Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Holding Out for the Warm Weather

GUEST POST: Craig Bradshaw. Marathon Runner, Blackpool.

This year, I decided to enter the first ever Yorkshire Marathon, which takes place at the end of October. My reasons for doing this were threefold.

One of my main reasons for entering the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon was that it has an exceptionally flat course - flatter than New York, Paris and London, meaning I can hopefully record an exceptionally fast time.

Another reason that I opted for York over London was that, as my old University stomping ground, I am sure to be kept visually stimulated throughout the 26.2 miles of the scenic course; starting and finishing at York University, and taking in villages, countryside, and famous landmarks such as Mansion House, Betty’s Tearooms and York Minster along the way.

Finally, and most importantly, as someone who is well-versed in competing in marathons that take place in April or May, such as London and Edinburgh, I couldn’t bear the thought of starting my training in early January, and having to put up with 16 weeks of completely miserable weather.

The Yorkshire Marathon was set up as a tribute to Yorkshire fundraiser Jane Tomlinson CBE, who died in 2007 after completing an Iron Man, three London Marathons and a host of other challenges, and raised almost £2m for charity, all while undergoing chemotherapy treatment for terminal breast cancer.

Given that the Yorkshire Marathon doesn’t take place until 20 October, I don’t realistically need to start my serious training until June, which hopefully means that I can enjoy 4 months of relatively warm weather; hopefully making training that little bit more enjoyable.

However, seeing as the mornings are getting lighter, I have started to do a few 5 mile runs before work in the morning, as a way of slowly increasing my mileage in the run up to June. Unfortunately the days might be getting longer, but the temperatures aren’t getting any higher.

In my opinion, one of the most indispensable pieces of clothing for any runner in this weather is base layer clothing, as they can help to regulate your body temperature, reduce your recovery periods, enhance your performance, and reduce the risk of injury.

Since I have been running, one of my most pivotal pieces of clothing for any marathon training is my Helly Hansen base layer, which aren’t available to buy direct from Helly Hansen (they don’t have a UK site), so I have to get them from a licensed supplier such as Outwood Sports or Amazon.

In previous marathon years, I have managed to shed most of my layers by late March, affording me the luxury of being able to train in appropriate race attire, such as vest/t-shirt and shorts. This year is a completely different kettle of fish, and it looks as if I will be stuck having to wear at least 3 layers for another few weeks at least!

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