Tuesday, 13 December 2011

ROBIN HOOD MARATHON 11 September 2011

A massive thank you to everyone who showed their support and helped me to acheive a marathon time of 3hrs 39mins 51secs, raising a massive £1271 for The British Heart Foundation. It was a superb day and can't wait for the next one.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

1 week to go!

So here we are, 28 weeks and 575 miles of training completed and I'm just 6 days away from my first marathon.

I've taken things pretty easy this week as part of my planned tapering, allowing muscles to heal and my body to recover. The worrying twinge in my left hip after Mondays 10 miler has now become just a slight niggle and I'm hopeful it will have healed completely come Sunday. Apart from that I feel great and can't wait for race day to arrive.

I've calculated my pacing throughout the race and will be aiming to run a negative split using the following times.

Miles 1-2 8:13/mile
3-9 8:05/mile
10-17 7:59/mile
18-26.2 7:51/mile

My trusty Garmin 305 watch should hopefully help me monitor me times and, if all goes to plan, I should finish the race in just under 3hrs 30mins - although I will be more than happy to just finish.

Sponsorship has really taken off this week, a big thank you to all those who have have given so generously. I am currently just £169 away from my £1000 target and am hoping, with the last few sponsors still donating, that I will reach this target by Sunday. If you would like to give please let me know and I'll pop it on my sponsorship form. Alternatively you can use my fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/stevetrotter.

The week ahead is all about making sure I'm relaxed and well rested and that I feel good, both mentally and physically. I plan to get a few short runs in but fitness and training wise the work is all done. Sleep is the doctors order for the week, so am planning plenty of early nights, as there is little chance of a lie-in during my first week back at school.

I will be posting how I got on and, eventually, a full race report (including my final fundraising total) so please keep checking back for my latest news.

See you on the start line!


Thursday, 1 September 2011

10 days to go!

Heart Runners race shirt arrived today, plenty of room and a decent wicking material. You'll certainly see me coming!
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Sunday, 17 July 2011

7 Weeks To Go! - 16 mile Longest Run

After a reassuring trip to the physio on Friday I started this 16 miler (my longest yet) knowing that there is no major problem with my knee, just a little more strength work needed to keep the twinges at bay.

I ran 4 miles at a comfortable 9min/mile pace and then 8 miles at 8min/mile marathon pace, followed by a final 4 miles at 9min/mile.

Cardio and heart rate wise the run felt great by the knee was hurting from about mile 4, a pain which came and went throughout the rest of the run. By the end of mile 16 I was very achy and really felt the difference from the 10-14 mile long runs I've been doing over the last couple of months.

This run has really reiterated the advice from my physio that strength and core work will really come into play as I step up my long runs ready for the Robin Hood Marathon on September 11th.

Another enjoyable early morning long run but one that's certainly got me thinking.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

"And the money kept rolling in!"

Thanks to all the members of THURCROFT THEATRE GROUP for their kind sponsorship of £105 tonight, bringing me 1 step closer to my £1000 target. Please give what you can by donating at www.justgiving.com/stevetrotter

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Week 8 - 12 training - Canada, Hinckley Half Marathon & 200miles completed

It's been a while since my last blog so I thought it high time I let you good people know how my training is progressing.

Easter was spent visiting my brother and his wife in Toronto, Canada which meant I was able to run my most spectacular route to date, Niagara Falls. Despite the torrential rain
I managed a wonderful 10 miles, passing the famous falls on my way up river and again on the way back - truly unforgettable.

A couple of other runs over there, including a 10 miler round Centenary Park in Mississauga, made me realise how easy it is for me to plan routes back in the UK, without the need to worry about of avoiding blocks and blocks of roads and traffic lights.

I returned from Canada with my eye on the next goal, improving my personal best for the Half Marathon. To help me I took the plunge and bought myself a snazzy GPS running watch. My Garmin Forerunner 305, although looking somewhat futuristic, gives every conceivable stat for me to track my progress and compare with other runs. The added heart rate monitor has also given me something else to focus my training on, rather
than simply time, distance and pacing.

