Flexibility is the Key

Posted on December 30, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |

DON’T PANIC!  Keep reading for a one more paragraph.

There is no need to worry.  This is a not a post about training.  Body flexibility traumatises me.  I can barely see my toes much less touch them.  No.  This is about the flexibility when a plan doesn’t go to, ahem, plan.

2014 has been a mixed bag. January to June was doing the pre-Ironman stuff. June was doing the Ironman Thing.  July was planned to be a break before returning to sparkling form with a late season marathon and long distance swim.  I say planned because the plan was screwed up by the body.

Early Boxing Day SnotFest

Early Boxing Day SnotFest

What actually happened after Ironman was enforced recovery from two broken toes, a bacterial chest infection which lasted 2 months, swiftly followed by a viral chest infection which, in a wonderful act of symmetry, also lasted 2 months. However, I wasn’t bone idle during those 5 months – I managed to run 4 times, complete a horrible open water swim and EAT.  Seemingly my post Ironman appetite never abated and my capacity for beer and gin remains undiscovered.

And now I can get to the point.

2015 was always planned to be a pretty unstructured year.  I love an objective but it doesn’t have to be an event.  In fact I find doing events week in, week out soul destroying. I like doing things for the achievement, any bling on offer is just a bonus.

However, the one piece of unfinished business for 2015 was my deferred London Marathon place. Unfinished because, somewhat obviously, I have to run it but also because I’ve never run a good marathon.  I have a 5 year old PB of 4:20 from Rome, notable because as my brain was so jiggered with dehydration it decided that mile 18 would be a good time to get into fisticuffs with a blind man.  I have no defence.

So, in my mind, 2015 was always going to start with an assault on a 4 hour marathon in London.  I am a realist, my substantial former swimmer, current drinker build kinda dictates that my PB potential is not much lower than 4 hours.  That was, of course, until ChestInfectionGate.  I find myself a week away from starting a 16 week training programme having reached the heady heights of a phlegmy, undignified 4 mile stumble.  Of course, I could blag myself and run like a loon for the first three weeks of the training plan convinced I can catch up.  Or I could be sensible.

Having reached the Age of Wisdom, I now know what my body can cope with and what it can’t.  And that is where the flexibility comes in.  There is no point pretending that I don’t know the 4 hour target has gone.  So London will be targeting a more sensible 4:30 and enjoying the experience (because I bloody loved it last time – VLM ya sexy beast).

Ordnance Survey map discovered in icy puddle

Ordnance Survey map discovered in icy puddle

I’ve not really committed my 2015 plans to paper before now because I had no idea when I would finally chase off the chest lurgies.  But I am just about ready to dump down some ideas


This will be a sensibly paced training run.  It may also involve a beer stop as it did in 2012.  If you are going to have a pint of London Pride in a marathon it should be probably be the London Marathon.


I didn’t even know this was a thing but I was captivated and inspired by Cadi’s blog earlier this year.  I don’t know why this has become so appealing but, without the distraction of an Ironman, this is the kind of achievement that is just pure and simply for fun.


I can’t lie, this distance almost broke me mentally last time I did it.  Which is why I need to do it again. And maybe even spoil myself and train for it this year.


I’m not giving up on 4 hours in 2015. It definitely won’t be the Just Outside Edinburgh Power Station Marathon because (a) I love going along to support it and (b) I don’t like running past power stations.  I am eyeing up Fort William and Loch Ness but no commitments will be made until after London because as Frank Shorter said “You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.”


Now, I’m just getting indulgent.  This is right on my doorstep but I’ve never done it.  Probably because of the hill thing.  Anyway, one Saturday I was glued to twitter awaiting Spud’s updates as he tramped round the hills over a bonny city.  The list was immediately updated.  It’s not a big or an ugly challenge but it’s something I want to do when I am not laser focussed on an Ironman.


My often partner in crime Iron Nessie ( I would recommend a read of her first time Ironman blog) gets married this year and on account of being a bloke I can’t be chief bridesmaid or attend the hen party.  So we will be doing something up to half iron distance to mark the event.  Details are vague on account of the wedding vaguely taking priority.

But for 2015, flexibility without procrastination will be the key.  And by the end, hopefully, I will be able to see my toes.

And other than that I just want my legs and lungs to stay intact.  It’s not much to ask for, is it?



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