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Activate your bum! – Training for the London Marathon 2017

February 11, 2017

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Another week, another run. 18.4 miles today and did a Parkrun in between it to tot up nearly 1,500ft of ascent. The snow didn’t stop me because it’s just another challenge that will make me strong. When I started, and for the majority of the time, it felt good. But why did it feel so good?

I’ve started reading Don’t Stop Me Now by Vassos Alexander and within the book are accounts from multiple running super stars including Joss Naylor MBE. When Joss talks about running he explains, “When you are running well and just floating along, it’s one of those magical feelings. You can’t really describe it.” – I’ve had this feeling. He adds, “When you’re running on full stride and you’re letting your feet drop, it’s just something out of this world.” – This bit also made a switch go off in my brain; that’s it, that’s when I feel good.

In my last blog I talked about my heel strike and how it felt better when I took longer strides, it’s just harder to keep these up. However, it’s these longer strides that are my full stride. I feel gazelle-like, although probably don’t look it with sweat and mascara blemishing my face.

img_1918Admittedly, my diet took a bit of a pounding; cake/sweet treats every day, bad carbs and lots of them! Although, I didn’t play netball at all this week and only went on one early morning fasting run of about 4 miles. The rest of the time I was doing spin (double on Monday with a 30 minute conditioning gym session!), Zumba or yoga. I put the running/netball shoes to one side and had a different experience, and it showed by how my muscles felt when I first set off.

No weird spasms, no tight muscles or tendons, just freedom! Following my 18 miler, I then went for a sports massage. I figured I would be in no fit state for a Sunday run so better make the most of my Saturday! And just like with any time I see someone about my running problems I learnt something new.

Iimg_1925 get a bad back from running and it turns out, I don’t activate my Gluteals enough. Not my Gluteus Maximus (your bum) but the ones that sit slightly above your bum. This simply means more bridge exercises and bottom strengthening! Not the worst result.

In my last blog I also mentioned of my excitement to finally see the podiatrist but sadly they cancelled on me as the person I was seeing was unwell. Big set back, and a very unhappy Astrid. Why? Because I had a physic appointment booked to fall in line with the changes any new insoles would make, and because my new appointment is now on my day off when I’m meant to be seeing my brother and his family who normally live in China. Unless I took the appointment that was a month away! So you can see my frustration , which I won’t dwell on, but stay tuned for the update when it eventually happens.

In Conclusion for the week

Netball is definitely a bit of an inhibitor when it comes to running and running well, and I always knew I would have to give it a break the few weeks running up to the marathon.

I highly recommend reading books about the things you’re trying to achieve. It’s reassuring to know that everyone starts somewhere but also that a marathon is like a 5km to some people, so I should be relieved for the distance.

Finally, take care of your body. Its precious and if it feels unhealthy, see a Doctor about it. If I had never decided to see a physio, I would be in a much worse state! And yes my ankles hurt and I’m all kinds of tired, but I’m so much more aware of the ways I can prevent further pain and/or damage.

Happy running and stay tuned!

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