01 February 2009

2006 Auckland Half Marathon - The build up

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If you're a bit confused by the title for this post, don't be. I'm taking the opportunity while on this enforced injury break to write a report on my first ever race, the 2006 Auckland Half Marathon, before all memories of it are long forgotten.

To set the scene I will first go back even further to mid 2005 when the thought of running the half was first mentioned by some enthusiastic work colleagues. There was a group of four or five of us who took up the challenge and even though I was in no shape back then to even be contemplating a half marathon, as I was the youngest I thought I would look pretty soft if I didn't accept the challenge.

I trained for several months before succumbing to the dreaded shin splints thus I failed to make the start line in 05. I did end up carrying the drinks however and it was hugely motivating watching all the finishers and I was even more determined that I would make the start line in 06.

In 2006 I had more time to prepare and my base fitness was generally way better than a year earlier. After two or three months of training the shin pain was still hanging around and rather than just give in to it as I had the previous year, this time I sought out some advice and treatment. My pyhsio gave me a range of stretches to do to improve my flexibility which I still do to this day. I also saw a podiatrist and got some custom fitted orthotic insoles. I took a four week break to rest the shins during which time I kept up my fitness with swimming and biking. It's amazing how effective these activities are for maintaining ones fitness when you can't run.

Six weeks out from the half I was back running. It was a quick fire six week half marathon training programme which involved a four week build up phase followed by a two week taper. At the end of week four I successfully completed a 19k (11.8 mile) run in 1:33 and at that point I was confident that I would make this distance.

I was still just running three days a week and combining that with one swim a week as well as a bike ride some weeks too.

The shins were holding up nicely but around this time I started to experience the other issue that still frustrates me today, the numb foot after about 30 minutes of running. Back then it didn't seem to be every run so I was never quite sure when this thing would pop up.

However, I was now certain that I could make it to the half and I was ready for the big day.

Stay tuned for the Race Report.

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