Eight weeks to go and Charlotte’s mojo’s done a runner. Find out how she’s going to get it back.
Name: Charlotte Thomas
Marathon History: Brighton Marathon 2012, 3.46
Goal: sub 3.45
What I learnt this week: Runners, particularly females, are often lacking in iron as apparently red blood cells can be destroyed when feet pound repeatedly on hard surfaces. This can cause lack of motivation, tiredness, heavy legs and below par performance. As a vegan – and someone who’s willing to try anything – i reckon my iron levels are probably a bit low so I’ve invested in Spatone natural supplements, which were recommended by a rather speedy veggie runner I know. I’ll report back on any amazing performance boosts next week.
Tell you what, when it comes to running, I’ve been a right miserable bugger of late. My mojo has well and truly vanished.
Last year was my first marathon and I loved training. Loved it. Every long run was a new achievement, the furthest I’d ever run in my life. Short runs seemed to get easier and faster. Man I was on fire.
This year, when I started training, I was the most unfit I’ve been for years. I haven’t got in as many quality miles as I should. I’ve been constantly fighting off colds, chest infections and injuries. It all seems like a right old struggle. And it’s been weeks since I had one of those amazing endorphin-boosting runs that make all the horrible things running throws at you worthwhile. You know one of those runs where the weather’s perfect, your legs glide along easily, your thoughts go to a happy place, a hot man smiles at you and when you get home you have to call someone up just to tell them how much you LOVE running?!
Then, earlier this week I had an epiphany. If my mojo wasn’t going to come back, maybe I had to make it. Much as I hate motivational spiel, POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE. These are the ways I’m hoping to entice my mojo home. Any other advice or things that work for you, pllleeeeeeeaaaaaaase let me know.
Six ways to find your mojo
1. Freestyle – it’s easy to get stuck in a running rut, same time of day, same route, same soundtrack. Bleurgh. There are certain roads I can’t bear to run down I’ve done them so often. I love the change a new route brings, although recently I’ve been guilty of regurgitating last year’s routes. So, in March I’m planning to have at least one run a week where I just freestyle – no route, no time limit, no restrictions. Jump on a train to somewhere different and run in new scenery. Run to somewhere then stop (going back is always the worst bit) have a big fat pub lunch and fall asleep on the bus home. Mix it up with intervals or hills. Enjoy it.
2. STOP! Running time – because I didn’t want to know just how much slower and unfit I was than last year, my Garmin has been hibernating at the bottom of my gym bag. The problem with this is, I can’t actually see if I’m improving or not – even if it’s by the tiniest margin there’s nothing better than visible improvement for boosting your confidence. Garmin will be out of the bag, strapped on wrist and timing tempo and long runs next week. Aaaaaah.
3. New kit – obvious. You always run faster in new kit. It has magic properties that make getting out of bed and going for a run at 5.30am seem like an exciting prospect. Won’t be trying this one every week though as I’m skint, instead it will be a little PB treat. (PS, thanks for the lovely new kit above Sweaty Betty, you the best #TheFitCrowd)
4. Running playlist – if I’m running with people, racing or running fast (the last one doesn’t happen often) music irritates me. If I’m out on my own I quite like it. What I don’t like though is my current running playlist. So over it. Unfortunately, owing to a technological issue with an ancient nano and my iTunes account being synched to an old work computer, changing it is trickier than it sounds. I need to sort that this week and will also be asking friends, and probably you lot, for running track suggestions so I get to listen to something new.
5. Races – don’t like ‘em but they do give you something to work towards in the run up to the marathon, not to mention a high when you complete them – well hopefully. Last year I did the Surrey Spitfire 20 and although I was dreading it I really enjoyed it. This year I didn’t feel ready for the Spitfire as it’s a few weeks earlier than in 2012. Instead I’m planning on running the Cranleigh 21 miler on 24 March and I’ve signed up for the Energizer night run 10k too, although this is just for fun as it’s a week before London (I was swung by the offer of post-run booze).
6. Performance-enhancing drugs. Jokes, jokes. I’m going as far as iron supplements, cough medicine and echinacea and hoping for amazing effects, even if it’s a placebo.
Training Statistics – this week I have been doing a running bootcamp run by Fit for a Princess so my training looks a bit different and I’m not too sure of the miles covered on some days. I’d guestimate 30 miles for the week.
Bootcamp: timed lap (6.43), beep test, general running drills (had a bloomin’ cold again)
Bootcamp: sprints and threshold training
Bootcamp: tempo run, approx. 5 miles (cold a lot better)
Bootcamp: strength training
Bootcamp: 4 mile hill run
Read Charlotte’s earlier marathon blogs here.