Sadly I had to pull out of the Manchester Marathon. I really wanted to do it, plus I begrudged wasting all the money on entry and parking etc. However I had to make the smart choice for my body. I injured my knee 4 weeks prior to the race, so I could not do any running in this period. My knee was OK walking about, but there was no way of knowing if I could get around a marathon course. If it was a hamstring injury, then I could have strapped it up and took the chance. However knees are not something you want to mess around with, I have lots of things I want to do this summer and hobbling around on crutches is not one of them. So the head ruled the heart on this occasion.
There are of course twinges of regret. In November 2017 when I started my training, I wanted to knock 15 minutes off my marathon PB. Which was a tough but achievable target. I would have missed out on this target anyway in all honestly, for the following reasons:
1) Winter Training – I discovered I do not like Marathon training in the winter. The night runs are boring, as I had to train around the streets of my small town. Then the long weekend runs were often inhibited by snow and ice. It is a much nicer experience training in the summer, for an autumn Marathon. I ll probably do another Marathon when I am 40 in 2020, however it will most certainly be after a summer training block. I actually only did 25 runs in the 24 week training period. This is insufficient. You cannot cheat a marathon, you have to put the training miles in.
2) Knee Injury – the aforementioned injury; 4 weeks out I hurt my Knee in a long training run. Therefore I did zero miles of running in the 4 weeks before the Marathon. That is a pretty excessive taper! Some people may lay the blame of this injury on my barefoot/minimalist running. However I do not believe this was the case. If my running style or shoes were to blame, I would have had varying levels of discomfort throughout the training period. This was not the case, I was totally injury free then I felt my knee go on one specific run. There were no constant niggles or pains, that I was dealing with.
3) Dietary change – When I was on a Traditional Ketogenic Diet, my body seemed to really enjoy long slow training runs and I responded to that. However once I changed to a Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet, my body started to want to lift stuff and do more explosive training. You might think this sounds stupid, but when your diet is giving your body all the building blocks it needs. It will tell you to exercise and how. I almost don’t have an option now, I have to exercise regularly. Even on top of the 2-4 miles of daily dog walks, which still isn’t enough to scratch the exercise itch.
So this now marks the end of what I classed as my winter training. It is now time for my summer training block. I am going to spend this time building muscle, cutting body fat and doing sprint events on the Concept2 Rower. This will be a good experiment, as a lot of people will presume you cannot build muscle or do sprints without Carbs. Yet I will be attempting this on Zero Carbs. I will start my strength training immediatley. However I will have to go through a technique and conditioning phase on the rower, before I start doing the sprint races. I also need to get my weight under 75kg or 11st11, so that I can compete in the Lightweight category. I am currently 78kg or 12st3. I am a natural sprinter, so if I can get under the lightweight limit I should be able to do some damage in the sprint events. The sprint events are the 100m, 1 minute for distance and the 500m.
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