You gotta run, run, run, run, run; Take a drag or two by Leks
June 15, 2009, 6:52 pm
Filed under: WHEAT

Some of you may remember me mentioning some half marathon malarkey about a month ago. Well I have since been reunited with my trusty i-Pod (although devastatingly it’s memory had been wiped so it’s still in a stage of recovery… sob) and this has inspired me to commit to said event. Because as long as I have bangin’ toooooons I’m sure I can make it.

I’ve got just under 3 weeks to get myself up to scratch so I’ll probably have to make the switch from leisurely jogs to proper training from now on. I’m trying to persuade Gareth and Neil to be my training buddies:

Even though I probably would just do it for the lols, I thought I’d also try to raise some money for the Alzheimer’s Society. It’s a cause that means a lot to me after witnessing the distressing effects of Alzheimer’s Disease within my own family. If any of you are interested in sponsoring me, I’ve set up a “justbegging you to donate” page where I talk about it all in a bit more detail here.

If you have any words of advice/ encouragement/ training tips/ your own running experiences to share, that would also be much appreciated…


Leks x


18 Comments so far
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get some of the nike sport mixes, especially 45:33 by lcd soundsystem!

Comment by Tays

That’s a great pic. nothin like a mid-jog smoke and drink

Comment by Dan

Solidarity Aleks!..

(almost the) same charity too (for the same reasons)

what half-marathon are you doing? mine is in Bristol in Sept. i’ve been training for 6 weeks so far (from nothing, i mean, from a drinks n smokes n crisps lifestyle). if you have any tips let me know*. it’s bloody difficult. i ran for 60mins that’s my record so far. so now i just need to double it.

here are my tips so far:

1) get some good socks,
2) if you live in a hostile country don’t wear a rival football shirt while running in the park (England/Bristol Rovers in Cardiff, just for example).



*especially if you have any clues as to what i’m mean to be doing with my arms, swinging?

Comment by Rob Sell

Lovely Aleks : )

I’ll donate a fiver/tenner depending on how much I can sell some old stuff for on eBay.

Also, I though for a minute that was an old St. Etienne shirt you had on there Gareth


Comment by Daniel

good luck, i used to run for my schools cross-country team i can’t give you much advice because i was the worst on the team and finished second to last many a time, but jam and digestives are a really good source of energy

Comment by James

*hums the music from the training scenes of Rocky*

Comment by ciaran

keep your eyes on the prize. second place is for losers and idiots. be in it to win it. if you’re not able to keep pace at the front all the way then arrange for someone to emerge from some bushes with a cricket bat and slap you down extreme style on the asphalt. make sure you scream: “oooooooooh horror! i am slain!”. also, can i conditionally sponsor you on the condition that you win? thanx lolz.

Comment by ross gellar from friends

Okay, so, I guess I’m pretty good at running, even if it’s not my primary sport. I once unofficially ran a 1:30 half marathon (about 7:00 minute/mile pace) while training for my first full marathon, which I finished around a 7:40 minute/mile pace last October (also raising money w/ justgiving, for MSF International). I can help, I think, as I’ve helped many friends make their own training plans, diagnosed running injuries, etc, &c.

The first thing one would need to know are the specifics of your current fitness. Among other things, how long are your long runs now? How often have you been running during the week, in terms of both time and distance?

Given that it sounds like your goal is more survival than speed, knowing the course profile is not too important. Hopefully it’s flat. If it’s particularly hilly, you’ll want to train a bit on hills, just to make sure you can handle them. You should be able to find hill workouts somewhere online, though such cookie cutter workouts don’t always match up with everyone’s fitness levels/goals. Modifying them sometimes requires an experienced advisor’s guidance.

Have you been eating on long runs while training? You should start if you haven’t. It’s incredibly hard on your body to finish any distance longer than 10 miles without having a few bites to eat, and you wouldn’t want to eat something on race day that sends your system into angry fits (bathroom breaks when no bathrooms are around). I have personal preferences and recommendations for such “performance foodstuffs,” but I the products in Britain are different from in America (like, wtf is lucozade that I see in my soccer and cycling mags?).

What else, gosh. Rest is maybe the most important thing for a first-time big-distance runner. You don’t need to taper the way you do for a marathon, but if you’re ramping up your mileage to previously unexplored levels, you will need to pay a lot of attention to what your body is telling you to avoid injury. There’s nothing quite like the disappointment of training for months, only to miss your event because you pushed it just one mile harder than your body could handle in order to reach a semi-arbitrary training mileage target.

Good shoes and socks are important, but at this point, you don’t want to change anything that has been working fine for you. Such sudden changes combined with increased mileage could result in blisters, bone spurs, even stress fractures, and that would really, really suck.

I do wish I could communicate these things further as I do like helping people with this stuff (clearly, I talk for far too long). Maybe you’ll answer these questions or if Gareth direct-messaged me on twitter, that would thrill me and I’d give him a few bonus training workouts that involve beer, donuts, and ice cream floats between miles. Because you can’t perform at your peak on Weetabix alone.

Comment by Eric

Serious LOL moment at Ross Gellar there.

Comment by Lois

Thank you for donating to who you are donating too. That real hits home. Good Luck

Comment by vanessa

I think you should put Neighbourhood #2 by Arcade Fire on your running mix. “come on Aleks, you can do it! come on Aleks, there’s nothing to it!”

I just started running again a few weeks ago so I’d feel silly advising you. I will give one tip! Make sure you get enough calcium to keep your bones strong. It also acts as a muscle relaxant which would probably be useful post-run.

also…my office is fundraising for health charities, and I directed my donation towards the Alzheimer’s Society as my way of kinda sponsoring you. good luck! x

Comment by Julia

Thanks for the helpful tips and support everyone :). Eric, you seem to be a bit of a pro: what snacks would you recommend taking on the run? Are bananas and energy bars along the right lines?
And Julia, I was listening to that Arcade Fire album when I went jogging yesterday…weird…
I’m about to go on my first “official” training jog… and so it begins.


Comment by Leks

The best advice I can give is that when you feel like you’re going to be sick… Don’t stop, keep pushing harder and harder! As my PE teacher used to say, ‘If you’re not throwing up you’re not trying hard enough!’. Definitely the best advice I have ever received.

Good luck Aleks!

Comment by dave

Good luck Leks!

Comment by Veee

Love the Velvets….great song…

following running experiences:
“running’s for shit!” sry but—th’existing more ways to proof discipline character 🙂

Comment by Alfräd

Definitely one of the better pictures I have ever seen.

Comment by Drew

The problems with bananas are that they’re fibrous enough that they can cause people problems. Also, they’re not super convenient to carry along in shorts or food carrying pouches. Energy bars are okay, but a little heavy and chewy for some folks. If those are good, then good! But, I prefer goos/gels/energy shots and the occasional sport gummy/jelly bean. The right flavors taste just like a shot of chocolate pudding (this seems to disgust people, but come on! it’s chocolate pudding!) or like gummy bears. Certain gummies can even be held in your cheeks (like a squirrel) and be allowed to dissolve like a tasty candy as you go.

To keep up with the whole calories burned v. replinished, I like to have one goo or half-energy-bar every 3-4 miles or so when running distances longer than 10 miles. Three or four over the course of the half marathon. There are all sorts of things you can but don’t have to do regarding your diet in the days leading up to the race, but I don’t think you’ll need to worry bout that as long as you don’t run on a hangover or try to eat a ham sandwich at mile 2.

Comment by Eric

I just visited my Grandma today who is struggling with her last years as a result of Alzheimers. I will definitely support you! You look quite pretty in your track outfit also :D.

Comment by Simon

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