It’s that time of year when long distance running events and marathons are starting to take place. The London Marathon, for example. Our very own Justin, Manager of our Leeds store is a keen amateur runner and he tells us about how he’s getting ready for the Rock & Roll Liverpool Half Marathon.
Having been into long-distance running events for a good few years now, being store manager at Fitness Superstore Leeds is pretty ideal. I’m constantly surrounded by fitness equipment products that genuinely excite me and I get to meet like-minded people on a daily basis. What interests me the most is definitely long-distance running and my next challenge is the Rock & Roll Liverpool Half Marathon taking place on Sunday 25 May. Unlike other staff at Fitness Superstore, I’m not a professional by any means but I thought I’d share how I’m tackling my training…
Where it all began
I first got into long-distance running back in 2009, after being inspired by my wife who had already taken part in a couple of marathons herself. The first half marathon I took part in was The Bupa Great North Run. It was really tough, mainly because I didn’t prepare properly for it. My “ex squaddie” mentality was mostly to blame for this lack of preparation. I thought I was still able to run like I did when I was in my early twenties (quite a few years earlier!) but obviously I couldn’t. Unfortunately, long-distance running isn’t like riding a bike. As I discovered, you can’t just pick it back up after a long break and expect to be able to just go like the wind!
So, since that enjoyable but hard 13.1 miles, I have been much more focussed on ensuring I train effectively ahead of taking part in runs. Obviously injuries play a part in any sport and I have had my fair share of those too over the years, everything from twisted ankles, horrendous blisters and a pulled hamstring. But by resting up when necessary and looking after myself better, these have reduced considerably.
My training programme
The Rock & Roll Liverpool Half Marathon will be my 8th half marathon and hopefully my fastest. (Fingers crossed!)
I began my concentrated training for Liverpool straight after the New Year and have been building up the miles gradually ever since. I have also massively improved my diet too. Gone are the Saturday night takeaways and Subway lunches and in are the poached egg breakfasts, pasta salads and high protein drinks and meals. I’ve also started the T25 program. This is focused interval training. It’s very similar to the Insanity program but only takes 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Doing this has definitely increased my stamina and cardiovascular fitness (in just 3 weeks) and it’s done before I even start work, which is a great way to start the day.
Once a week, I also train on the machines I have in my show room, usually on a Sunday morning before work. I really enjoy using Life Fitness treadmills. I find that using the treadmill is a great way to complement my outdoor running. I also enjoy using the exercise bike to vary my training and strongly recommend using a multi-gym for strength training. The “Hill” program on the T5 treadmill is definitely helping to strengthen my legs for the potentially “rolling” first half of the Liverpool course.
I will post an update in a few weeks with my progress and let you know about my chosen charity if you wish to sponsor me. And just a quick bit of motivational advice – don’t ever let the weather put you off training because, as my old Army PTI used to say, “If it’s not raining, it’s not training”! Read part 2 now.
Are you training for a marathon?
If yes, we’d love to hear from you and feature you on our blog. Or maybe you’ve already taken part in one? It would be great to hear how you got on and publish your success story here. Just comment below or contact Laura.