Great Birmingham Run 2012: Vegan Heath Begins Training!

I signed up for the Great Birmingham Run the other day after a friend on Facebook suggested people ought to. It’s been at least two years since I ran at all and a good few years before that when I last ran regularly. So I do need to use the ten weeks available for training effectively if I want to do well.

Two years ago I did the Tough Guy event which was a lot of fun and involved some preparation training. I did a limited amount of running, lots of cycling, plenty of pull ups and regular tabata’s for anaerobic conditioning.  You need that lot as there are a lot of obstacles in the tough guy. There’s about 8 miles of running in the Tough Guy and I did manage the Great Sutton Run a few years ago so I do think the half marathon distance of the Great Birmingham run is achievable.

Haile Gebrselassie wins Great Birmingham Run
Haile Gebrselassie wins Great Birmingham Run

Starting Training for the Great Birmingham Run

Of course, for a half marathon I need to bite the bullet and do some miles. I did my first run today and it was fine. Using Map My Run I calculated that the run in a local park in Chalkwell, Essex (I’m on holiday) was three circuits making a total of 2.42 miles which took 22 minutes. It was okay, I had a bit of a knee issue at the very start but that disappeared almost immediately. So I only need to do 5 and half times that distance!

Chi Running

I spent time concentrating on technique. I’ll be using the Chi Running book & dvd as a guide for this part of the training and intend to work a lot on this important factor. There will be an awful lot of steps in the preparation for this event and I’d rather those were pain free steps. In fact I’m certain that those 13.1 miles making up the Great Birmingham Run ought to be fun, rather then hellish, endurance! Well that’s my plan. I’ll be using two other books extensively too, especially in regards to nutrition (see below).

Training Plan

I’m following the training plan on the Great Birmingham Run website opting to run three times a week. The first two or three runs are jogs for twenty minutes. This was a bit more than a jog but seems like a reasonable way to start off and I didn’t have proper running shoes anyway.

My brother is going to lend me a snazzy runner’s watch so I can sort out the pacing, which extrapolating from today’s run will be about 9 minute miles or 2 hours total. Sounds easy writing that but I doing more than five times the distance managed today should be achievable! I will need some sunglasses too it was a bit bright and a bit too hot for my liking this morning. Obviously, in October it will be cool enough.

Superfood Preparation for the Birmingham Half Marathon

I’ve recently read the very inspiring book Finding Ultra by Rich Roll who went from middle aged junk food addict to Ultra endurance athlete in a couple of years. He and his mate ran five Ironman distance events in a week! Yes you read that right, five in a week. He did have previous, he was almost an Olympic standard swimmer at college but had done nothing for years and was a recovering alcoholic. Pretty cool, huh and when he changed his life he also became vegan, which he classes as a very important factor in doing so well.

I’ll be using his experience for tips and those from the similarly impressive vegan endurance athlete Brendon Brazier whose Thrive book is exceptional too. They use ‘superfoods’ to help sustain high levels of performance. I’ll be going down that route too, I’m a big fan of superfoods to help with optimal nutrition!

Vegans are generally thought of as pasty individuals on the verge of death so vegan athletes are great evidence to reverse that silly opinion. And non-athlete vegans CAN do the Great Birmingham Run! I’m into being healthy and will be blogging on these matters. To get started here’s a link to the top ten rare supserfoods that Rich Roll recommends on Tim Ferris’s blog.

With superfoods in mind today, before the run I had my regular health drink but with half a banana added. This was a bit or a revelation and really makes it very tasty. The recipe is three teaspoons of pea protein, one of Sun Warrior Ormus Greens and the half banana in cold filtered water. Lush. For recovery I had a chilled fruit salad – strawberrys, half a banana and blackberries with chia seeds. Lush once again!

So far so good!

3 thoughts on “Great Birmingham Run 2012: Vegan Heath Begins Training!”

Got something to say? Go on, you know you want to!