London Marathon race report - Jezzelle Lobeck

DbaWttKW0AAmlyQMy training has been focused towards getting run fit for the London Marathon but also preparing my endurance ready for a 70.3 Ironman triathlon in June. Swimming and cycling has played a significant part in getting me fit as tempo runs had previously irritated my shins and long runs effecting my foot arches mainly due to over pronation. It has been important to strike a balance with cross training and running to get me to the start line injury free and feeling like I could finish a Marathon. It happened...

Walking to the start line at 10:00 in the morning the sun already started to beat down on my head I knew from this point the conditions were going to be tough. I wasn’t wrong, it  was hot, not a cloud in the sky and officially confirmed as the hottest ever London Marathon at 24.1 degrees!

Due to this my plan was just to finish, keep an even pace throughout, enjoy it whilst raising money for charity. 

I started nice and easy building into it as I knew energy was going to be drawn out of me quickly due to the hot weather conditions. I was also having problems with my foot arches during training particularly on my last longest run, this was caused by my foot over pronation but couldn’t get to wear my new orthotics in time to run a full marathon which ultimately would have provided that much needed foot arch support. After 12 miles the inevitable happened both of my foot arches were feeling strained as well as the top of my left foot. It was at this point I had a mental wobble thinking about the pain I was in and would continue to be in for another 14 miles but I managed to get myself together, had an energy gel and carried on digging in. I took advantage of every water station and shower on route. I also wore a belt with my energy gels, taking one every 45 mins. My foot arches were causing relentless pain and my legs were tightening more into the 18 mile mark but I knew I had to get to that finish line no matter what so I kept digging in and kept things even paced. The crowds really helped, high fives and cheering everyone around the route. A lot of people were suffering around the 18 mile mark and first aiders attending to runners with heat exhaustion so I was very conscious to stay hydrated and fuelled. 

After the 18 mile mark I started to pick things up a little and then heading in to mile 20 my mind numbed out my foot pain and I tuned in to visualising crossing the finishing line. I overtook two 5 hour pacers at mile 24 but unfortunately due to the heat they were off pace, so when I overtook the 5 hour pacer I thought I was under 5 hours but finished 5:04. Although my goal was just to finish and raise money for charity I couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed not to have done under 5 hours. However, all in all with over strained foot arches and the hot weather conditions I felt it was an extra achievement just to finish. You never know what you are going to be faced with on the day but I proved that my mental strength has significantly improved as well as my physical endurance. It was mind over matter! I hope to fix my foot arches, sign up to another marathon and beat my time soon! 

The secrets of successful endurance athletes: #3

Ruzafa Weiss Bike XTERRA Worlds

Patience, patience, patience.

Patience might sound like an odd quality to value in an athlete. But I think it's very important. As endurance athletes, we tend to place great pride in our actions, results and data. Rest days are an annoyance to be endured with good grace if possible. The action is where it's at: we're never happier than when we're sweating it out, pushing through barriers, or chasing PBs.

So where does patience come into it? After all, patience sounds very calm, serene, and....… boring.

Without patience, your best efforts aren't likely to bring results. In endurance sport, you need to be committed for the long-haul, whether that means a 12-week training plan or decades of training and racing, with all the accompanying highs and lows.

Progress, fitness and strength come slowly (sometimes frustratingly so), and we can be our own worst critics, failing to spot small successes and instead focusing on how others are doing.

A patient, calm and methodical mindset will place you amongst those who enjoy true success in endurance sport… whatever that personally means to you.

These things are what underpin my coaching advice and guidance. Without them, the fitness training, nutrition advice and race-specific coaching can only ever get someone so far.

Do you agree with our three key characteristics of successful athletes (check out number 1 and number 2)? What would you add to the list?

Playing the long game

Sweaty RunnerPlaying the long game: Many beginner and novice triathletes look at triathlon racing as a project, something they've thought about doing for a long time and are now taking the plunge. But remember, like many projects, good things take time; sometimes weeks, months, or even years to accomplish. Depending on your athletic background it can take 2 to 12 years to unleash your full potential in triathlon. However, it is possible to make great progress in a much shorter time, and in reality, the biggest jumps will happen in the early days of your training. Unfortunately, to reach your full potential it takes much more time than most people think.

Playing the long game: So there is no reason to rush. Be patient. Race a little........race a lot. You learn the most when you're in the trenches, doing it, figuring out what works and what doesn't work. Maybe sign up to race some shorter distance races, recover quickly and do it all again, gaining race experience.........whilst playing the long game.  

The secrets of successful endurance athletes: #2

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Progression, progression, progression.

Our second secret of endurance sport success is progression. You absolutely must be making progress, no matter how small, if you want to improve speed, fitness, strength and race times. Progress needs to be planned, measured and tracked.

To build progression into your training, look at training stimulus. Training should build, layer on layer, by applying the correct load at the right time. Volume, distance, speed, endurance, pace and technique can all add layers to your training. Once you adapt, add another layer, to keep the progress coming. This is where it really helps to work with a coach in your sport.

Be honest and rigorous in asking yourself: is my training progressing?

Team WhittleFit racing roundup - 4th March 2018

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Unfortunately the Beast from the East put paid to the mjority of this weekends racing, and unsurprisingly the only event that had a WhittleFit athlete racing in was an indoor event! 

  • Welsh Masters Swim Champs: this weekend Andrew 'Pops' Martin raced a number of events at the Welsh Masters Swim Champs. Andrew has raced well at these events in the past, so we had high hopes for this years event. He had 4 events planned, including the 200m IM, 200m fly, 400m freestyle and 1500m freestyle and raced extremely well and smashed all of them, well done Andrew!!! 
    • 200m IM - Gold
    • 200m fly - Gold, PB and new Welsh record
    • 400m freestyle - Gold and PB
    • 1500m - Gold, PB and new Welsh record