Yes the rumours are true! I, Andrew Westgarth, will be running the BUPA Great North Run on Sunday October 5th 2008. This is one of the biggest half marathons in the world and I am very pleased to be able to take part. It may come as a surprise to many of you that I have decided to do something like this. I would imagine anyone who's met me or seen pictures of me would not attribute sports with my physique. On the contrary I play football 2-3 times a week (well sometimes I attempt to play ;-)) and I like to get to the gym. My goal over the past few years has been to increase mass and put on more muscle, something I started to achieve last year by gaining a stone, but due to illness at the turn of the year I've lost it again so it's back to the drawing board :-(. I read many articles about losing weight and how tough it can be, but I read very little about trying to put a bit of weight on and how very hard that is. I thought about setting up another blog for my training record but I think I'll blog about it here instead, saves having to update multiple sites and prevents one having little content.
I recently emailed Mike Ormond at Microsoft about his experiences last year whilst training for and running the London Marathon. Mike kindly obliged with some great tips which I will use along with others that I've read and gained from other sources. The opportunity to run the Great North Run represents a great personal challenge and an opportunity for me to raise funds to help out people less fortunate than myself. I will publish full details of the charity(ies) I'm raising money for when I get my documents from the Great Run Committee.
Today I started the first part of my training. My plan is to play football on Monday Nights, Wednesday (possibly) and Thursday nights; Gym Circuits on Monday Morning, Wednesday Morning and Friday Morning, have a run (gradually increasing miles) on a Saturday and resting on a Sunday :-). I'll see how this goes and how it fits with my plan to bulk up - but those are my initial thoughts. So this morning I got up, had breakfast (well I must improve on that in future!) and about an hour later went out and completed a 3.35 mile run, completing the distance in about 30 minutes and it was at a very sedate pace :-). I was quite pleased with myself, although some of the music I left on my iPod were very motivating (Vince Di Cola's War; Training Montage; and Bill Conti's Gonna Fly Now) unfortunately Eagles and Carpenters ballads whilst I love the music, didn't exactly inspire me to keep the pace! Any suggestions for suitable training music would be very much welcome. All in all a successful first start - but I'd love some tips for a proper warm down routine, I ended off by doing sit-ups, press-ups and back extensions but I'm sure I should be doing something more suitable. More training updates next week! :-).