I’m not usually one for plans. Much of that attitude is due to the nature of my work – things change last minute, and I take on a lot of overtime, so planning too much means plans being ruined, too much. It’s disheartening, so why bother? As I continue to push forward with my running, dreaming up new long-term goals to drive me forward, a definitive plan is becoming necessary. Running everyday through July is forcing me to run on days even when I’ve pulled long shifts at work, and although this streak isn’t something I’m going to continue once in August it has so far been a satisfying and useful challenge which has acted as a kind of mental training, an acclimatisation to just run whether I feel like it or not.
So, a plan. For what though? It’s got to be something big, something worthy of actually planning.
But not too big, yeah? Not too grand. Not really my style. Something achievable, graspable. First, I’ve got to choose a race. How about the Great Eastern Run? It is probably the highest profile local run to me. It has an October date, which is pretty much perfect for a 12-week training plan, if I start now. And then a time.
90-minutes sounds like a good breaking point.
At this point I’ve never even jogged that distance all at once, but I am in fairly decent shape. The target pace is something I could comfortably do for a 10k, but for 13 miles? I just don’t know. But in 12 weeks?
Might take some work. On the other hand I might be underselling myself, but this is my first half-marathon. If I miss the mark, in a positive way, it will just shift the way I train for whatever comes after.
What’s next then? The plan itself. The internet has quite a few training plans. When I say quite a few of course I mean wow that’s a lot of training plans. Although it is easy enough to sort them by time, the 90-minute mark is a significant boundary that it seems like quite a few runners must aspire to break, as amongst those quite a few there is a decent percentage of them which focus on breaking that barrier. But how to choose? Who to choose? Who can I TRUST?
That’s dramatic, but I’ve decided to make my own plan, using existing plans as a base to build upon. This seems like the obvious, natural thing to do as the people who made these plans have no idea who the hell I am. They don’t know where I work, my running style, average speed, experience, recovery rate…they know nothing except that I want to run sub-90 minutes. I’m sure there’s some good advice in there though, and I intend to take it. Take for instance this plan from Runners World.
It’s even got the perfect time frame! But it doesn’t consider my preference for doubling up, does it? Nor does it consider the fact I work weekends. And I can hardly blame the creator of the plan for that, but I can’t expect to print it out and stick it on the wall and follow it to the letter and just…succeed. It’ll need altering, shifting, and adapting on the go.
But it’s a plan, and I look forward to getting to work on it.
How Far is Too Far?
So I’m planning my way into a half-marathon, my first ever one. Meanwhile a younger man than I is running just a bit further than that. Just a bit. Just a little jog from Asia, to London.
Russel Cooke, self-employed cleaner, 22 years old, and now as we can see a certified legend, and perhaps maniac? He began in Istanbul and is heading for our capital. It is predicted to take about 70 days. He runs with a hammock on his back and stays in a hotel once a week as a treat, washing in rivers the rest of the time.
He is aiming to be the first one ever to run from Asia to London.
I find that somewhat unsurprising. For more details check out the original story in The Argus.
Meanwhile I think I might have to head out and do an extra couple of miles.
What is a 5.30? Firstly, it’s not a race. Or a fun run. It’s not a Parkrun either. It is a project out of Italy. It is also a time. It is also a distance. All of these things are significant. A 5.30 is a run/walk which begins at 5:30 in the morning, and which is 5.30km in distance. The idea is to experience the city in a unique atmosphere, before the bustle of the day begins, before traffic builds up. It’s not a free event, but you do get some bang for your buck: a shirt, a magazine, a medal, fresh fruit! But c’mon, forget the stuff. It’s all about the unique experience.
Make sure to get there half an hour on the 19th of July to make the most of your early morning.
For more info visit www.run530.com/en/portfolio/19-luglio-brighton-uk/