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The Miracle of March – London Marathon Training with an Alton Sports Ambassador!

After the highs of ‘focus February’ the training continued with Toby (Alton Sports founder and super quick runner) always a text message away giving advice and encouragement.

The month started with a nice parkrun sandwich, I ran 3 miles to parkrun, did the parkrun, scored a PB of 25:23 & unbeknownst to me I did my 50th Parkrun all in a nice neat package. I then had a slow 8 mile run home, Marathon day felt so far away & yet it is closer than I thought.

The week carried on with standard training runs with speed targets thrown in, I also got to attend an Ambassador Day presented by Salomon & we got to try out the Speedcross 5 shoes – I am really warming to trail runs and it’s good to mix up the types of surface you run on.

Sunday 10th March brought the official warm up race for the marathon. I was running in The Big Half in our nation’s capital! I travelled to the event with some other members of my running club and as some of them were a bit quicker and we were all starting in different starting waves Due to the bad weather I was really cold, I was taken pity on and I was given a plastic bin liner to wear before the race, I started to try and maintain some body heat.

This was the second race I have attended and Sir Mo has been competing, however this time I was free to cheer for him, I started about 25 minutes after he started so by the time I got to see him on the other side of the course he had already done six miles, however I made sure I gave him a big loud “Come on Mo” that was obviously what he needed to spur him on to win the whole race.I did have to stop for the first time in a race for a comfort Break but actually once I was back in the race I knew I was against the clock so I really did run as hard as I could. The March Miracle came at the finish when I came in with a chip time of 1:52:13, I had a watch time of 1:51:22, and I even made it on the TV. 

The course was awesome, flat, fast and part of the London Marathon course. The next target Toby has set for me is a sub 1:50 half marathon time, I believe with the right attitude and hard work this is achievable. Sadly the good result I had achieved at London had taken its toll on my ageing body and I walked away with a hip & a knee injury.

I knew I was in pain the moment I tried to do my recovery run and it felt like I was kicked in the rear the further I ran. After consulting with Toby he changed my training plan and instructed me to foam roll, stretch and rest. With my training runs dialled down I was willing my hip to stop hurting. The following Saturday I went for a Toby approved 3 mile run with my running buddy  & chief medical advisor, Nurse May, she said the same thing as Toby and we still managed a fast run covering 5K in 25:10. I was happy with that pace.

As time moved on I found the hip feeling better & I attended an interval session on our local running track, I am not a track person but I did enjoy the session and I gave my hip a good test.

The Friday night came bringing a message from Toby, 18 miles split into three:

  1. Run to parkrun
  2. parkrun as fast as I can
  3. Run home 

I put my big boy shorts on and tried my hardest, I achieved a second parkrun PB of the month in 25:11, looking back it’s only a few seconds but at the time it was a big deal and I was waiting for the award ceremony. Sadly I still had to run a further 8 miles home.

The final week of March presented itself with a personal challenge for me, as always I give Coach Lambert the options my running club have and he chooses if I run with the club or on my own to his targets, this time he picked an 8 mile club run with a much faster group than whom I normally run with. On this night I did 8 miles with the “wolfpack” – I was fortunate because Richard (The speedy Swede and Alton Sports team member) was running that night and like he did at Farnborough he paced me perfectly, to the point that I wasn’t the last “wolf” back to the meeting point. 

March has been a miracle, I have clocked up 110 training miles, overcome an injury and I am looking forward to being on the start line of the London Marathon in Amazing April.

Dave Warman – Alton Sports Ambassador

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