Sunday 8th May was the Hinckley Half Marathon where I was determined to beat my Half Marathon time of 1:58:55 from last summer. My training showed I should be capable of a 1:45, with some online calculators predicting sub 1:40. I decided I would set myself an A-goal of sub 1:40 but a back-up 1:45 B-goal if I felt the pace was too quick.

The start of the race was quite crammed as we ran out of the water park and down a fairly narrow country lane. I was concious the pace was quite slow and way behind my 7:37/mile target pace. As I reached mile 3 I was already nearly 2 minutes down on 1:40 pace so I made the decision to go for my B goal of 1:45, trying to stay as close to sub 8min miles as possible. I managed this for most of the race, with the exception of a couple of slow miles up the hill. Although I had to dig in towards the end of the race, I finished the race feeling pretty good and as proud as punch, smashing my personal best by over 15mins and clocking a time of 1:43:45. Although not my A goal I don't think I can complain and this definitely gives me confidence of a achieving a sub 4hr marathon time in September.

I felt pretty good the week after the half marathon and carried on training as usual, including an 11miler the following Sunday. Although I kept to a steady 9mins/mile my body felt really stiff right up until the Tuesday after - 10 times worse than after the half marathon. Anyway, after a couple of easier runs this week I feel much better and am ready for my next long run (11miles) this coming Sunday around the rural villages of Rotherham.

My next race is in 5 weeks time at the Mansfield Half Marathon on 26th June, where hopefully the elusive 1:40 will be achieved.

Thanks again for all your continued support and don't forget to sponsor me for September at www.justgiving.com/stevetrotter.

Till next time!


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Week 7 Training - We was mobbed!

Apologies for the lateness of this post - been a little busy this week!

A week of surreal experiences, along with a reality check on my running. After a late night trying to 'sell' my subject to the delights that are Year 9s 'doing' their options, I moved my runs which unfortunately meant I would run 5 days in a row this week - not good!

I ran Wednesday's interval session pretty hard and am starting to feel my recovery between efforts improving each week - it was also great to read British Heart Foundation's recent research showing the benefits of interval training for the heart. See more here.

Thursday was a somewhat inspirational day as the Watoto Childrens' Choir came to perform at my school. With the youngest member at just 8 years old the performance was absolutely stunning. All of the children are orphans from Uganda and really helped put life into perspective, making me appreciate how lucky I am to have the positive and comfortable life I, and those around me, enjoy.

Friday's tempo run was something of an anticlimax as I got so excited at finishing with an unbelievable pace of 6min30secs. After several goes at re-mapping the route on googlemaps I then realised I had missed one short lap, resulting in a more realistic, but still encouraging, 7:30/mile pace.

Saturday's hill session was when the fatigue really kicked in and has to be my hardest run so far. I know hills are supposed to hurt but I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to lactic acid in the legs - something I'll have to get used to.

Saturday was also the day I experienced my first flash mob in Meadowhall, Sheffield. Added to this surreal experience was also the fact that my Mum was part of the mob, as a member of the BEVOX choir. See more in the video below.

Sunday was, as usual, Long Run day and a steady 8 miler finished off a fun but tiring 21.5 miles of running.

Off to Canada next week so may not manage all my scheduled runs. With 115 miles and 21 weeks to go until my marathon I think I can allow myself a slight reduction in running - I am on holiday after all!

Til Next Week,


Monday, 4 April 2011

Week 6 Training - Blood, Wet and Tears (R.I.P Sandfield I knew you well)

So 20.5 miles of running in one of the most memorable weeks for a long time. Water and various other liquids were a running theme (no pun intended!) of the week which started with Tuesday's interval session. Lets just say it wasn't raining when I left, see the photographic evidence below for what happened next! I also started with my first blister of this running campaign, although it could only be graded as a man blister it did hurt a little during the run - I know I need to be prepared for much more blister pain in the future!

An easy 3 miles after rehearsal on Wednesday was somewhat dryer as was an enjoyable 4 mile tempo run along the beautiful Spring kissed Treeton Dyke on Thursday evening.

