‘How are you going to run it today?’ asked my wife, Alison, on the Sizewell parkrun start line. 

I pondered for a moment or two before deciding I hadn’t got out of a warm bed during a weekend away in Dunwich with friends to saunter around for 5K. 


Cue eye-roll from Alison, as if she was expecting a different answer.  

It also made me think of Neil Featherby and that perhaps he had a point when he once described me as ‘uncoachable’. He was joking... I think. 

Parkrun still feels something of a novelty for me although I’m hoping over the next year that I can juggle kids’ weekend activities with being able to run a few more. It shouldn’t be too difficult given my five-year-old son, Logan, in particular is constantly looking for opportunities to race me. 

Last Saturday felt like a chance to put in a bit of an effort on tired legs having run 13 miles the day before; marathon training has definitely started. This obviously wouldn’t be recommended if I was carrying a niggle, but my legs are feeling okay. 

I settled into second place after about a kilometre and was grateful that Wymondham AC club-mate Matt Webster was just about visible out in front so I could just follow his lead (not that it’s too difficult with it being an out and back). 

It was pretty much all trail with a couple of sandy sections although the sound of the sea made for a nice distraction from some of the tougher points.

I managed to sustain a decent effort throughout although I wasn’t able to pick it up in the last couple of kilometres, mainly down to the fact my legs felt quite heavy from the previous day’s run. 

I brought it home under 20 minutes in 19:47 and remained as second finisher, which I was pretty pleased with, as I enter another marathon training block. Alison and other Wymondham AC members, Kate Gooding and Zoe Webster were the first three female finishers so it was definitely a WAC takeover! 

Manchester is 12 weeks away this Sunday, which means I’m starting to add mileage each week but it won’t be anything too major to start with. This time last year, I started banging in long runs from early on and found by the time the Brighton Marathon came round that I felt completely burnt out.  

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I’m certainly not knocking people getting in long runs early; it just hasn’t worked for me in the past and I’m sticking to what got me a relatively decent result in Berlin in September. 

It’s important not to be swayed by what other runners are doing and let that affect your training. We’re all different and part of the fun is learning what works for you. I’m also aware that as runners gain more experience, or their bodies adapt, then that can change. Running 25-30 miles each week is a normal week now but when I started training for marathons then that would have been close to a peak week. 

I'm not overthinking my training too much and keeping it simple. If there’s an event I really want to do then I will and work my marathon training and longer runs around it just as I did with the Sandringham 24 event last year.  

No coach would recommend taking part in an event like that weeks before a marathon, but it worked for me at the time.  

It reminded me of what’s to come in that sometimes you have to run when your mind and body really don’t want to. I still think of my 4am run leg during that event and how I was half asleep for most of it. I think that was harder than anything I encountered in Berlin! 

The ball is rolling for another marathon training block meaning I should in theory make more informed, disciplined decisions. 

Unless I’m on a parkrun start line...