As many of you know, I am running in the London Marathon in April, to raise money for Breast Cancer Now.
I am now in the 16-week countdown, so the training has kicked in properly:
Pilates on Monday evenings to stretch muscles and build core strength; a 6 to 8km run on a Tuesday; hill sprints on a Wednesday to build fitness; a rest day on Thursday; a slightly longer run Friday evening, before the long runs kick in at the weekend – 12km last Sunday, building to 15km this Sunday, then up to 18km, then a half-marathon (21km), and upwards from there, until I get to 42km, or 26 miles.
I have found a number of things that make a real difference:
- Watching TED talks on my iPad, when I run on my treadmill at home, makes the time fly and is genuinely fascinating.
- Listening to audio books on my iPod when running outside – particularly psychology books – gives me something to think about and motivates me while I am running.
- Wearing the right kit, that also makes me smile: brightly-coloured new trainers, fitted by the brilliant guys at Coventry Runner, who carry out ‘gait analysis’ to correct your stride. Filming me running, it was clear that my ankle was bending, so they recommended some new Asics that have corrected the problem completely.
- And I loved the colour so much, that I bought a Swatch watch from our Solihull store to match! Easy to read the numbers when running, lightweight and comfortable with its silicon strap, it is the perfect running watch – especially when teamed with a FitBit on the other wrist.
- And a great book from my friend, Emma – ‘Run like a Girl’ – which is full of good advice and inspiring stories of early female marathon runners. It was only in 1972 that women were allowed into the Boston Marathon, for example, as it was believed that women’s bodies couldn’t cope with the distance!
But mainly – it is the thought that I will raise money for such a good cause that is motivating me as I train. Breast Cancer Now is determined to stop deaths from breast cancer, by 2050. Although many more survive than ever before, 12,000 women still die every year from Breast Cancer.
Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, created by the merger of Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. We have supported this excellent charity for many years at Fabulous, and many of you have donated over those years at our events and raffles.
Now, I’d like to ask you to support it further, by sponsoring me for the marathon. I’m aiming to raise £3000 for this cause, and have a fund-raising page set up at www.justgiving.com/jostroud.
I’ll keep you updated with my progress over the next few weeks as the date gets closer! Thanks very much for reading this, and for your support.