Friday was the start of a very special weekend which saw me back on stage with 95 other performers to see off Sandfield Theatre in Nottingham and pay tribute to the amazing and inspirational figure that is Alistair Conquer. This man has inspired and shaped the lives of 1000s of young people through is tireless dedication to arts education over the last 18 years.

Bald caps were the order of the day for use in a number of sketches and skits of Alistair, my ear almost getting severed as my supposed old friend Kelly helped cut the cap round my ears - only to end up with an ear which didn't want to stop bleeding. That aside it was a brilliant event to be a part of and had me blubbering like a baby during a poignant scene as the Integrated Group of performers with learning difficulties paid their final respects to Sandfield.

It was quite something to be back alongside so many old friends who I hadn't seen for 15 years or more and be back as a member of Nottinghamshire Education Theatre (or Nottingham Youth Theatre as it's now known).

All this busyness of the weekend didn't stop the running you'll be pleased to hear and a 7.30am Saturday run around my old stomping ground in West Bridgford, Nottingham was a great start to a fabulous day.

After a late, late night on Saturday I was still determined to make my 7.5 mile Sunday long run and, although I wasn't too enthusiastic at the start, I did feel pretty good throughout - taking it at a nice easy 9.30/mile pace.

Next week should hopefully see me hit the100 mile mark in my training including an 8 mile long run next Sunday. I'm really starting to feel the benefit of my running fitness wise and seem to have more and more energy after each run, long may my enthusiasm last.

I have been asked by a couple of people for some paper sponsorship forms which I should hopefully receive from British Heart Foundation this week. Again thanks to everyone for your continued generosity and support in this worthwhile cause.

Till Next week,


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Week 5 Training - Long runs & Sore Legs!

5 weeks in and the training is starting to mount up, as well as take its toll. Current totals stand at,

Miles this week - 15
Miles this month - 57.7
Miles total - 73.7

Still reeling from last week's Bradford 10K, and after a well earned rest day from running, I enjoyed an easy 3 mile recovery run on Tuesday and felt full of energy and as fit as a fiddle. A shortened interval session on Wednesday, due to Charlotte's 30th Birthday celebrations (welcome to the 30s club my darling!), and I still felt great. Thursday evening was when the wheels well and truly came off and a scheduled 3 mile tempo run was out of the question as I shivered and ached myself into bed for a 3 hour nap before forcing down some food and heading back to bed. I struggled through Friday at work, barking and grunting at anyone who remotely dared to annoy me or give me a hard time. Evening came and plans of making up my runs disappeared as another early night was what the doctor, or at least the wife, ordered!

By Saturday I felt much better and decided to do my long run that was scheduled for Sunday. A 7 miler and my longest run so far in this round of training. I took it really steady around this very hilly route (10min/mile) and felt good for most of the way round. At about mile 5 my old ITB knee injury threatened to take hold but never developed any further. After 1hr10mins I was back home and cooking some protein rich Fish Fingers to help my muscles recover. I spent the rest of the day feeling quite sore and realising that I need to add much more stretching and core stability work into my training if I am going to cope with being on my feet running for greater and greater durations as my training develops.

You will recall I dedicated last week's 10K to Run for Japan whose fundraising currently stands at a staggering £15,243.95 with 569 runners from around the world dedicating 10,433 running miles to the people of Japan. It is humbling to be a part of such an amazing and inspiring community and I am sure this total will keep on rising as more and more runners dedicate runs and raise more and more well needed money.

