Time to Step it Up

Posted: 20th August 2013 by mockjogger in Equipment, Training Plan
Tags: , , , ,

I started this whole thing off in April this year, when I set myself a goal to run a marathon in under 4 hours. I have been happy with progress so far. Three half marathon races and a couple of 10Ks are now under my belt, and I am clocking around 100 miles per month on the road. My times have improved and now I am pushing for a 50 minute 10K and a 1:50 half marathon.

But I haven’t set a foot beyond 14 miles in any single session so far.

Some marathon training programs advocate running one long run per week in the lead up to a marathon, building up to around 20 miles before tapering back down closer to the event. I plan to run my first marathon in spring next year, so I have some time to put a program in place for that. For now, I just feel the need to push my body a bit further than 14 miles and see how it responds.

I need to find a solution for two issues first.

Up to now, I have been using all available credit in family and work time to keep my monthly mileage hovering around 100. So pushing run times out beyond 2 hours is going to require some re-organisation and rule-bending. I guess I am not the first person to encounter this dilemma. I can’t do a 3 hour run at 5am. I learned in Crete that I need an hour for food and wakeup time first. Weekends are family time. So my plan is to build in some more flexible work time and go for one long run per week in the morning of a weekday, nominally Wednesday, and make it up elsewhere. I am fortunate in being in a position to do that.

highlander fronthighlander backThe second issue is hydration. I am comfortable to run for 2 hours / 14 miles with a couple of isotonic gels. Beyond that, though, I know I will need water. Running with a bottle in my hand doesn’t suit me and I don’t like the feel of bottles bumping around my waist, so I have gone for a hydration backpack. After spending far too long with Mr. Google, reading an insane amount of reviews, and after some discussion on twitter, I decided to go for something with a bladder rather than chest-strapped bottles. I also wanted something with chest and waist straps to reduce bounce. I decided against the big brands like Camel or Ultimate Direction, and instead went for a minimalist solution from an obscure outfit called Highlander, based, of all places, near Edinburgh. This pack holds 2 litres of water and nothing else, but as I plan to continue using my waistband for gels and keys, that is all I want. I could find no reviews online so it is a bit of a punt, but as it is considerably cheaper than the big boys it’s not a big risk. For the record, I have no affiliation with the company, and have bought my own stuff.

The only thing left to do now is to get over the fact that running backpacks look dorky, and get out there on the streets and try it out.

  1. Don’t forget to also hydrate every day to build a good base for your runs 🙂

    Good luck!