9 Days to go & tapering!

9 days to go and I’m 60% excited vs. 40% fearful of injury and the unknown. In a state of just wanting it to arrive and be done whilst really looking forward to it. 100% sure tapering feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeels good!

Tapering: To diminish or reduce, to gradually lessen
Feels good!

In the context of my running tapering is backing off the last 3-2 weeks of training in a bid to get legs and body in optimal condition for the main event. The Sunday before last I ran 15 miles (instead of my usual 18-20) and this Sunday was a steady 10 miles on the Sunny Pembrokeshire Costal Path.

Saundersfoot, Pembrokshire
Sunny South Wales
Map last Sunday's run from RunKeeper
Now considered a ‘short’ run – Check out the elevation changes!

Jez has been updating my training plan as we go, the final week will only see me run 6-9 miles with lots of rest prescribed. I’m taking lots of advice and having a sports massage on the Monday to ease out any potential niggles. Cannot wait for my first beer and surf after it’s done. 9 days seems both a short and long time.

Over the last two weeks I’ve been reading a lot of marathon blogs and the provided magazines. All are packed with information / information overload. Linked below are two really useful blog posts. Lots of great advice for tapering and first time London Marathon runners like me!



£1589.99 raised so far
Nearly there!

Fund raising is going well! Thanks again to all those that have donated! Now is a great time to donate as I’m less than £12 from my target 😀

Please sponsor me here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OllyBrand

The BBC have an excellent new section on Meningitis. Please take the time to have a read and know the symptoms http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/meningitis2.shtml


18 Miles Run!

Two Milestones reached this weekend:

  • Over halfway to my fund raising target. Reached thanks to incredible generosity from a Cognos friend!

    Virgin Giving Page
    Fund Raising Page
  • 18 Miles plodded!

Thanks to all who have contributed so far. £800 to go seems a lot more achievable than the original target.  I have to raise £1600 to be eligible to race and £1300 of it by March 22nd. Clicking on the thermometer pic links to my fund raising page. All donations gratefully received.

The training plan suggested running 16 miles, having run 14 miles the last two Sundays. Both 14s were great for my confidence. Before them my furthest distance was the Bath Half last year. On a gorgeous sunny morning the plan was simple: Run 7 miles out, 7 miles back then 1 mile into Devoran and back to the car. The plan gave me a lot of options and backup as I stashed water, gels and food in the car.

However, this was not the plan of Mark, Mark and Nigel from Truro Running Club. All 3 veteran Marathon Runners. Somehow they persuaded me to do 8 miles out and 8 miles back. This then became 9 miles. Given the sun was shining and spirits were high we went for it.

Joining a running club has been great for my motivation. It has also provided running partners to push me and glean lots of good advice from. Thanks to all for the tips and additional motivation so far. Without these guys today’s run would have been a lot harder and 2 miles less.

I failed to get Runkeeper started before we left and missed the first few hundred metres denying me the full bragging rights. This happened largely because I fell on the costal path the Friday before last and scratched my iPhone holder. The scratches stop it responding to the Runkeeper app and start activity button. At least it wasn’t my screen and the arm band case only cost £5, delivered!

No prizes for guessing when we stopped to turn around, or when ‘nature’ called.

18 Mile Runkeeper Log

The best laid plans of mice and men – My legs are not my friends

Meningitis and the 2013 London Marathon

My Dad had a close scare with Meningitis. Minutes made the difference: quick thinking Mum, Paramedics and A&E Doctor saved my Dad’s life. Please take a small time out from your day to watch the video and learn the symtoms:


As a small token of thanks to all the people that helped Dad and to raise money for the Trust I applied to run the 2013 London Marathon.


Sadly, in September the Trust gently let me down. They’d had a record 450 applications, inspired by the Olympics, for a mere 60 places. I made the call this was fate but foolishly said I’d like to be considered as a reserve. Half-marathon fit and it ‘wouldn’t take much’ additional training to be 26 miles ready. At the end of November I got the call to action :D. December I sent in my entry fee and started to up my running & research. In blog posts to follow I hope to document my training, findings and progress. Fingers crossed for progress and that it will help / be of interests to others to.

Track my training here: http://runkeeper.com/user/iOlly/profile

Sponsor me here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OllyBrand

To help with motivation and the longer runs I’ve signed up to Truro Running club and running with them Sunday Morning and Wednesday evenings.

At the moment I feel I could run 26.2 miles but my goal is sub 4 hours and to raise over £1600 for the trust. Those two things are causing me the sleepless nights / pressure!