This year for me is focused around running 15 official marathons, a few of the majors and few smaller events such as my first in Anglesey. It’s great fun to be in official events; I always get excited when I pin my number to my kit and line up on the start line alongside hundreds or in some cases thousands of runners, with ability ranges from amateurs to world record holders (seriously excited to race in London with Paula Radcliffe AND Dennis Kimetto!)
This blog is about making another training day or free weekend your OWN event. Why do we need to wait for an event to pop up to compete? Why do we need to pay their entry fees? Why do we have to feel the pressure of the event we’ve been telling everyone about for months? Each and every time you put your sports gear on you have the chance to adventure into your own event. Pick an event/distance you saw during the Olympics and GO FOR IT, you’re guaranteed a GOLD, living outside your normal training plan/official event will give you physical and mental development as well as a sense of accomplishment in pushing yourself into a new experience.
In the summer of 2014, two years on from memories I will cherish forever from the London Olympics I ran two events in and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; the inaugural ‘Hackney Half Marathon’ and the ‘Anniversary Run’. On both occasions post race I took the chance of to relax on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Olympic Park, this is when for the first time I went inside the velodrome. This was the one venue I was gutted to have missed out on during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I pictured cycling round the 250M track to the roar of 6,000 spectators with everything feeling so close and alive, Team GB excelling being a bonus. From this moment I decided I was going to cycle on that track in the worlds best velodrome.
At the end of last year I booked an introductory track session with a work colleague. I haven’t got a great deal of experience in the saddle and was going into this more for an experience rather than seriously thinking I would make it as the next Sir Chris Hoy. He is a keen road cyclist so when he mentioned he had no idea what to expect it gave me a little boost. We were actually quite early for our session, so watched Commonwealth champion Alex Dowsett train ahead of his attempt at the ‘Perfect Hour’ (attempt to break the world record for distance on a velodrome track in an hour, currently 51.852Km) His intensity and speed was ridiculous as it was inspiring.
As I walked out into the middle of the track from beneath the seating area, I had a smile on my face trying to recall all the professional cyclists which had made the same walk. (more…)