Sierra Leone Marathon 2014

Motivated by Kiln colleagues

So with 89 (yikes 89!!!) days to go and the flights booked, the training for running this first ever marathon in Sierra Leone has intensified!

As a novice marathon runner I was pretty blasé about the training, but I'm beginning to understand how much of a commitment to my time this is, and actually how much hard work this is going to be!

I've had a lot of help with my training through the joint runs that a group of us have been doing at lunchtime. It's really good as it includes some people who actually aren't coming to Sierra Leone, but who just fancy a lunchtime run outside instead of being stuck inside the gym. So far we've done runs to Westminster and back (5.7miles) , and to Canary Wharf and back (6.5m). This has been really good in a number of ways;

1) Motivation - it'd be too easy to think." I can't be bothered to run today", but once the email has gone around to the group I'm then committed to going. It's also (almost) fun running with a group of people too!
2) Bonding - spending time with the other runners and chatting (while huffing and puffing through 6 miles) about how we are doing and what runs we have planned and just generally getting to know each other a bit more. It almost makes running fun!
3) Improvement - I must admit, the first run I did with the lunchtime gang almost killed me as they run faster than I've been used to! But after the first week of running together I found it easier, and now on 6 mile runs I've improved my average speed by about 40 seconds a mile! I'm pretty pleased with that!!
4) Benchmarking - finding out where others are on with their training and how far their longer runs have been to see if I'm where I should be. I still think my training is to plan and I'm increasing my distance week on week as I should, but some of the others have already been running 14 and 15 miles in one go!!
Kiln -Training _team

But all in all, the past few weeks have been good in relation to getting miles under my belt.

Each week is going to get tougher now, but the lunchtime team have a plan for a good run one evening in early April - putting together the two lunchtime runs - City to Canary Wharf to City to Westminster to City (12.2m) - after work one evening followed by a celebratory and well deserved beer and curry!

I've scheduled the majority of my longer runs into my weekends, generally on the Saturday, and so far my longest run is 10.4 miles. That was this week where I had set myself a goal on the Monday of running 26.2miles in a week.

Having only(!!) done 5.7 and 6.5 miles in the week and telling my twitter followers and fellow Kiln runners that it was my target, I had no choice but to go for it!

As you can imagine I was very pleased with myself afterwards. However, big toe wasn't as happy so have been out to the local sport shop and invested in some proper running socks and blister plasters!

Those 26.2 miles last week were a goal that I managed to achieve, but those 26.2m were over 4 runs across the space of a week... putting it all together and doing it in one go in Sierra Leone is a completely different ball game. It's a challenge I'm most definitely up for and I'm working hard to make sure I achieve it.


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