ML – 2: Halfway There

Name: Michael Lowdon Age: 21 Height:6’0 Weight: 13st 8lbs
Favourite Route: Along the Wagon Way, through Weetslade Country Park, back down through Big Waters Nature Reserve

Running alongside friends has helped Michael push through training

Running alongside friends has really helped me push through training

After five patchy months of training, I’ll stick my neck out and say that I’m quite pleased with how it’s going. Obviously I’m not setting records or turning heads, but I am seeing improvements in my fitness. In fact, I’ll stick my neck out again and claim it’s the fittest I’ve ever been. Whereas running three miles without stopping was an achievement last summer, I now see it as the bare minimal.

I’m writing this the day after a Saturday 8am hill sprint session. This time last year, the mere thought of it, along with the surprising lack of leg ache, was completely alien to me. Maybe it was the foam roller introduction, the compression tights or the new trainers, but I think I’ve finally cracked the ‘Runner’s High’. Fully embracing my inner Running-Hipster has helped me achieve a decent mental high with minimal pain while out on the road.

I’m also writing this on the eve of my first Blaydon Race. Now, it’s probably down to the lack of sleep I’ve had over the weekend, but I’m not too sure how to feel about the race. Initially, I applied for a place as it has long been on my bucket list, but it has also provided a well placed training milestone to reach ahead of September. At 5.9 miles it’s just shy of half of the GNR, but it will give me a great insight into running a competitive race, within a similar environment. If all goes to plan, it should also give me a better idea of how well (or bad) my pacing is, something which will definitely have to improve ahead of September.

With such picturesque running routes on my doorstep, the boredom has been kept at bay

With such picturesque running routes on my doorstep, the boredom has been kept at bay

After taking a leaf out of Simon’s training log, I introduced several hill sprints into my routine. It’s with this variation and the long wait for summer weather, that have also helped prevent monotony creep into my running. Thankfully, the cold winter midnight runs were swapped for warm runs in the sun from work. The variation proved to be the saving grace I needed in order to push on from the early stages of training and prepare myself for a summer of further runs with faster splits.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is a phrase I need to etch to the inside of my eyelids, as the number of weeks to the Great North Run fall. Hopefully, come tomorrow night, it’ll not be one that festers in my head, as I drown it out with a bottle of broon on the bus back from Blaydon.

ML

Michael is running for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and is looking to raise £200 in the lead up to his first Great North Run. To help him reach his target, click here.

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