Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Oops! I don't wanna do that again

It appears I made a number of mistakes during my first ever HM last year. I completed it and in a time I was pleased with but I have since found out that I could have done better not only in time but in how I felt too. So here are my mistakes and how I've fixed them:

Having random music playing instead of a set playlist. This is a bit geeky. OK, very geeky but I didn't like the random music coming on. It didn't mean anything to me while I was running. Therefore I devised a set playlist that I would use for the last 6.1miles (52:26sec) of any run I did. This meant I raced something home. I started with a song which starts at the halfway point (i.e 3 miles) and then worked forward from that and back from that to get the full 6 miles. It means I know what plays when and how long I've got to go. Plus it's upbeat so it pushes me on. I really can't tell you how much this has helped my when training on my own.

Drinking only water on both training runs and the actual HM. This stinks of the obvious but this was bloody stupid! I mean really, really, bloody stupid. Running for 2 hours uses a lot of energy. I didn't replace it with anything but water. No sugar, no salts, no carbs. Genius. Sometimes I'm amazed I finished at all and wasn't one of the unfortunate ones eating pavement. This time I'm training with Lucozade Gels and drinking Powerbar Milkshakes after and I feel so much better for it. Both during and after the run. Why did I discover this so late!! Idiot!

Starting too fast and finishing too slow. After my revelation last week, this is not a mistake I intend to make again. Negative Splits!?!?! is something we should all be doing apparently and all I have to do is let lots of people run past me at the beginning and then pass them towards the end. Surely even I can do this!! I have to let the competitive part of me go for the first half of the race before turning on my playlist and start reeling them all back again in the second half. I see this as a little challenge now!

So, mentally I'm doing better than last time, physically I'm doing better than last time and at the moment, I don't just want Fleet to be over with and then stop. I want to carry on and do more organised runs and try and improve every time. Maybe this is what it feels like to be a proper runner...

As a final note, I really want give my full support to my running buddy, eatingtrees. He's only now coming back from suffering with his ITB and he is not where he would have liked to have been in training coming up to Fleet. He's starting to put the miles in again now but is pretty down hearted about his times. Considering we thought he may not be able to run Fleet at all, I think he's done fantastically and it'll all help towards our ultimate goal of the Prague HM which is a couple of weeks after Fleet. If you want to know how he's getting on with his injury, check out his blog and give him some encouragement, I reckon he'd appreciate the support!


  1. Great list. The last one is hard to break as it is easy to get sucked up in the race day atmosphere.

  2. Yeah I have to admit I'm worried about that one. I may have to hang around at the back of my time group to make sure I don't have too many people flying past at the beginning!

  3. Stick with me for the first 7 miles - that way you can be sure of not going too fast... heheheh!

  4. Invaluable lessons learned! Good luck at Fleet :)

    Best wishes to eatingtrees. I am a fellow ITBS sufferer and for lack of better words, it sucks! Forget goal times for now. Just rehab and take is slow and steady until you heal properly. (Perhaps I should have left this comment on his blog like you suggested.)