London Marathon blog: Chasing the running bug

09:03 11 February 2013

Competitors head to the finish line during the 32nd Virgin London Marathon in London. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Competitors head to the finish line during the 32nd Virgin London Marathon in London. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Reporter Anna Dubuis will be joining thousands of people taking part in this year’s Virgin London Marathon on April 21, and will be raising money for Headway, the brain injury association. In the run-up to the day, she’ll be blogging about her training and the build-up to the race. This week, she talks running regimes.

I don’t want to jinx things but I think, perhaps, that I’m enjoying running a little bit.

When I began running two months ago every footstep was accompanied with an internal monologue of expletives.

Now I’ve wiped out any thought process by having a playlist filled with the most hyperactive beats that have me charging along the roads thinking I’m Mr Motivator.

There’s all this talk of runner’s high, and I’m not quite there, but once those endorphins have kicked in after about 20 minutes I’m on fire.

So far, it’s actually the long runs that I’m enjoying. Last weekend I hit 10 miles, the furthest I’ve ever run, and it was actually really great.

Being a sucker for all the running snacks on offer, one hour in to my run I opened my first energy gel and after the initial gag reflex had phased out, it kept me going for another half hour.

The long runs are (I say this perhaps prematurely as I’ve still got weeks to go) the best bit. It becomes my activity for the day, and each mile further I run is a little closer to the goal.

But it’s the shorter runs that I dread. My training plan has three short runs during the week: a 15-minute relaxation run following the weekend’s big run; an interval training session to pick up the pace; and a horrendous fartlek workout that alternates between fast and slow paces and leaves my legs like jelly.

After work, when it’s dark and cold and often wet, the last thing I want to do when I get home is put on my running gear and head back out.

To avoid the dark evenings I thought I’d try a morning run, except it’s still dark. So far any attempt to do this morning run has been a failure as the snooze on my alarm is too easy to decipher in a mid-slumber state.

But last night I set my alarm for 6.30am and committed to it. Out on the roads, it was dark and pretty much like the evening, but a little lonelier. I’m not sold on this morning run thing.

Tomorrow I’m attempting a record-breaking 11 miles (I realise every week from here on will be a record – but it’s for morale).

I’ll be reporting back next week on whether I spoke too soon about the running bug. Fingers crossed this condition is to stay.

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