Starting over

Earlier this month, somebody on the twitters commented on a photo of me running. They (kindly) said:

 The thing I should have pointed out, was that the photo in question was taken back in October, when the jacket I was wearing didn’t pull quite so taut over my tummy. A few months have passed since then, and I now look exactly like I did in the picture, except covered from head to toe in an inch-thick layer of flesh coloured play-dough. Christmas excess left me with that special kind of lethargic tubbiness, where I felt like I was looking out at the world from inside a glass tank full of mushroom soup.

I had a look back through my blog, and I’m a little embarrassed at the number of posts on the theme of “oh woe is me, I’ve eaten far too much houmous and now I’m horribly unfit and I’ve lost my running mojo and a family of otters ate my trainers. Well enough is enough, it’s time to get back in shape”.

It’s like a remake of Groundhog Day, but with more emphasis on wicking fabrics and calf stretches.

So, without further ado, it’s time for yet another whiny blog post about unfitness, houmous, mojo and probably otters.

Actually, in my defence, I’m not really interested in having a moan or setting up any kind of grand comeback, it’s just that I’ve just got a half marathon coming up in April1 and I want to not be shit. Rather than sympathy, what I really want from you lovely readers is a bit of training advice. The diet’s in hand, so I just need to look at the actual runningness, and how it’s been affected by a few months of haphazard training. Using pace as a general guideline, I’m currently operating at around one minute/mile slower than I was before my slump, across all types of run from intervals to tempo to LSR. I’m getting out around three times a week and mostly just aiming at mid-paced 5-6 milers to build a bit of a base up again, with a long slow one chucked in when time allows. I tend to plod out these mid-paced efforts at around 9.30 min/miles which generally feels quite comfy. The cardio side of things feels pretty good, but it’s my legs that are making it hard work, feeling a little tired and heavy throughout. I’m hoping that taking some load off them by dropping a bit of weight will help them to feel light and fresh again. My goal for the half (attainable or not) is 1:49, which equates to a 8:19 min/mile pace. Given the amount of time I have (and assuming I get off my bum and actually do something rather than just letting it creep up on me like I normally do) then I think it’s achievable, but I’d welcome any guidance.

If you don’t have any useful advice, then you can still help with the motivation side of things. If you see me out on a run and I seem to be slacking a bit, why not shout some good-natured abuse, or perhaps throw a cat at me. Trust me, it all helps.

1 booked for me by the lovely Mrs Plod, either as a sign of love and support, or because she wants me dead. I’d guess it’s probably around 60/40. 



Hey lovely person who’s reading my blog! How are you? Guess what, I’ve been shortlisted for the 2016 Running Awards. Yay! I was nominated for an award last year, and while I didn’t win, I did get horrifically drunk and became very excited when I found a button on the floor. Long story. Anyway, if you enjoy reading this blog, then frankly you’re a bit weird. But also, it’d be lovely if you could spare a few seconds to vote for me in the online/blog category (I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m unlikely to win “Shoe of the Year”). Here’s the linky: Running Awards 2016. Last year there weren’t snacks, but this year there might be snacks, so please please PLEASE don’t let me not be a part of the potential snack-eating.  Fankoo!

Twitter? @borntoplodblog


Coffee and cake? Yes please, that’d be lovely.


6 thoughts on “Starting over

  1. Someone booked a race for you, you’re a lucky man! That’s the perfect present for me. But I’ve yet to convince others of that 😉 April is plenty of time to get up & running again (pardon the pun). I’m no expert but if it were me, I’d keep the pace easy for the first few weeks and just build the mileage & after 4/5 weeks introduce a tempo run/ other speedwork. I’d allow the fitness level to get back up before pushing too hard just as precaution to avoid causing injury.Might wanna do some strength exercises for your legs too if they’re feeling a bit under par. But that’s just me! And I don’t know much 😉

    • Thanks as always for the sound advice and kind words of encouragement. I’m determined to not be too shit at this race, whether my little legs like it or not!

  2. Hello. I am training for my first half so maybe our Base fitness is comparableish. My coach (I know!) has me doing hill runs of 500m length, increasing by 1 rep each week, a tempo 5k and lsr of 10k each week. I am also doing 30 mins of Strength Training twice a week, focusing on squats and lunges. My leg strength and vo2max have improved considerably.

    • Thanks for the tips. Mixing things up with some strength training seems to be a recurring theme so I’ll definitely need to look into that. Good luck with your half! Which one is it?

  3. Get a specific plan that’s been tried and tested by others, then stick to it (by effort not prit stick). Your current description of intentions sounds rather wishy-washy (that’s not a call back to classic pantomime racism, btw). Get some hills in. Get some speed work in. Vary your routes and the surfaces you run on. Oh, and write more of these entertaining blogs…

    • Sound advice, but wishy-washy pretty much sums up my entire approach to running so why change now? (I know: the chance for a PB or, at the very least, a non-injured finish)

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