Running, Training

Proper Preparation…

One of the best things about running is it’s not dependent on anything.  If you want to run, you can just throw on your trainers and head out the door.  Up to now, this has been true for me.  Up to a 10k, I’d pop on my trainers and run.  10k to half marathon distance, I’d add water and my trusty Garmin Forerunner 310XT.

In winter, I add more clothes.  In summer, less.

As my marathon training has kicked in and the distances get longer, simple running isn’t working quite so well for me.  A combination of distance and my natural control-freakishness means my running prep is getting longer and longer.  Take last Sunday (15 miles) for example – here’s how I got ready:

  • Take my normal morning asthma inhalers
  • Apply sudocrem to areas liable to sweat rash
  • Apply vaseline to areas liable to rubbing
  • Take ibuprofen for recent ankle pain
  • Get dressed
  • Fill water bottle
  • Put on garmin
  • Put on iPod
  • Put gels into RooSport pouch

And only then was I ready to go…

Proper planning prevents poor performance!  If I’m not fully prepared, I’m much more likely to have a bad run.  Little niggles (for example, haven’t put vaseline under my arms where they rub if I wear a vest) become all I can focus on, to the detriment of everything else.

I’m undecided about whether this is a bad thing or not.  I like to be prepared, but I don’t want it to take over and ruin the simple pleasure of going out for a run. I’m not so bad heading out for shorter runs, so I guess it’s okay.  I might need a checklist come marathon day though 🙂

10 weeks to the marathon, and my Great North Run pack arrived in the post yesterday.  My life feels divided into ‘pre-marathon’ and ‘post-marathon’ at the moment.

Injury, Kit, Running, Training

Ouch! Chafing

There are some things that runners only talk about in small groups.  We huddle together, whispering about our dark secrets.  You might hear the occasional word “nipple” “blood” “vaseline” “toilet”.

This week one of running’s dirty secrets hit me hard – the dreaded chafing.  I didn’t feel it as it was happening, but at the end of my 14 mile run I had a swollen red line at the top of my leg that was unbelievably painful.  Now I have to work out what caused it and how to prevent it.

Chafing happens anywhere your skin is rubbed.  It can be on your chest, legs, feet, anywhere!  If I run in a vest I get it at the top of my arms where my underarm rubs against the sleeve hole on my vest.

Chafing can be a problem if you’re running regularly as it needs time to heal.  I had to cut short my last run because the chafing I’d picked up the day before was so painful.

The runner’s best defense against chafing is Vaseline.  It’s not glamorous, but rub it all over any spot you might chafe,  There are some runner specific lubricating gels, but I’ve not tried them – if you have, let me know what you think.

If you get chafing during a race, look out for first aiders by the track with their hands stuck out – those hands are probably full of some kind of petroleum jelly.

If it’s too late and the chafing has already happened, try Sudocrem.  It’s not just for babies bottoms – it will help you to heal more quickly.

Running…it’s all about the glamour!