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Virgin London Marathon training: Week 7

February 12, 2012

Some runners swear by ice baths. After a hard workout they sit in a tub of cold water and ice, manning it up until they can no longer bear it or a quarter of an hour has passed – whichever is most uncomfortable. It aids recovery and helps you to train harder for frequently, or so goes the theory.

Personally, ice baths aren’t my thing. I like to get back from a run (particularly in the bitter winter) and douse myself in a scalding shower. Then, once I’ve washed off all the grime, I like to have a good sit down in a warm house. You know, really bask in the heat of creature comforts and let the stinging cold of dry winter air fade into my memory.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying I haven’t had my long run this weekend because our hot water and heating has broken. With nightly lows around -5°C and the back garden still sporting a virtually perfect coat of snow from last week’s snowfall, this is typical timing.

Deprived of running, I’m feeling fidgety and moody. I’m all but seeing babies crawling across the ceiling and finding myself idly sucking on pens.

But perhaps a two-day break isn’t such a bad thing for me (he says begrudgingly). Despite not being 100% better just yet, I ran Monday to Friday, clocking up a non-insubstantial 49.5 miles with a combination of commuter runs and a harder lunchtime session on Friday. It’s felt good to be out and running, but I’ve noticed where I don’t have full chest capacity. I’ve also had to be more cautious than I would otherwise have been with patches of ice still hanging around the streets of London.

So, the  last two weeks have been a little off-piste (note snow-related pun), and the next week is going to be slightly more improvised than I’d like since there’s a trip to Oxford bang in the middle. My plan is to double-run on Monday, with the second run of the day taking a significant portion of this week’s missed long run. Wednesday could be an opportunity to clock up a good few miles in the evening around the quieter streets of Oxford before heading back to London. And the long run at the weekend is essential.

Unexpected and unplanned things happen when training for a marathon. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. But 10 weeks away from the London Marathon I’m feeling more relaxed about it this year (believe it or not) because I’ve got a B race.

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