20 miles of running to do next week along with plenty of stretches and core muscle exercises to keep those pesky arches and pains away. Thank you once again to those who have sponsored me in support of the British Heart Foundation, I have now reached 17% of my £1000 target. If you would like to donate please go to my charity page at www.justgiving.com\stevetrotter

Till next week,


Sunday, 20 March 2011

Week 4 Training - Bradford 10K Race Report

A big week for me was nearly put in jeopardy due to an ongoing battle with my mouth and jaw since my wisdom tooth extraction 10 days ago. Still in a lot of pain, I managed a 3 mile easy run on Monday but was forced to miss my interval session on Wednesday because of said mouth and jaw. I was back out for a 4 mile 10K race pace run on Thursday but pulled up after the 2nd mile as my left calf and quads felt really tight and I didn't want to push it. A steady 2 miles on Saturday evening felt fine but I was obviously not quite as prepared as I wanted to be for my 1st 10k race at Bradford this morning.

With an early 9am start time I was up with the early bird, washed, breakfasted and out the door by 7.10am - far from my usual Sunday morning start! I arrived with about 35 mins to the start of the race and felt really good. I'd had a decent breakfast, a banana on the way and was half way through a Lucozade 500ml body fuel drink.

With my target time of 49min59secs I put myself at the back of the Sub 50min section at the start and set off trying has hard as a could to take it steady and not go out too hard. The 1st 1km was a bit of an obsticle course as we navigated our way down and round a fair few little roads before getting out onto the main, and wider, part of the course. It is these starts that I'm going to have to get used to as many runners wanted to charge forward with the odd slip and tumble along the way. Not for me though, at least not this time!

I went through 2km in 9 minutes and realised I was running 30 seconds faster per kilometre than had planned to. I was conscious from that point I needed take it steady in the 1st half of the race, aiming to run a negative split (a quicker 2nd half than 1st) and not burning out in the later stages of the race.

At the half way point I was 2 - 3 mins up and still feeling relatively fresh. Although my heart was telling me I needed to push on and try to break 45mins my head was quick to overule, instisting I ran my planned race and didn't start my final push until 8km. My head of course turned out to be right and by 8km I was over 4 minutes up on my time with enough energy left for a strong finish.

It started hurting with about 400m to go but I knew that a sub 45min time was close, really close. I dug deep on the final straight, passing a few more club runners on the way and came through just under 45mins with a time of 44min56secs. I'm obviously over the moon with this race and am definitely going to revise my marathon time for September, 3h45min - 3h50min perhaps.

I dedicated my run today to Run for Japan, a website set up for the global running community to do their bit for the victims of the teribble earthquake and tsunami. The idea is to cover 24,901 miles (right around the world) in 28 days with at least one run dedicated from every country in the World. Each runner then donates at least one unit of their home currency per mile run, or km in my case. For any runners who would like to be involved in this worthwhile cause check out their website at www.runforjapan.com

A 19 mile week next week which I hope will be a little less up and down than this week has been. I've well and truly got the running bug now and can't wait for my next race at the Hinckley Half Maraton on 8th May - Who wants to join me?!!

Till next week,



Matthew Clough - Leeds City AC - 32:31

Margaret Beever - Stainland Lions RC - 38:58

Race Results can be viewed here.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Week 3 Training - Teeth, Training and Tunage!

Another busy week which saw me again squeezing in the runs as and when, including a 10pm run on Wednesday. 5 runs completed with a total of 15.5 miles for the week, that's 44.5 miles so far!

It was great to get the sponsorship off the mark this week and I have now raised 7% of my target total of £1000, thanks to those who have sponsored me in support of the British Heart Foundation. If you would like to donate please go to http://www.justgiving.com/stevetrotter or, if you would prefer, grab a sponsorship form next time you see me.

Key sessions this week included a hard 6 x 1/4 mile interval run and, more importantly, 4 miles at my 10K target pace of 8mins/mile. The latter felt really good and gives me a lot of confidence going into my first 10K race at the Epilepsy Action 10k setting off at 9.00am on Sunday from Centenary Sq, Bradford.

I managed a shortened 1.5 mile hill session on Friday before my date with the hospital dentist for an extraction of a wisdom tooth. My appointment time was of course 2:30pm (that's tooth-hurty!) and by the end of Friday I certainly did have a tooth that was hurting very much!

