By Scott Mills
With the dark and gloomy days of January coming to an end quicker than the year of 2015 did, it is only a matter of time before I shall be gracing the streets of London with my Ovett-esq running technique.
Now for those who don’t know (which by now I find it hard to believe because I mention it more frequently than a vegan mentions they don’t eat meat!), I will be taking part in this years London Marathon on the 24th April 2016 in order to raise money for the charity Get Kids Going!
The main reason I have chosen to accept this challenge and even blog about my experiences is mainly to receive enough sponsors for the charity and raise awareness so that it can help disabled children to better themselves through sport.
As I feel race day heavily breathing down my neck and the fact my brother constantly reminds me that if I don’t train properly there is a chance I will replicate Paula Radcliffe’s infamous marathon moment, I have taken it upon myself to train alongside Paralympian David Weir under the watchful eye of his coach Jenny Archer OBE.
Now I have known and trained with Jenny since I was 12 right up until I went to University, so to say I was worried about what lay ahead was an understatement…and I wasn’t wrong!
As soon as I arrived at the Pen Ponds parking lot in Richmond Park, I was greeted by a hug and a huge smile accompanied with the words ‘I am going to kill you’.
For those that don’t know her, Jenny is an unbelievable coach and is well known for pushing you to your limit and I knew that by joining her and her academy every morning for training I would be able to prepare myself properly for the mammoth task of completing 26.2 miles.
As the week progressed not only would I learn more and more about the importance of managing my body, diet and liquid intake but also about how vital it was to train twice a day with the main bulk of getting miles under my belt done in the morning followed by a light warm down run in the evening to loosen the muscles for the next day.
Surprisingly, the first session I did on Monday wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, where I comfortably completed a three mile run. In fact it was the evening spent running laps around Kingsmeadow Athletics track that I less enjoyed.
Some how I never realised that covering distance surrounded by woodlands, beautiful view points of London and deer faeces could be so satisfying compared to the mundane task of staring at a floor with a stench of the sewers that surrounded the track filling my nostrils.
Actually it wasn’t until the second successive day of training that I felt a slight struggle. Yet again I only covered three miles and felt that Jen was still easing me into this gruelling training plan to see how my body could cope with running every day.
Before New Years Eve, after many of my road runs I would consistently be plagued with incredibly tight calf muscles. To get even a slight idea of what this was like, imagine me when it was my turn to get a round in after football…yes tighter than that!
Although this time it was slightly different, due to the fact that after each session the advice Jenny gave me was that I would need to stretch consistently throughout the day as well as taking on board a lot of water if I was to have any chance of getting over this problem.
To be fair, accompanying the healthy diet plan I was now on it was working because the next day I seemed to push my mileage up to the 5 mile mark.
The only problem that I was now facing was that I was starting to get a problem that I had never given a thought to before training which is probably something long distances runners are used to…blistered and bruised feet.
Now if I could describe what state mine looked like at this current time, not that you probably want to know and not that I have ever seen it but it would probably mirror something like Jabbia the Hutt’s backside in Star Wars.
Despite this, I still managed to push myself to conquer the 6 mile radius around the whole of Richmond Park by the Thursday and by Friday I was able to master a 9 mile run.
Now this was something that I felt particularly good about as not only could I now overcome minor injuries but I could also see how much I was improving both physically and mentally and I was starting to thoroughly enjoy running for long periods of time. So much so in fact that I am already excited to start the second weeks worth of training!
Now if you haven’t already sponsored me but are interested in doing so I shall post the link at the bottom of this page. Also if you would like to keep a track of my progress I will be blogging every Sunday from now on until the marathon.