Stephen's Marathon Blog 4 by Stephen Ralston

I am sure that in every training plan there comes the ‘bad week’ and I hope others have an appreciation of this also. Its not a case that I ran badly for a week, more that I didn’t really get chance to run, exercise or follow any kind of healthy diet.  Essentially it was half term and I was balancing work, kids and grandparents looking after kids. It’s a general struggle to appease the kids, the job, the grandparents and your own nagging conscience, so running tends to fall by the wayside.  In writing this blog it made me think about those online articles in Runners World titled ‘5 ways to improve your running’.  The usual tips are stuff about progressing gradually, working on your core strength, improving your cadence, running more intervals (or hills, or the mysterious ‘tempo’). I always have a look (alike to those articles that say ‘I planked every day for 4 years and these are the results’) and come away disappointed as there wasn’t an amazing new solution.  I came to the conclusion that I should write my own ‘top five ways to get faster’ as guidance for some of our younger, faster runners so they may not fall into the same traps in the future:

  1. Don’t get married. A spouse will only request your attention taking you away from valuable running, core strength or recovery time.
  2. Don’t have kids. Kids will only request your attention taking you away from valuable running, core strength or recovery time. In some cases they will completely deplete all energy or make you eat food you shouldn’t. End of day exhaustion can lead to drinking too much recovery wine.
  3. Don’t have a job of any significance. Jobs only distract you away from running and stress you out (see above regarding recovery wine).
  4. Don’t buy a house. Houses need upkeep. You are bad at upkeep and simple household tasks will take an extraordinary length of time distracting you from running etc.
  5. Don’t get older. You will suddenly wake up one day and be able to really feel yesterdays run. It will be an aching Achilles tendon that stops you walking downstairs or hip flexors that you didn’t know you even had. Equally it can be the extra weight that you now seem to be carrying as your metabolism slows from the speed of a Japanese bullet train to that of a District Line tube train stuck outside of Hammersmith.

So back to training hard this week leading up to the Hillingdon half. I cant say ‘No Five Guys’ at the end of this blog. See above, #2.