Toad and Id throw stones at my running training

We’ve already taken a trip into how dark and obstructive my mind can be and this week it was up to its old tricks trying to undermine my efforts to have a properly constructed training regime for the London Marathon.

I designated Week Five as an ‘easy’ week - a chance for the body to catch up with the hard work from the weeks before. I racked up nearly 60 miles in Week Four including a long run of 17 miles and my best ever interval session during which I reached such speeds I expect to get a call up to the Justice League any day now.

I started my easy week with a long run of 18 miles. It was a slog but not unenjoyable as I mixed up hills, road running, the Thames towpath and a bit of woodland so the variety made it appealing.

I was in London for work all day Monday and replaced my usual steady run to work and back (17 miles total) with a gentle 5km run in the sun before donning the suit and heading into the big smoke.

On Tuesday I was back in the office and hit the treadmill at lunchtime. I smashed out another very strong interval session, improving again on the pace of the previous week.

Wednesday was a rest day and my brain was already itching to point out that I was easing off. Of course, my conscious mind - the SuperEgo if we want to go down the Freudian route - knew exactly what I was doing and why, but the blasted Id was jumping up-and-down and pulling at threads of doubt.

I tried hard to ignore it but it nagged away - a Larkin toad that refused to be pitchforked and driven off.

Having spent more than a month running on my own I thought it was time to make running a bit social (and a bit competitive) and joined Oxford Tri club at the running track on Thursday night.

Unfortunately it was covered in a thin but ankle-snapping layer of ice which meant that we shared the infield with a variety of other running groups. The coach adapted brilliantly and managed to put in a good technique-building session with base fitness thrown in.

It was really enjoyable and confirmed to me that I need a bit of company on my training journey.

Friday and Saturday were both ‘off days’ as I completed my rest week. The spiteful side of my brain continued to throw insults at me, telling me that ‘I’d be unfit next week’, that 'my dream of breaking 3.15 at London was disappearing with each lazy day' but I ignored it and rested up anyway.

I totalled just 30 miles for the week but it's difficult to know how much good it did me as I am suffering a bit of a bad back now. It’s not running-related and doesn’t interfere with training but it makes sitting at a desk almost literally a pain in the backside.


  1. Good stuff Malcolm. Not sure what the beard is all about?
    What are you expecting at London?
    See you Thursday? We can so laps that are 400m long not 200.

    1. I'll be there Nick. Will try to make it a regular session now.

      I'm aiming for 3.15 at London but it's a big ask.