After a long day at work I came home to a red plastic packaged letter. The colours stood out from the standard brown and white post, so of course it was the first one I opened. Intrigued, I peered through the packaging and saw “Provisional Acceptance Form” in capital letters. This was good news.
Five months earlier, I entered the London Marathon ballot on impulse after watching the 2015 race on TV. The letter I received was confirming that I will be running it; my first marathon. The odds to be picked were ridiculous, as for the first time the ballot period was extended to five days and a record 247,069 applicants entered for the first wave of places. I’m really surprised that I’ve been accepted on my first application for the event.
The pack that came through the post had my confirmation letter, a magazine full of advice and tips, plus flyers from charities encouraging you to run for their cause. I haven’t decided which charity to sign up for yet but will pick one over the upcoming weeks.
A different type of challenge
OK, so I’ve definitely ran a fair share of miles in my lifetime but I’ve never ran a marathon before. From the age of eight (and right up until 2 years ago) I competed over middle distance track races and did occasional cross country for winter mileage. I enjoyed it when I could run but as more of my time was spent injured it made it harder to justify investing time seriously into the sport. I lost motivation to rehab my hip flexor and glute back to shape, and overtime became more inactive.
Losing fitness, gaining weight, I’m definitely the most out of shape I’ve been in my life; my desk job probably doesn’t do many favours either. Entry into this marathon is an opportunity to sort out my health. Rather than chasing podiums, I just want to be able to run injury-free like old times (and burn away a bit of the belly whilst I’m at it!)
I’m fortunate I’ve experienced running long distances in the past but before I can improve my fitness, I’ve got to shake off the injuries. For October, I plan to not run a single mile. Instead, working on hip and glute strength is key. This will be achieved through resistance band exercises and weights. For cardio, the plan is to cycle and row where my joints feel less pain for now. As my muscles strengthen, I’ll transition from three walking sessions into walk/run intervals to gradually build up the miles.
It starts here
I plan to log my training in the run-up to the 2016 Virgin London Marathon. You can read all about my journey, right here on ShuffleRun.
Thanks for reading