Steve's Marathon Challenge - he has a plan!

This year I am running the London Marathon for the first time. My goal is to complete it in 4:00 - 4:30hrs and raise £3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

All entrants have their motivation for running, from breaking world records to raising money and awareness, if you'd like to understand my motivation, you can read why I am running here and below you can keep up to date with my progress as I push myself to complete the weekly training targets.

2020 London Marathon, minus 10 weeks!

Week 6 (10 - 16 February)
Some semblance of normality returned to the Davies household as my wife was allowed home from hospital on Friday. Thank you to everyone who contacted me to wish her well.

During the week, between hospital visits, I managed the usual early morning spin class and three circuit training sessions. On the odd late evening I actually began to enjoy a couple of runs. On Monday I braved the cold evening for an 8.5km in the dark and then on Saturday, I faced Storm Dennis and seemed to spend the whole time running into a strong headwind for 6.2km around Tatton Mere. My calf was holding up reasonably well so on Sunday I made the decision to try a longer run. At 9am I set off around Tatton with an option to cut it short if my calf wasn’t up to it. However, it went well so I continued and managed 15km around Knutsford and Rostherne, finding parts of the town I live in I didn’t know existed.

By the end of Week 6 I was feeling much more confident about my own ability/fitness after a week or so off. But the realisation that next week starts the last 10 weeks countdown was a real wakeup call. To add to that, my JDRF running bib arrived on Saturday along with the arrangements for the big day.

So, my total distance covered this week was almost 30km at a pace between 6:33min/km and 6:51min/km on the longer run which gives an average pace of 6:42min/km resulting in a projected marathon time of 4hrs 39mins. I will need to step up my pace if I am to achieve my target time of 4:00-4:30hrs for the marathon.

If you would like to help me reach my goal of raising £3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and are able to donate, the link can be found here, Thank You

Week 5 (3 - 9 February)
What a difference a week makes. All plans and good intentions went out the window this week as my wife was rushed into hospital on Sunday. She has spent the week in intensive care which meant I have been focused on getting to the hospital to visit, look after the children and dog leaving very little time for anything else. At the time of writing this she is improving and hopefully will be discharged at some point this week.

In the meantime, I have managed to squeeze some very early mornings in the gym with the compulsory spin class on Monday and circuit training on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (6-7am) but I have not felt inclined to go running.

We were both scheduled to go skiing this week but obviously this has been cancelled which means I should be able to get back into the routine shortly.

Therefore I haven’t recorded any runs this week so I am hoping that my running pace this week won’t have suffered too much and I still have a projected marathon time of 4hrs 30mins


Week 4 (27 January - 2 February)
Yet again the spin class kicked off the week but my right calf muscle was still very sore and bruised so I took the decision to take it easy this week and focus more on some gym work. So Tuesday and Wednesday I did circuit training (2 x 1hr sessions) that was harder than I thought and on Wednesday I tried a run. 12.35km felt like a lot more and really didn’t go well in terms of speed or how my calf felt (but at least I had done some miles). Thursday I was back in the gym for another 1hr circuit training session and I rounded the week off on Friday with a 8.58km run around Knutsford. This went slightly better and clearly marked the fact that my calf was feeling better. Next week I intend to step back up again (hopefully).

My running pace this week varied between 6:36min/km to 6:22min/km. My average pace is still around the 6:30min/km giving a projected marathon time of 4hrs 30mins.

If you would like to help me reach my goal of raising £3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and are able to donate, the link can be found hereThank You

Week 3 (20-26 January)
Again the spin class kicked off the week (6:30am on a Monday never feels great) but the beginning of the week started well. Tuesday's 5 mile was my fastest to date which I think is down to the Monday 'rest day' with Wednesday's 5 miles feeling good too. And then 'life' got in the way. Thursday I was attending meetings in Worcester and had every intention of running in the morning beforehand but just didn't find the time. Then into Friday when a small domestic emergency which ended with me taking my son to hospital (diabetes related) meant that Friday's run also didn't happen. No problem - Saturday I had time and the weather forecast was reasonable, so I set off on a different route (around Mere and Ashley) with every intention of covering my first half-marathon distance. Or at least that was the intention. But around 6 miles I felt my right calf muscle give way and that was the end of that. I had to make a rather sheepish phone call to my wife to come and pick me up.

So this is my first week that hasn't gone to plan. I am still nursing a tender right calf but home to be back at it next week.

My running pace this week varied between 6:30min/km to 6:18min/km. My average pace is now 6:23min/km giving a projected marathon time of 4hrs 25mins.


Week 2 (13-19 January)
Started the week with a spin class (on my rest day) again but I think it helps keep my legs less stiff after the Sunday long run. For some reason I did 8 miles on Tuesday (rather than the scheduled 5 miles). Wednesday was a regular 5 miles but on Thursday I was not able to face going out, feeling very tired. The first break-away from the schedule made me feel bad but I did make up for it by running the 5 miles the next day (Friday - on my rest day). The weekend went well around various family commitments. Saturday was a cross-country blast around Tatton Park although it was rather muddy. Sunday was my longest run to date with an 11 mile mix of cross country and road running. The fog made it interesting as I headed for the Airman's Memorial with no point of reference. Anyway, managed to avoid the heard of deer/stags and made it home in just over 2hrs.

My running pace this week varied between 6:53min/km (cross country) to 6:19min/km (Friday's run after a two day break). My average pace is now 6:37min/km giving a projected marathon time of 4hrs 35mins.


Week 1 (6-12 January) 
I decided to try and keep up the gym sessions AND do the training runs - we will see how long I keep that up. So Monday started not with a rest but a spin class. Tuesday was the first run (5miles - early morning in the dark) and it seemed to go OK. Tuesday also a 5 mile so now I'm two miles up on my plan already. Wednesday morning a circuit training session. Thursday's run (also 5 miles) ended with a few hill sprints (Dury Lane) which seemed to freeze my calf muscles for the next two days. Friday came as a welcome rest. On Saturday I made the mistake of delaying my run until the evening when at 7pm it began to pour down so a very very wet run in the dark without headphones. So the first big run on Sunday (9 miles) was a psychological barrier. I managed to combine two of my weekly circuits and managed to finish in 1:30hr.

My running pace started at 7:04min/km but by Sunday it had come down to 6:42min/km giving me a projected marathon time of  4hrs 44mins.

I hope you enjoyed the above and would like to help me reach the goal of raising £3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation . If you are able to donate, the link can be found here

Thank You