I hope the festive break brought you lots of running, rest and of course good food.
Here's a picture of me after running 12 miles on Christmas day whilst wearing the father christmas hat- I know I spoil you.
2012 is going to be the year of the Biscuit for me. I am moving to a new Biscuit Towers that we will actually own and it is the year when I intend to meet (and hopefully conquer) my apparent Nemesis - The London 2012 Marathon.
Oh yes - we're back to this baby again.
Any of you that are runners will know that the start of the new year means the start of training. All the months of compiling excel tables filled with bizarre training schedules will now be properly tested - as I do everything I can to avoid actually following them.
The marathon is a funny beast and I haven't even managed to actually run one yet! You can spend so long planning your training and worrying about your training and dreaming about training, even before you've actually started training!
Running should be simple - left foot...right foot...repeat type stuff. However as soon as your scratch below the surface you realise it's a lot more complicated than that. There's whole minefields around the areas of pacing, nutrition and recovery. Questions and more questions and then opinions and even more opinions. I know a few of you are training for your own races, so I'll do my best to cover my opinions on some of these topics as we get closer to the big day.
The trick is to find out what works for you. Sometimes I wonder if that is the challenge itself.
So what do you do when life inevitably gets in the way?
Take my first week of proper training as an example. I have found a schedule I am happy with and have personalised it to try and work on my weaknesses. I made sure it fitted into the time I had until London 2012 and I spent a few months at the end of last year working on my 'base fittness'. Only for the first week of January to arrive and me to feel ill and loose my voice. Whilst this has resulted in a rather good Ross Kemp impression the hacking cough that accompanies it is less good for the old running lungs.
We all know from my previous posts the importance of listening to your body and ensuring you get proper rest. So how do you fight the urge to stick to your schedule against the overwhelming evidence that you really shouldn't be running (and should stick to your bed)?
A tip I have picked up on my wisdom seeking travels is that if your symptoms are above your neck (sore throat/blocked nose etc) you're generally ok to run. If not then just take a break - you could do yourself far more damage and you're unlikely to have a 'good' training session anyway (there are many scare stories of small colds developing into serious illnesses after people pressed their training). You can easily 'loose' a week of training without reducing your fitness levels and at the end of the day (as I have learnt the hard way) it's just a race. If you have lost more than 10 days of running and you have less than 8 weeks to go, then you may have to revise your targets and choose wisely how you return to your schedule. But it is just a race.
So snuggle up with some chicken soup, a duvet and a mug of lemsip - don't worry about your schedule and make sure you're missing that run for the right reasons.
After all as I keep telling myself: It IS just a race. Oh and if you start sounding like Ross Kemp then it's best to stick to wispering for a while - unless you want to scare off tele-sales people.
Biscuit Nikki x