Sunday 5 October 2014

Melbourne Marathon Race Preview

Well, well, well it certainly has been a while!!! Some of you may be asking where is The Jangulator? What has he been up to? Well I'm back and just in time for next Sunday. What is happening next Sunday? The Melbourne Marathon of course!


My preparation for Sunday started 9 months ago, at the beginning of the year. I reviewed what went wrong in 2013. I had so many injuries because of incorrect running form and heal striking and ultimately was underdone and under-prepared for my 2013 marathon attempt. On the day, I got injured part through and had to walk (or hobble) across the finish line. It wasn't pretty and it certainly wasn't fun!


I resolved to fix those issues to give myself the best possible chance of running the full distance this year. I made my focus over January and February strengthening my core and fixing my running technique. I worked towards shortening my stride and landing on the balls of my feet rather than overextending and landing on my heals. It wasn't easy but Unna Goldsworthy from Panacea Movement Medicine had given me the right training techniques and exercises to get this done. As I transitioned to my new form, I started noticing that my quads were getting less sore after running and now my glutes and calf muscles were doing most of the work.

Injured again

Unfortunately, I didn't put enough strength work into my calves before making the transition and eventually I was sidelined with a calf strain in my left leg. This was in late March, three weeks before Run for the Kids. I had to take two weeks off running and only got back into training the week of Run for the Kids. I decided not to run because my calf was still not 100% and I was worried I would injure it again running in race conditions.

I gave my entry to my brother who had not done any training since around the same time last year. In the week leading up to the run, he snuck in one training run of about 5km and then managed an admirable performance of 1:21 for the 15km course, and this without a single stop. Incredible! Imagine how good a runner he could be if he committed more training to the cause!

....and injured again

By the end of April I was back to full training and now had my sights set on the Run Melbourne. I continued to progress well throughout May and June and then I joined a football (soccer) team at work for the Corporate Games. After a few training sessions my right hip had become so stiff and sore that at one point it hurt to walk. My hips and legs were just not ready for the very different demands that kicking a football placed on them and I had developed a hip flexor injury. I didn't run for nearly 4 weeks from mid July so I missed out on Run Melbourne. Luckily, this time around I had not yet entered the event.

I got to know my physio, Stephen Harper (84a Edwardes Street, Reservoir), quite well during this time. Being a runner and an Iron Man, he could understand the anxiety that not being able to run was causing me and he resolved to have me pounding the pavement as quickly as possible. I was able to start running again from early August, but unfortunately my hip flexor problem hung around until early September. Fixing it involved a lot of strength and flexibility work and the discipline to stay away from the football pitch, which was not easy!

My final long training run

Luckily, since the hip flexor injury was banished, I've had no other ailments to contend with. I've stuck to a training plan which saw me add 2km every week to my Sunday long run, culminating with a 34km run a couple of Sunday's ago. This morning I completed my final long run before the marathon, smashing out 30km in a good time of 2:46.

Ready to go!

Unlike last year, this time I feel ready and confident that my legs and my body in general are up for the challenge of the marathon. Plus I won't be running alone. A good friend of mine who has discovered his distance running legs this year will be running with me. We're both aiming to finish somewhere in the 3:45 to 4:00 range so we figured we would run it together and push each other over the line. This should make a massive difference for both of us, especially in the middle part of the run where your mind starts to doubt and your body starts to burn.

The rest of this week

I'm planning on a 5km interval session on Tuesday (with one eye towards a fast time for the City2Sea in Novemeber) and a relaxed 5km run on Thursday evening which will be my last run before Sunday. I'll try and stay away from sick people (would it be too over the top if I wore a surgical mask in public!?) and will eat as much pasta as my stomach can handle on Thursday and Friday nights for the traditional carbo load.

Friday night is the A-League season opener between my beloved Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney. I contemplated missing this match for all of zero seconds. It promises to be a cracker. I have made sacrifices to attend though. It will be the first time in a long time that I'll be perfectly dry at a football match. I'm sure it will be a very different experience for me!

Saturday night will be all about getting a good nights sleep and staying away from any food which could potentially lead to the dreaded runner's trot on race day. And on that note....I'm off to enjoy a burrito with all the trimmings. See you at the marathon!

No comments:

Post a Comment