London VLM ...Xmas party to start of my training plan

Hopefully most of you will know me as Chair of Ealing Eagles Running Club from my many club runs,  appearances at club events such as Cross country, Club champs and Summer league meets.

I’ve applied to enter the London marathon through the VLM ballot for three years (since becoming a runner and Ealing Eagle!) winning a losers track top x3 and this was my second attempt at the club ballot.  

I have run six marathons now, best time 4:00:43 in Dublin and one Ultra marathon, Liverpool to Manchester 50 mile in 10:55 (10 hours 55 minutes!) coming in 122nd out 200 starters!!!

All that said I have had suffered ITB and hit the wall in many of the marathons! 

I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of ‘congratulation’ comments from Eagles since the ballot, with one particular supportive arm around me sticking in my mind   “there is expectation in the club ballot on ballot runners and with the added position of club chair, there will be a weight on your shoulders to perform well! Don’t let the club down!” Thank you Kieran Santry:-) pressure then!  Winning a ballot place is like winning a gold chocolate bar from the Wonka chocolate factory! Congratulations to the other ballot winners and of course commiserations to those that were not successful this year. 

I have thought long and hard over the last few weeks about how I will approach this event and I’ve decided to set three goals leading up to marathon day.

  1. Set a 5k park run PB sub 22 minutes to get my runners ambition to be speedy out of my system! My Park run PB was set in December 2018 of 22:05. I’ve only run 22 Park runs! I’ll go for this time late January/early February. 

  2. Run a sub 1:50 half marathon time in my marathon training to qualify for the Welsh Castles Vets team. This should be achievable as my half PB is well within this target time, so I am thinking a 1:45-1:50 target in February/early March.

  3. Up the core strength work from once a week to every other day as a minimum and try and incorporate small core training elements into my day to day schedule. Abi... some yoga too!! 

I’ve put together a training plan starting 14th January with a focus on weekend long runs, some of which will be back to back (Saturday and Sundays) with much shorter runs in the week plus track/hills of course. Richard/Mirka...I am looking forward to being back on West walk on the 17th January and for many weeks thereafter! :-0

I’ll be entering some organised events to help my training and running some of my own preferred routes from Tower Hill station to Ealing and Regents Park to Ealing along the canal.  I believe the clubs coaching team are going to organise some VLM recce runs again this year, so these will help all the VLM club runners learn the course which is extremely important when running a marathon.  The setting of my VLM marathon goals will be made once I’ve progressed through the first four weeks training schedule. However, the main goal will be a sub 4 hour time!  I’ll also lean on Eagle friends to motivate me out of then house to train with coffee or wine rewards post run! 

The big focus on marathon day will be Mile 23! Having helped manage the Ealing Eagles extraordinary expedition to Monument for the past two years, I can say that it is a special day out.  If you haven’t attended the annual Eagle migration from Ealing Broadway station to Monument before, please volunteer! You’ll be both supporting our club runners and the whole running community, including witnessing Mo Farah and Eagles pass you, all looking as fresh as a daisy due to the Adrenalin rush your support will give us.  Link: a video of mile 23 can be found here.

Kit choice for me is straight forward of course!