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Running column: It’s time for Mark Armstrong find a new routine amongst the newborn chaos

701Mark Armstrong on the home straight at the Colchester Half Marathon. Picture: Sussex Sport Photography

701Mark Armstrong on the home straight at the Colchester Half Marathon. Picture: Sussex Sport Photography

Sussex Sport Photography.com 2018

Running columnist Mark Armstrong is looking to find a new running routine as he adjusts to being a family of four...

I’ve had to take a bit of a backward step from running recently.

Becoming a father for the second time has impacted upon my training, as it should do, and it’s only now that I’m starting to take the first steps back towards a training plan.

I’m not moaning, far from it – it’s great having another little one…but it’s also hard work.

I won’t bore any non parents with the details but it’s safe to say that if I thought spare time was at a premium with my daughter, Lara, then it’s nothing compared to having a son (Logan) as well.

All the sleep makes it easier though…(I’ve found an even deeper love for coffee over the last month).

Taking a step back from an intensive training regime has at least allowed me to take stock of any aches and pains I’ve been feeling.

Towards the end of my last training block I felt like I was close to breaking down. I felt in great form and I was really pleased with my speed, which allowed me to PB at the Colchester Half Marathon.

However, my calves were constantly tight after runs, despite a lot of foam rolling, and the sole of my left foot was extremely sore in the mornings leading up to the event.

MORE: How does Dani Nimmock juggle a full time job with being a marathon winner?

They weren’t stopping me training but I knew they were things that had the potential to get progressively worse and sideline me if I didn’t get to the bottom of why they were hurting.

There’s a lot of running I want to do over the next few years and if I don’t get to run then I’m a moody so-and-so. Just ask my wife (who is even more sleep deprived than me and could do without a grumpy husband…)

I booked in with Charles Allen at Sportlink and I had just about taken my socks off before he identified the route of my problems.

My extraordinarily flat feet had led to the start of plantar fasciitis, which means the flat band of tissue on the sole of my foot had become inflamed.

I need to do a few exercises that make the sole of my foot more flexible and eventually the pain should go away – here’s hoping.

It was a good point to press the reset button on my running as I really haven’t had the inclination to get out too much since Logan came along.

MORE: Love running? Join the Run Anglia Facebook group here

I had been speaking to Neil about how difficult I’ve found it to find time for running and we discussed the importance of making it part of my routine.

If all I can manage is 10 minutes at the moment then so be it. I just need to establish it as part of my weekly routine to ensure I minimise any rustiness that can build up, physically and mentally.

It’s difficult to get my head round not being able to get a full session in with targeted times for each mile – I’ve just got to readjust.

Something is better than nothing at this stage and will set up the period where, hopefully, I can dedicate a bit more time to it.

In the end it will come down to how much I want to do it. If I want to do it badly enough then I will make time for it.

I’ve just got to work out how…

Gone for a place yet?

Did you take the plunge this week? I’m talking about getting your entry into the ballot for the 2019 London Marathon of course. I certainly couldn’t resist but just in case I’ve started to put a few feelers out about getting a charity place for when the inevitable ballot rejection email comes through in October. If you haven’t signed up yet then you’ve got until 5pm today so you had better get cracking.


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