Back to real life – will the gym be a tonic?

With the running on a back burner for a bit it looks like the gym and the bike for the next couple of months – not much of a hardship

I had a gentle run with my wife on Sunday morning – about 2.8m (4.6km), in glorious sunshine, and with her muscle strain improving. In the afternoon we went to London and had supper with our sons. It was a really nice family occasion and, extra good news, both sons are, in principle, up for the Berlin Marathon in 2020.

Alex, who ran Rotterdam marathon with me two weeks ago, is now off to Peru for a month – brilliant for him and I’m 100% behind the trip, but I’ll still be worried until his return.

We stayed over for the night and I couldn’t resist getting out in the morning, even though I know that the master plan is to go easy on the running to let the knee and Achilles tendons recover. I ran about 4miles (6.4km) down the Thames Path and back through Hammersmith – delightful.

I need to cut down on my running as I doubt that I have any more marathons to enter for a year, perhaps 18 months. At the same time I’d like to avoid having to start from too low a level when I come to pick up distance running again. Accordingly, I was wondering what running is necessary to just maintain fitness, without risking burning out with over-training. It looks like the answer could be something like 20-25 miles a week at normal intensity, with a longest run of about 12 miles.

That’s a bit more than I wanted the answer to be – but I think it’s purely academic as anything close to that isn’t going to get my knee and ATs better. Having taken liberties with the ATs during the marathon training, I owe it to them to sort them out – even though it may take a few months from what I read.

I’ll try running just twice a week (and only short distances) for a while to see if everything heals – if the ATs recover, restarting running from a low fitness base will be a small price to pay.

Tuesday was spent on the de-cluttering in Oxfordshire and Wednesday I went down to Bournemouth to mow and, surprise, surprise, de-clutter. The garage there is full of overflow rubbish from here. How have we accumulated so much stuff? In fact, I think I know the answer to that – I’ve simply been bad at throwing it out over the course of many years.

Back to the gym on Thursday with Ian, my usual gym companion, for a very good session. Protecting the tendons, the knee and the shoulder takes a bit of imagination but I think I could get into rowing (on the machine, not the water) which, happily, doesn’t trouble the shoulder at all. I’ll look at some stuff on technique (I am currently a technique-free zone) and then set a 2000m time next week and see how much I can lower it over the coming months.

The next challenge is the White Horse Challenge on Sunday. I think I’ve written it off as a proper attempt to set a good time as I’ve only ridden outside twice this year which is not perfect training for 90 miles on the bike at any sort of speed. Truth be told, I’m a bit nervous for my backside with that distance and so little toughening up.

6 thoughts on “Back to real life – will the gym be a tonic?

  1. pegasus216

    Peru is brilliant, he’ll almost definitely love it.
    I don’t think I’ve ever been in a gym in my life of my own volition.
    Great news that you may be running Berlin as a full family, what a great thing to do.

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    1. The Omil Post author

      We might have run in Rotterdam but for the older boy hurting his back in a shunt when a rear seat passenger. No chance of persuading my wife but it would be special to run with my sons. I say ‘with’ but I think ‘in the same race’ will be closer to the truth. At least I’ll start with them.
      Happily, the gym is a low-key and non-competitive affair which makes it bearable.

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  2. tahliacarly

    I’m hoping my boys will run with me when they’re older. We’ve had a couple of short (mile) runs together which we all enjoy.

    Did you put your ballot in for London? After vowing that Brighton was the first and last, I seem to have caught the marathon bug!!

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    1. The Omil Post author

      Wonderful – and warmest congratulations.
      Although I only saw Alex at the start and finish it was very special.
      At about 22 miles I remember thinking Rotterdam would certainly be my last marathon but Alex (Rotterdam was his second, after Brighton in 2017) and I were already talking about the next one that evening over supper. Mad isn’t it?
      I’ve continually applied for a place for London in the ballot – I’ve never been lucky but I still keep trying. Apparently, the chances of ballot success for London are now a bit over 4%. The two times I ran it in the 1990s were charity entries.

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  3. tahliacarly

    It’s crazy…
    Funnily enough at mile 20 I’d decided never again!
    We’ve decided to do Manchester if we’re not lucky with London, but will keep my fingers crossed. Perhaps 2020 year will be THE year.

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    1. The Omil Post author

      I’m convinced that, however different one marathon run is from another, the one thing they have in common is the ‘never again’ at some stage. I’ve heard good things about the Manchester marathon but I’m thinking of Autumn 2020 as I’m not sure I want to train through next winter as well. Mind you, I’m not great with the heat either …
      Here’s to 2020!

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