It's been two months since I last updated you all on my London Marathon training; two months that have gone both really well and pretty badly.
Pretty well because, since my hip injury over Christmas cleared up, I had a good 6-8 weeks of consistent, decent, marathon training.
That's not to say I was following any plan specifically but I was running regularly, feeling good and mixing up the types of running I was doing to keep things interesting.
I did looooooong slooooooow runs; I did quick fast (well, fast for me) runs; I did hill repeat runs; I did interval runs... basically I did lots of runs.
Then I got the runs.
About two weeks ago my 4 year old brought a bug home from school and, very kindly, passed it on to me.
For three days the only running I did was from my bed to the bathroom. Lots of them, but that's not exactly textbook marathon training.
I was pleased to discover that I hadn't completley lost my 'match fitness' when I did finally run again after a five day break but, annoyingly, I felt a ping in my right Achilles tendon on only my second run back.
That ping turned into a sharp pain and pretty bad swelling that has so far lasted about 6 days. And I've also now, out of absolutely nowehere, got a pain in my left foot.
I get this pain every now and again - I think it's a form of plantar fascilitis; at least that's what a physio told me it was when I used to play football (in the olden days, when men were men.)
It usually goes by itself after a couple of days... which I'm taking as good news because my Achilles still needs a few more days rest, at least.
It's all very, very annoying... I've not had an injury at all in the past 10 years of running and now, two months out from the Marathon, I'm collecting them like Pokemon.
But I have a cunning plan. The kind folk at Wattbike have sent me over a bike - a Wattbike Atom to be specific - and I've got it all set up and ready to go in my garage.
I'm going to have to use it for my only training for the next few days at least; but I do have plans to properly incorporate it into my running schedule for the last 8 weeks of my training anyway.
So I'll update you all more on how that's going in a few weeks time.
When I do get back out running I'll be breaking in some new kicks which should hopefully help to reduce any further injuries.
I've got a pair of Kiprun KD900x running shoes to break in (£129.99 from Decathlon), which I might run the actual race in.
Alternatively I might stick to my trusty Adidas Boosts (albeit a new pair - I do think my current ones have too many miles on the clock now and may be contributing to all these injuries.)
And, as the weather is set for another cold snap I'll be donning gear from Japanese baselayer brand Zerofit.
The Zerofit Move baselayer (£40) was a gamechanger for keeping warm in early January during that big super-freeze, although I'm hoping it warms up enough that it won't be needed on Race Day.
I also want to mention Hytro's "world’s first blood flow restriction (BFR) wearable."
Essentially, they are a pair of strappy shorts you wear for a few minutes that "safely allow oxygenated blood to flow into the limbs while limiting the return blood flow. This increases muscle fibre activation and up-regulates muscle-building hormones, leading to rapid increases in muscle size and strength and increased recovery."
I'm told 12 Premier League football teams are using the technology so it's obviously overkill for me - but my hip issues have stayed away since I started using them.
Check out hytro.com for more info.
I'll hopefully be back with some better news in a couple of weeks but, in the meantime, please do sponsor me for the London Marathon. I'm running on behalf of Tommy's, which is a great cause.
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