I mentioned last week that I recently completed a 10 mile race which was a target race for the year; since this I have been suffering with a few injuries and have decided to take a few easy weeks in my training after advice from my physio. I have been training for the last 8 months with no real break from running and have found in the last few days that I have lost some of my focus and drive for running. I think the break from a formal programme will aid my recovery both physically and mentally so that I can come back in December ready to train smarter and faster than ever.

2013 has been a great year for me having gained a personal best in every distance from 5km up to Marathon…I’m hoping for a repeat of this in 2014! I think sometimes that it is important to remember that the brain is a muscle too and needs a period of rest. I constantly receive massages and treatment for my calves, hamstrings and quads but need to remember that long distance running is about being both physically strong as well as mentally strong. It has taken a long conversation with my training partner to realise that sometimes a complete rest is the best training of all! I think that at some point in the future my training partner will make an amazing and inspirational coach should that be something that they choose to do.

Nick’s tip of the week

Putting some strength and conditioning (S&C) elements into your programme now for the next 6 weeks could really benefit you when it comes to the 16 week marathon training which starts sometime in December for your Spring marathon. The marathon training will demand a lot from your body so the S&C work now could really help. Of course a very specific and structured S&C programmes would be ideal however, some simply exercises performed 2 to 3 times a week will add strength without the need for gym visits or expensive equipment. Some key exercises like push ups (or push ups from your knees if normal push ups are too hard), sit ups, squats and single leg squats are all great strength workouts and can be done with no equipment. Most of the exercises can be made harder by simply adding some weights.

Take a look on the internet and YouTube for programmes and demonstration videos on different exercise as technique and form are key to ensure you don’t injury yourself and you get the maximum benefit from the exercise.

Races around the globe –

On races that happened today…

The New York Marathon today was again dominated by the Kenyans with Geoffrey Mutai winning in 2.08.24 and Priscah Jeptoo winning the women’s race in 2.25.07. Mutai has actually run a faster time for the marathon distance than the current world record when he won the Boston Marathon back in 2011 however the Boston course does not meet the criteria for a qualifying course. The reason for this is that as a point to point course (i.e. not finishing in the same place) the net elevation loss exceeds the allowed limit. Personally I’d be pretty gutted to do a time of 2.03.02 and not get the world record but I’m sure the US $150,000 prize money and no doubt course record bonus will console him on the long runs.

Quote of the Week

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up”
(Dean Karnazes, American ultramarathon runner and author)

Until next week…keep your heads high and keep one foot off the ground.