Top 10 tips for a serial “applier”


Last night, I finally managed to clear out my cupboards of all the alcohol gifted to me this Christmas …. it was a tough job, but someone had to do it and as the only adult in the house, the burdon of this particular responsibility lay firmly with me! And so it is with a fuzzy head that I now need to look forward to everything I’ve got planned this year.

A few months ago, my lovely mentor fell off of his bike in quite a dramatic fashion, leaving himself with some pretty severe head damage. But my mentor is fit, he’s strong and I’m proud to say he’s making his comeback – slowly, but it’s a comeback nevertheless.  My mentor also has the biggest, kindest heart in the entire running community and whilst nursing his injuries at home, he’s very kindly drawn me up a 20 week marathon training plan in preparation for my Marathon Tour of GB & Ireland 2019 which fits in with work and my kids. Now! if you could all scroll back up to the 1st paragraph… to the words “fuzzy head” …  I’m afraid to say that I’ve already screwed his training plan up … Not because it should have started on 1st January, not even because dry January lasted less than 12 hours in this house…. but because I now need to condense that 20 week plan into 14 weeks thanks to the fuzzy head being in charge of an uncontrollerable finger whilst holding a mobile phone! #I’mATwat. It’s going to be a big ask, it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be massively shit in places and it’s going to hurt … alot, but once you get your head around these points you should be good to go.

So! What to do when you accidentally on purpose hit the apply button for a challenge you don’t have much time to train for?  … I appear to be an expert at this so here are my top 10 tips …

  1. First up, don’t panic
  2. When #1 doesn’t work … panic
  3. Grab a pen and a calender and start planning.  Try including speed work, tempo runs, cross training, core and strengthening sessions and of course .. that ever so scary weekly long run. Don’t get so panicky that you forget to plan in a rest day!
  4. If you already had a plan but you need to reduce it, see if you can chuck in an extra run or extra strength training … but for god sake don’t go injuring yourself otherwise #1-3 above were pointless and knackering activities
  5. Stick to your plan as best you can but be flexible … life, kids, work, lack of sleep, wine – all these wonderful things can sometimes get in the way
  6. The next time you get given alcohol as a present, politely decline ….
  7. If you can, grab a group of people who can help you through your training … perhaps they can be bribed using the alcohol you couldn’t bring yourself to decline in #6
  8. It’s going to hurt … accept this fact and expect nothing less. Once you’ve achieved this you’re halfway there.
  9. If all else fails, rock up to the start line in a fancy dress outfit and run / walk / crawl it for charity
  10. Finally, the most important tip of all.  Don’t do it again … just don’t.

If you have any other tips you think would help, I’d love to hear them!! but until next time…..



4 thoughts on “Top 10 tips for a serial “applier”

  1. Marathons are as much as a mental challenge as a physical one. There’s no need to panic about and there’s nothing wrong with a run walk strategy. Some people will quite happily sign up for a marathon a few days before and happily finish it.


    1. That is very true Bruce! Anyone signing up the day before is a definite crazy bad-ass 😂 …. so Bruce! As a man who seems to quite happily knock out a 30 mile training run – do you have any top tips for my head?


  2. Firstly – Thank you very much for the very kind comments. Despite my unfortunate and regrettable accident I have still kept in touch with everyone running and I was overjoyed to work on your training plan. This has been one of the few things to keep me going and remain positive during my recovery. (Perhaps I should write about my experiences in a blog?)
    Secondly – Adapt and adjust the training plan depending on the situation and circumstances (but you have said this in your blog). Do not beat yourself up just because you “missed” a run and do not play “catch up”.
    Thirdly – Do not stress and fret about the training (I know it is easier said than done). Circumstances and situations, e.g. daily life, can get in the way. Look after yourself and focus on the positives. When feeling down look back at what you have already achieved. This sounds a bit mad but I have a photo album on my mobile with lots of running memories and I can assure you that I have been looking at these a lot over the past few weeks – it has helped greatly with my mood when feeling despondent and gloomy, and have helped reinforce the attitude “I will be back” and “I can do this..”
    Finally – I think you have covered just about everything in your writing….. Knowledge, experience, know how, appreciation of the commitment – you have it all.
    It is a well used cliché – you can do this and you will do this.
    Looking forward to reading about your adventures and have to admit I am a envious of your plans for this year. Wishing you all the very best of luck.


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