To say things haven’t gone quite to plan since the Cambridge Half Marathon is an understatement; I’m yet to run since. 

In the couple of days after Cambridge I felt a little ‘off’ but just put it down to the effort expended in setting a new personal best of 1:25:03. 

I was always going to give myself a couple of days off running to recover so I wasn’t too concerned and hoped by the following weekend I’d be in a position to do a long run. 

When I could barely get out of bed on Thursday, a long run was the last thing on my mind. Unfortunately, I had caught some sort of flu-like illness, which appears to be doing the rounds and is affecting people quite differently. 

With body aches, a fever and a serious lack of energy, I spent the back end of last week just trying to get back to some sort of everyday functionality. I just haven’t got the time to be ill, frankly! 

I would say that running was the last thing on my mind, but no-one's going to believe that. 

This was supposed to be the phase of the marathon build where I put in some really good midweek sessions to nail down my marathon pace and build confidence in longer runs at the weekend that I won’t crumble after the 20th mile in Manchester. 

I was planning to be so on top of my strength and conditioning regime that I’d be like a marathon running machine come April 14th... 

Clearly, that hasn’t happened.  

It’s been hard watching friends churn out the miles when, in reality, I mustn’t let that affect what I’m thinking or doing. 

There have obviously been times where I’ve felt a little sorry for myself, but I know there are countless other runners out there managing their bodies through the most difficult of spells when training for an early spring marathon. 

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Part of training for these kinds of events is navigating illness, injury and whatever else life can throw at you. I used to think people were talking rubbish when they said it’s an achievement to make the start line – I couldn’t feel more differently now. 

So, what do we do when we can’t run? We focus on the things that we can do – eat well, get enough sleep, cross-train. 

And that’s what I’ve done – I've started to feel better towards the end of this week with a couple of gentle bike sessions to remind myself what exercise feels like. 

I’m hoping by the time you’re reading this that I’ve been able to get out and log some miles. 

However, I’m not going to go chasing the training I’ve lost. I know my fitness is still in a good place and it’s impossible to lose much in a relatively short space of time. I just need to get well. 

I spoke to Neil Featherby about the situation and how potentially I’m going to have to ‘taper up’ into Manchester and he said something that he knew would resonate with me given my job and love for football. 

“You’re going to be the team making a late dash for the play-offs – you're going to be in form when you need to be.” 

I like that narrative – that's definitely something I can get on board with. I’m basically Norwich City... 

If you’re struggling to get the training in that you want for all manner of different reasons, then know that you’re not alone.  

As runners it’s inbuilt that we always want to do more but these setbacks remind us of how much we want to do this. 

Talk to someone, think clearly and try to make the best decisions you can to make it to the start line. 

Because that really is a win in itself.