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Greg Evans

Designer & Very average runner

As the Paris Marathon on April 7th approaches, I find myself during a 12-week training plan, with just 8 weeks left to fine-tune my preparation. The road to this marathon has been filled with both triumphs and challenges, and I've encountered valuable lessons along the way. Join me as I share my experiences, from facing barriers to finding motivation and overcoming training hurdles.

Facing Setbacks: Being unsuccessful in the london marathon ballot (Again)

The journey began with a disappointment when I learned that I was unsuccessful in the London Marathon ballot. Instead of letting this setback derail my plans, I used it as fuel to channel my energy into other events for the year, Paris Marathon stuck out to me as I knew people who have taken part and raved about it after, all the landmarks and pretty flat course were definitely a bonus.

The Power of motivation: "I Get to run"

One of the biggest changes in my mindset has been adopting the phrase "I get to run, not I have to run." This simple shift has been a powerful motivator, especially on those days when the bed feels particularly inviting. Remembering the days when injury forced me to refrain from running serves as a constant reminder to make each run count.

Training Challenges: Learning and adapting

A significant challenge I faced during training was the abrupt increase in intensity and volume after a two-month break following the Cardiff Half Marathon in October. This decision resulted in shin splints, emphasising the importance of a gradual return to training. Managing niggles and pains, particularly hip and back discomfort, required a balance of strengthening exercises and targeted stretching, something I hadn’t been doing before. Plyometric movements such as jump squats and lunges using weights and the smith’s machine have really helped both strengthen my leg muscles and increase power.

Recovery & Rest Days

Recovering from injuries has been a crucial aspect of my training journey. Regular visits to a physiotherapist, daily stretching, and the use of recovery tools like foam rollers, massage guns, and anti-inflammatory CBD balms have played key roles. Ice packs have become my new best friends, providing much-needed relief after challenging training sessions.

Training Aids & Essentials

Certain aids and essentials have proven invaluable in enhancing both comfort and performance. My Feetures socks have emerged as a game-changer, significantly improving blood flow in my feet and mitigating the issue of numbness. When it comes to fuelling during long runs, SIS gels have become my go-to choice. Their texture and taste make them easy to consume every 40 minutes, providing the sustained energy needed training sessions. Additionally, my 2XU tights have become a staple in my recovery routine. Whether it's a placebo effect or not, I've noticed a potential acceleration in recovery time, coupled with a noticeable decrease in the usual aches in my knees and hip joints post-run.

Making the Most of indoor runs

Surviving treadmill training demanded a strategic approach. I opted for specific runs like tempo and interval workouts indoors, utilizing custom speed settings on my treadmill for efficient transitions. Mixing treadmill sessions with gym workouts not only diversified my training routine but also added the incentive of post-run weight training and the comforting embrace of the sauna.

Lessons Learned

Running, I've discovered, extends beyond the act of putting one foot in front of the other. Strengthening muscles and providing support to the body are indispensable elements of a comprehensive training plan. Additionally, investing time in finding the right pair of running shoes proved crucial, with the True Motion Nevos 3 emerging as a reliable choice for tempo and long runs. With a potential of being used even on race day.