This is it – the hard bit is (nearly) over and I am now in the taper period for the London Marathon 2015. I feel a little guilty writing that since I’ve been injured so frequently that I’ve not done a long run every week – more like every other week! However, it is what it is and I know that resting when injured is the best thing to do.
Last week I rested my legs from running for an entire seven days, instead focusing on some strength and conditioning sessions in the gym. I really enjoy this sort of workout in its own right, but it’s especially welcome to break up the monotony of always running. It’s also a really great way to keep yourself fit for running in a different way, by strengthening the muscles across your body that support good form and performance.
I then tested my glute injury with a short four mile run on Easter Sunday morning, making room for my easter egg at the same time, and was quite concerned about the prospect of running at all the next day – let alone the 20-22 miles that I had planned!
However, for some reason I was able to push through and run for 21 miles on Monday. It was a gorgeous day in Richmond Park, which meant there were plenty of other runners, cyclists, and kids out and about. However, it was also very warm and the sun was definitely out. This means you need two things for running in this weather:
1. A sensible hydration strategy
It’s always important to stay hydrated on a run, but fainting due to dehydration on a long run and in warm weather is a real risk. Don’t forget to drink little and often. I always take out my oyster and debit cards on long runs so that I can get a bus home and buy more water if needs be!
I appreciate that I am very fair-skinned, but if you’re planning on spending a few hours out in the sun running then you must remember that it is the same as spending those hours on the beach or in a beer garden and that SPF is necessary. Having endured a summer of burnt shoulders last year I’m now pretty vigilant with my running SPF. The only thing that makes hobbling around today thanks to my tired out legs is that I’m not sunburnt on top of it all!
I also know a lot of people say they don’t burn in a British sun, and they’re normally laughing at my mini bottle of SPF 50 as they do so… these people get burnt. Being in the UK is not an excuse!
Finally, thank you so much to everybody who has sponsored me so far. It is the biggest source of motivation I have when I’m struggling to carry on on a long run, and it’s going to a fantastic charity.