Walsingham Planning – Always Going the Extra Mile……
We always endeavour to ensure our planning applications are approved as quickly and efficiently as possible, adopting sprinting rather than marathon pacing, wherever possible. Simon Millett, a Consultant based in our Bourne End Office, tackled the world famous London Marathon for the second time earlier this year, finishing 52nd overall in a time of 2 hours 28 mins, just 26 minutes behind the race winner. Here he outlines the challenges of training for and undertaking the race itself, alongside managing a varied and demanding caseload as a Planning Consultant.
In April this year I completed my second London Marathon. Training had gone well this time around with no injuries or illnesses and I was feeling optimistic, with an aim of 2 hours 26 minutes and 23 seconds to be exact (5:35 miles). The plan was to go off a little less conservatively this time in order to make sure I left nothing in the tank!
Chatting to some of the guys in the start area, it seemed there were a few of us after a similar time and so when the gun went, a group of around 15 of us all set off together.
The pace was a little quicker than planned but I had committed and running in a group made life easier, so I stuck with it. I went through halfway in 1:12:15 and felt good so was feeling optimistic as I knew I had a bit of time in the bank if I needed to slow.
However, at the 20 mile mark I learnt why the marathon can be so cruel and the dangers of being too gung-ho! My legs started twinging with cramp and by mile 21 the twinges were a lot more frequent and I had to put the brakes on just to make it to the finish line without stopping. I ended up losing half a minute a mile over the last 10km on my target pace, which brought me over the line in 2 hours 28 minutes and 5 seconds for 52nd place. Not the targeted 2:26 but, at the time, I was just relieved to finish!
After the race, one of the Directors at Walsingham Planning asked if I would write a short article on how I managed to train for the marathon alongside working full-time?
100 mile weeks are hard work in the depths of winter with runs before and after work in the dark, cold, rain and sometimes snow. Many of my runs were around the same 1.5 mile loop of grass to avoid running on hard surfaces and aggravating previous injuries. Boredom was therefore a factor but I was motivated by running with friends as much as I could and getting to the start line in the best shape possible (and of course how many miles I could rack up on Strava!). Weekends were all about training and recovery.
However, I actually quite enjoyed it all. I love a challenge so I was quite willing to commit to the training. I also really like eating. Running 100 miles a week makes you hungry all of the time!
Good time management was key. Every once in a while, I did have to miss or cut a run short for work or other reasons, but I felt I was able to find a consistent and healthy balance between work and play (it probably helps that I don’t have any children!).
One month post-marathon and I am back running along with the rest of Walsingham Planning Runners and Triathletes!