I’ve been enjoying running when I want to over the past few weeks with no real structure since the St Neots Half Marathon. 

I needed a break mentally as much as some of the muscles in my legs that were letting me know that the intensive period of racing since the Berlin Marathon couldn’t go on forever. 

There’s been a bit of trail running and quite a few easy miles with friends; no talk of splits and average paces – just running for enjoyment and it’s been most welcome. 

It’s a nice phase, but that’s all it is. Part of the reason it’s so enjoyable is because I know within a month or so I’ll start building the mileage again and it’s about preparing for that and getting on top of everything before another few intensive months and a spring marathon (yet to be fully determined). 

I’ve got a loose race schedule and I’ve already planned in my long runs with my wife, Alison, who is overseeing my training. We have pencilled in long runs and some races but the sessions around that will be arranged on a week-to-week basis depending on how the training is going. 

I’m not sure I thoroughly thought through the idea of the Wymondham New Year’s Day 10K but perhaps it will at least keep me in check a little on New Year’s Eve and act as a line in the sand where my fitness level is.  

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I know I’m going to get FOMO at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships but I deliberately haven’t signed up; my legs just aren’t used to that sort of terrain to run it hard. I entered this race thoroughly unprepared a couple of years ago and ended up tearing a calf muscle that ruined the first part of that year. However, I’m looking forward to being a spectator in what is always one of the most exciting races of the year in Norfolk. 

I’ll hopefully run the Valentine’s 10K in February before the Cambridge Half Marathon the month after. It feels like a manageable schedule in the run-up to a spring marathon in late April or early May. 

I have signed up for a marathon though next year – I'm going back to Berlin again. 

Whilst the ballot gods weren’t kind to me, I’ve bought a place through Sports Tours International and I already feel quite excited about it. 

There’s been a lot of marathon talk at Wymondham AC over the past week after a few of my club-mates did so well at Valencia last weekend. This is when it’s inspiring to be involved in a running club; you see other ‘normal’ people ie people who have families and jobs, produce barely comprehensible times. It’s only natural to think ‘why can’t I do that?’ 

I know it’s dangerous to go back to Berlin though; if I have a negative experience next year then it could taint what a great time I had a couple of months ago. 

But I know I can go faster on that beautifully flat course, and nothing quite beats that buzz of running in a major marathon.  

I’ve made a lot of changes over the past six months that have brought me on as a runner and I’d like to think that if I keep going on this upwards trajectory then I can get closer to reaching my full potential over the marathon distance. Who knows what that is? 

I’m going to find out... but there’s a lot of miles to be run before then.