The Birmingham Great Run was today!

Well 18 thousand people ran this thing today and it really was good fun! I think a lot of people who ran it thought otherwise but I enjoyed myself. As I mentioned in an earlier post I was ill recently. This illness meant I couldn’t train in the two weeks coming up to the taper part of the preparation, os in effect I hadn’t ran for three weeks prior to today’s race. But it was still fun!

Also, I had not run as much as four miles prior to the event! After, my training on Thursday night I knew I’d be fine, so long as I didn’t go mad. I felt good on Thursday  When ill I had two choices;  I could run through the illness and risk prolonging it or stop training and get well. I chose the latter, I was feeling so shitty two weeks before taper week that my main concern was to feel good on the day. In retrospect I think I made the right choice!

A Half Marathon is 13 miles right…

JL Birminghamn half marathon
JL Birminghamn half marathon

Of course, so surely lots of miles are needed to train for it? Er no… I really, really ran 3.75 miles or so on the longest run I did in my training. Ideally, I’d’ve fitted in a 10k (6 miler) but I got ill. I based my training regime on a mixture of Danny Dreyer’s ChiRunning and the training method outlined in the ‘Ultra Endurance’ chapter of the Tim Ferris book ‘4 Hour Body’. The whole book is ‘out there’ and this chapter subtitled ‘ Going from 5k to 5k in twelve weeks’ certainly fits into that bracket. It’s a classic less is more case, my dear Watson! The basic premise is to run three times a week with one longer run (10k max) and two runs based around 1600m in a variety of increments – 8 x 200m or 4 x 400m or 2 x 800m. In addition there’s a lot of crossfit style strength training involved, once a day. The idea being that you create sufficient strength to cope with the several thousand strides and to improve the sodium-potassium pump, thereby flushing out the post-exercise metabolites, thereby eliminating the sore legs after the event. So goes the theory, we’ll see tomorrow…

Once you get to a certain level, it’s merely a case of raising the aerobic level. Sounds nice but this involves a lot of work. But, importantly. this work is high intensity and short duration, which is much more my thing! Definitely, compared to three long runs per week. However, given my lifestyle I couldn’t fit it all in so I just did my best and as the end game was significantly less than that in the book the outcome was successful! Yeah Mr. White, Yeah Science!!

You’ll never manage to do the Birmingham Great Run with THAT training!

I had my detractors and one even went so far as betting me £50 that I’d fail. In fact, there were several people celebrating my failure the night before the race. apparently… Luckily, I was relaxing and getting my shit together! I managed a respectable 2 hours and 8 minutes 43 seconds, according to the Garmin – EDIT official time here –  And that is not a failure for a first half marathon. So I’ll be collecting that £50 thank you very much!

I loved using the Garmin 305 during the training which kept me on track. It’s a great tool.

It was a great run and I got a lot from the cheering, especially from all those I know. It was great to run through Cannon Hill Park, where I do my training runs. And I do really appreciate all those who have sponsored me for such a good cause. BUT if you haven’t there’s still time!!

Simply head over to http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/jonlaw and donate away!

More to come!!

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