Training Routine

This morning I met up with Tom, friend and trainer with whom I ran the Tokyo Marathon. It’s the first time in months that we’ve done a Sunday-morning run, but perfect timing for the start of a 5 month training program leading up to next February’s Marathon (which I hope we’ll get into – the lottery will be held soon).

Returning to the park that had been our start point, Tom introduced me to a new core-body workout [You Tube]. Whilst running of course is an important part of training for a marathon, it doesn’t do much for core body strength.

Q: Why is core body strength important for marathon runners?
The “core body” refers to the muscles of your torso that help you maintain your posture, whether you are running, standing, or sitting. Strong abdominal and lower back muscles will combat fatigue during the marathon and during long training runs.

So there we go. This morning we went through all of the exercises, although skipped the repetitions (which are an important part of the program). Despite having only done 25% of the overall program I found myself totally knackered at the end – I am so unfit!

Still, I’ve committed to doing this routine 3 times a week. The thing is, I don’t want the marathon to be the struggle it was last time. I don’t want to feel so exhausted I just want to give up. I want to be strong enough to, erm, carry a video rig perhaps…

I also have this idea that I’m going to end up running ultramarathons or compete in triathlons, and need to prepare for that. I’d like to do the Oxfam Trailwalker again – running.

Another motivation for doing this is that I tend to spend most of my waking hours sitting down in front of a computer. It’s not healthy, and I need a balance. I’m aware that I have poor posture too. These exercises will help with that, and I hope will also lead to a generally healthier, more energised Joseph.

Today’s run stats

Oh, on a side note, I’m still loving Runkeeper. I feel it really is the best app on the market for tracking your progress – so much so that I’ve just signed up for their Elite program. The key feature of the elite program is the ability to live-stream your run – not in terms of video, but in terms of GPS coordinates (and thus speed etc).

I’ve experimented with the NIKE + GPS app that was recently released, but have been pretty disappointed. The two issues I have with it are a) accuracy – recorded distance seems to differ considerably from actual distance run, which is odd considering it’s using GPS b) the all-flash website it connects to, which I find suffers from slow response times and is lacking in the features I want. Nike have said themselves (in a Twitter reply to a tweet of mine) that it’s very much a ‘work in progress’. Let’s hope the team behind it get the support they need to bring it up to the standard I’d expect.

If there’s anyone else out there on Runkeeper (or Nike running for that matter) feel free to friend me 🙂

Running Again

I’m on the train heading back home after running 12.21km south towards Yokohama. I think it’s the furthest I’ve run since the Marathon in February, and the first time I’ve done over 10km since May.

It’s extraordinary how out of shape I am. I used to have a really big barrier at 20km – that seems to have slipped back to 8km!

Having said that, I was running in 34 degree heat, which made it pretty tough. Sweated buckets.

Running empowers me. It satisfies me. It makes me feel alive (It also helps me deal with my belly…).

With the Autumn approaching I think this is a great time to pick it back up – and not just because I hope to run a marathon in February. The weather is usually perfect running weather, and well, there’s that ‘start of a new year’ feel what with kids going back to school.

I also feel that the older I get the more responsibility I have to actively look after my health.

Anyway, time to get off this train and step back into the heat. A cold shower awaits!