon.

In more ways than one this week has really been about conquering things I’ve been scared of and going way out of my comfort zone! I’m not sure when my next run will be but it will be before the end of the week – it would be great if I could beat 10 miles for this week!

This is some of the stats from my longest run of the week so far – I’m totally aware some people might call this walking – it’s a marathon not a sprint! 🙂 



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