Hello structured training

Marathon hopeful Neil looks back at the first two weeks of his Big Marathon Challenge training


I’ve never won anything in magazine competitions before, so I was totally over the moon to find I’d been chosen as part of the team for the Big Marathon Challenge.

My personal goal for this year is a little strange. I’m aiming to do a marathon every month, starting with Blackpool on 23rd April, and finishing in March 2018 with…. well, I haven’t got that far yet. I’ll be raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Care in memory of my best pal Brian, who we lost to cancer in March 2016. Getting help, support, gear and nutrition until the first race will go a very long way indeed in helping me through the whole year.

My fitness regime up to now has been chaotic. I’ve ran three marathons and numerous other challenges, but always lost my way in between times, fell back into an unhealthy lifestyle and put the weight back on. With the support and regime offered by the Men’s Running guys, I’m hopeful that this year may pretty much change my lifestyle.

When I got to London for the photoshoot, one of my reactions was “wow, these other guys are fit” – but then the physio said I was too!

Overwhelmed by that piece of news, I flew back, and started on trainer Bens’ regime the next day… “Intervals? Never heard of them!” I’m basically a plodder, and the thought of increasing my tempo, even for just three minutes at a time, filled me with dread. Strangely too, the interval session’s total distance was less than I would have expected if I had just ran steadily. I must have been too cautious in the warm up and cool down. However, I had sore legs after that session, which I’ve not had for some time. I guess they actually had me working rather than plodding along. I’m confident this will both increase my fitness level, and very importantly, reduce my tendency to injury.

I’ve been wearing the bright orange Asics jacket too. Its nice and warm, and quite importantly at this time of year, it’s pretty hi-vis too. Doesn’t seem to scare the deer either.

At the time of writing, I’m only two weeks into the MR programme, and already I can feel the benefits of regular structured training versus my usual chaos. Looking forward to the next few months.

Neil Clark

Written by Neil Clark | 1 articles | View profile

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