Monday, 16 May 2011

Getting serious

10 weeks and 6 days to San Francisco. Time to start getting serious about training then... But first - three other places you could visit for my ramblings and musings:

  •  The June issue of Runners’ World UK, page 99, features my report on the Alloa Half Marathon.  Go and buy a copy now!

  • My interview in the latest edition of Adventure Travel News on, where I divulge more details of my 10-marathons-before-I'm-30 plan than I had intended to...

  • Twitter! I have joined the tweeting masses, you’ll find me as @davidjhaines. I’ve added a twitter-update feed on the right-hand panel of this blog. Follow me – you’ll probably not regret it too much. While we’re at it, you could follow this blog, too. There's a button over there on the right. That would make my day.

So, being serious...

The first of my efforts to ‘get serious’ was yesterday’s long run; a hearty and comfortable 16 miler around north-east Edinburgh, taking in 1072 feet of climbing and descent, as well as a monster headwind and driving rain along the coast. I often forget how privileged I am to run in a city like this, where a couple of hours’ running can take in beautiful Georgian architecture, a yellow-sand beach, medieval cobbled streets, an extinct volcano, a medium-sized sea port, charming Victorian parks and a calm, pretty riverside. Who could complain about wind, rain and aching muscles against a backdrop like that?

In order to properly illustrate the hills involved in SF and explain why I'm going to be ascending Arthur's Seat (the aforementioned volcano) several times a week for the next 10 weeks, below is a graph illustrating the elevation change of the SF Marathon, with some excellent anecdotes... This image is courtesy of Ben Clark's blog, Proclivity for Hyperbole - go check it out and tell him I sent you. Ben's training for SF too, see you there!

Click to view a larger version (worth it)
All humour aside, I need to take those hills and those miles seriously. Sunday's 16 hilly miles caused no major problem. Adding another 10.2 might, though, so here's my long run plan:

First I’ll be consolidating and strengthening my 13-16 mile runs. I’ll put in another 16 miler this Saturday, followed by probably a long bike ride on the Sunday along and around the Edinburgh Marathon course to support a few friends. Then I’ve got the Mull of Kintyre Half Marathon coming up in two weeks, which I’ll run at a roughly medium-effort pace, aiming to finish in something around 1:40 (look out for the Runners’ World review in a couple of months!). The week after that I’ll be aiming for another 16-miler.

Then a weekend ‘off’ for a stag-do (probably still going to do 10 miles or so), before launching back in the following week, ramping up to 16, 18, 18, then 20 miles in the four Sundays from 19 June. That leaves me two Sundays before the main event in SF, which will be for easy runs of 10-13 miles or so. Possibly incorporating the Milton Keynes half, still thinking about that one... That 20 miler 3 weeks out will be my longest run before the marathon, which hopefully will be enough to carry me through on race day.

Basically I'm back in long run season. Goodbye weekends, farewell alcohol, see you later lazy lie-in. But here come major endorphins, huge mileage and thighs of steel. It's a fair trade...

Happy running


2011 to date - miles: 467.79, parkruns: 6, races: 2, miles biked: 20.07, metres swum: 675

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