|LA from the Runyon Canyon|
On Sunday, I'll be working my way from Downtown LA to Santa Monica, the finish line for the Los Angeles Marathon. I am fortunate to be here with Skechers, who have brought 35 runners from across the world to take part alongside the other 24,000 runners running the Skechers Performance Los Angeles marathon.
My build up to this marathon has been very different to any other marathon I've ever run, let's say the past month has brought a new level to the definition of a running 'taper'. Early in the year, things were progressing well, with a couple of good results at County and Southern Cross, and the Sunday long run was building nicely up to 18-20 miles. I was also a regular down at the Thursday Battersea session, which is probably the toughest session of the week, where I'd worked up to about 65 mins of running long reps slightly above or below marathon pace. I'd banked a number of 90+ mile weeks in January and all was on track for LA.
Then what happened?
In early February I developed some pain in the outside of my lower leg, which I thought was from overuse of the muscle there. Following an MRI scan to rule out a stress fracture, the physio agreed with my thoughts, and since then the muscle has been needled, massaged and anti-inflammatoried as much as possible in an effort to get me to the start line.
So what's the impact been on running?
Significant, in that my total running mileage since 10th February has been incredibly low. However, in its place has been a combination of swimming, cycling and time on the rowing machine in order to keep my aerobic ability in a state capable of completing a marathon, whilst (hopefully) allowing my leg muscle to recover without the stresses of running. Bike rides have been anything from up to 90 miles to 5-20 minute intervals, whilst swimming and rowing has involved a steady 50-60 minute effort.
How am I feeling for Sunday?
I feel in good shape aerobically, the injury in my leg has certainly settled and hopefully it'll behave itself on the day. I have a strategy in my mind to go out comfortably, and perhaps wind things up from halfway, quite different from any other marathon I've run, as typically I'll go out hard and pay for it in the closing stages. Perhaps this might be an eye-opener for how to tackle the marathon on race day! I'm looking forward to the event, and seeing new parts of a city through a marathon is an experience I've not had since I first ran London back in 2003.
The men's race starts at 13:55 London time and, if you fancy tracking the race, you can follow it here or #GoRunLA