I had the pleasure of spectating at the Norfolk Marathon on Sunday. 

The weather gods really weren’t kind to the near 1,000 runners that completed the race.  

It was cold. It was wet. It was windy.  

It was the kind of conditions you spend all week checking the weather app on your phone hoping to avoid. 

When you consider what a tough, undulating course it is, those that completed the race have my utmost respect. Congratulations to the EPIC team for putting on such a well organised event... it’s not easy and to be honest when I’ve ventured outside Norfolk for races (it’s allowed...) I often find it’s not as slick as what our fine county has to offer. 

I was glad to have a supporter role on Sunday; rather than worrying about when to take my next gel, I was wondering where I was going to get lunch from. 

There are still one or two abroad, but Sunday’s event all but concluded the spring marathon season. 

Some runners will take a well-earned rest whilst others will be plotting when they can get in some speed training ahead of shorter races over the coming months. 

I’m in the latter camp and after the Yarmouth 5M race last week it gave me a wake-up call just how different that sort of running is. 

Before the calf injury that forced me to miss the Manchester Marathon, I had been grinding out steady miles for what felt like months on end so the effort at Yarmouth was a bit of a shock to the system. There have been one or two photos of me that demonstrate this, much to the amusement of some of my friends. 

Whilst I was pleased with my run, the reality is that I have lost a bit of fitness as I’ve been recovering from the calf problem. There’s only so much cycling I can do, and nothing replaces the training effect of regular runs. 

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I’m trying to be kind to myself and think rationally. There’s absolutely no way I can maintain peak running fitness the whole year round. 

I’ve spoken to Neil Featherby before in terms of fitness and ‘coming down the mountain’ before trying to scale an even bigger one. The trick is not to fall too far back down the mountain through injury or a lack of motivation. 

Earlier this week, I tried a 4x1mile session and it confirmed that I’ve got a lot of work to do to fulfil some of the goals I’ve got over the next few months. It was hideous; I was frustrated by how hard I found it before my wife, Alison, helped re-frame it saying ‘well done for doing it’. 

I’m also still at the stage of being pleased to finish a run without tightness in my calf and rather than mourn some of that lost fitness, I’m mindful that I probably needed the break that the injury forced me to take. 

I’m running GEAR on Sunday and that’s going to provide a benchmark for other races I’ve got this summer, notably the Wroxham 5K in July. 

The temptation is to do lots of races but to do myself justice I want to have a really good May of getting my head down and trying to get some quality sessions in. It’s so nice to have the lighter evenings as well and provides ample opportunity to get runs in. 

It might mean missing the odd race, but I feel like I need to build some mileage with a sprinkle of speed to get back to where I was earlier in the year. 

That’s the plan anyway; it’s time to start climbing the mountain again. 

When you see me on the start line of the Dereham 10M you can remind me of this column...