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Practice, practice, practice

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Terry Blyth

By Terry Blyth


My training so far has been going extremely well. I have been so pleased with my ability to keep a pace of 10 minutes per mile throughout my training.

My longest training run to date has been 20.77 miles. I just got into the flow and kept going. I won't be running anything near that for the remainder of my training because nearly all advice says to keep your weekly longest run under 16-18 miles.

The runs I do during the week in the evenings are becoming more enjoyable as the nights become lighter and it gets a little warmer. My main challenge has been taking part in the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon. I have been running more than 13.1 miles most weeks, so was confident I could go the distance; but I had this worry that I would run too fast with the excitement of the day. I have never run in a large group before so this was going to be a big test and give me a taste of what it’d be like on the big day.

On the morning of the race it was very foggy and you couldn’t even see the grandstands walking down to the start! As the time for start drew closer, the sun began to show its face.

There were different starts for runners who were aiming for under two hours. I went to the over two hours start, and basically came right up behind the under two hours start; I wasn’t sure I wanted to be that close to them! I met some extremely nice people taking part including two other runners in their Leukaemia CARE vests.

The pacemakers came onto the track, setting a 1 hour 58 minutes race, and were just in front of me. It made me feel very nervous about being that close to them, especially as I have done around 2 hour 20 minutes before, but in some ways this helped me. I knew I could not keep up with that pace, so it served more as a deterrent to let it go, than to try and keep up!

I started to run with a fellow Leukaemia CARE runner, but he had said he had run the distance in around two hours before, so I knew I had to just let him go and try not to keep up. The sun came out and it was a wonderful day in the end, except my head is now suffering from exposure to the sun! I would encourage anyone thinking about taking on the London Marathon in the future, to take part in this event as a practice for the main event. If you have ever enjoyed any type of motor sport, it is a great spectacle to run around the track, through the pits, the outside influences (images of Lewis Hamilton roaring up to his pit garage, then crossing the finish line) definitely let the miles flow past. There were also loads of spectators which helped spur you on gave that increase in energy.

In the end I finished in 2 hours 3 minutes, which I was absolutely chuffed to bits with. I finished with no real aches or pains which is great in the final few weeks. As the weeks go by, I am determined more than ever now to give it my best shot - at my pace! I’m looking forward to saying hello to any Leukaemia CARE runners and meeting the team on the day.

Good luck!

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