After taking it easy on Saturday I managed an enjoyable long run of 5 miles on Sunday, trying out a Motion Traxx podcast using a 170bpm track. Although the music was a little TRANCE for my liking it did make it easier to keep my run at an even pace and, with an average pace of 8.38mins/mile, I was slightly faster than expected. Still, felt surprisingly fresh after the run and have started to consider possibly increasing my marathon target pace from 9.00mins/mile to 8:45mins/miles - this would give me a target marathon time of 3hr 50mins.

A steady training week next week in the build up to my 10k race, here's hoping the tooth (or at least the hole where the tooth used to be) carries on as just a very dull ache and doesn't get any worse.

Till next week,


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Week 2 Training - Squeezing in the runs!

Another full and injury-free week of training with 5 runs covering a total of 15 miles. It's been a busy week and I'm learning that if I'm going to keep up with my training schedule I am going to have to be prepared to run at any time and in any place.

Wednesday saw me fitting my interval run in between a late evening at school and the start of my regular rehearsal at Thurcroft Theatre Group, where I 'act' as Musical Director! So there I was 6:30pm looking for a secluded place to park the car up and get changed into my running gear (and yes my tights too, it was pretty cold).!I managed my intervals (4 x1/4 mile efforts) along a 1/2 mile flat stretch, passing the same person washing their car 4 times, much to his bemusement. At the end of the run I got back to my car to find it was much more difficult getting changed out of running gear than into it. I was obviously pretty warm by this point as the car windows steamed up, making the few passing cars somewhat suspicious as to what I was up to. I had visions of a police car pulling up and them asking my to step out of the car and me replying,
"I've just taken my tights off Officer can you give me a minute while I put my trousers on!"

On Thursday I managed to squeeze in a 3 miles tempo run while I was picking up the little one from my Mother-in-law's. She was quite surprised when I cheekily asked if she would mind me nipping out for a quick run before I took the little lady home. It's these little actions of support that I know I will come to rely on as my training progresses, so thanks in advance for the support of all those around me.

My Saturday 3 miler was more of a psychological run and would hopefully fill me with confidence in the lead up to my 10K race in Bradford on 20th March. My target time is 49:59 which means 8 min/mile pace and bearing in mind my 4hr marathon pace is 9 min/mile I know this may be something of a stretch. The plan was to go out and try to run 3 miles at 8 min/ mile pace. Using a running audio track for the 1st time from Audio Fuel I ran along with the 175bpm track which was described as a 'mid intensity long run' which turned out to be around 8 min/mile pace. Although I did find it quite tough at times I was fairly comfortable running at this pace and I managed to complete my run in 22:49, under 8min/mile pace. I'm obviously well pleased with this run, although 3 miles at race pace is very different to keeping it going for the full 10K (6.2 miles).

The final run of the week today (Sunday) gave me a nice and steady 5 mile long run with an average 9:10 min/mile which felt really comfortable.

Next week is much the same as this week with the exception of a 4 mile 10K race pace run on Wednesday rather than Saturday. Having a wisdom tooth removed at the hospital on Friday afternoon but hopefully my Sunday 5 mile run won't be affected.

Till next week!


Sunday, 27 February 2011

1st Week of training complete - Only 27 weeks to go!

So here we are, one week into my marathon training and only 27 weeks to go. All has gone well so far and I have managed to complete my scheduled 5 varied runs and notched up an encouraging 15 miles.

Before starting my training in earnest I invested in a new piece of kit, much to my wife's amusement. Yes I am now the proud owner of my very first pair of Running Tights! Now sure they look hideous and they do tend to cling to certain parts of the body however, they are very warm when running in this cold weather and even have an inside pocket for my ipod! After being severely mocked by friends over the weekend for my new purchase I'm staying strong and sticking with them, at least until the weather starts to pick up.

Next week's training will follow a similar pattern to this week with only a 1 mile increase for my long run on Sunday. I am very conscious of not upping my mileage too quickly so as to avoid injury and further ITB problems which I encountered in the run up to last year's half marathon

Please keep checking back for more news of how training is going, details of events I'll be taking part in and details of how you can donate or contribute to fundraising events.

Till next week.