Twenty kilometres. It’s just too far. It might not be so bad if I had any experience of covering that distance – which was exactly what I set out to do when I got my hands on my Sony SmartWatch 3, full of good intentions to track the many kilometres I’d put through my legs. But on one of my first runs I’d barely trotted 20 paces before I had to stop for fear of my knee exploding. I saw a specialist at Beyond Health in Parsons Green who filmed me running and they found my feet are in contact with the ground for too long and I’m putting too much pressure on the IT band in my knee. I’ve had to completely change the way I run, which is like being told you’ve been doing sex wrong all this time. At 36 it doesn’t half knock your confidence.
Then, before I could relearn the basics of human movement, I got hacked down playing five-a-side football with my mates and picked up a dead leg in my calf that’s kept me virtually stationary for a week. And just when I was shaking that off, I got the flu. In summer. In nearly 30˚C heat. I’ve literally been up all night sweating – and not just at the thought of plunging into Sony’s freezing Arctic Enema 2.0.
Before my enforced training hiatus I was making progress with my upper body strength. There’s quite a lot of me. I weigh around 97kg – I’m going to try to lose that over the next few weeks with the help of Sony’s Lifelog app on my Xperia Z3 smartphone – but hauling myself up is quite a challenge. At first I couldn’t do any pull-ups but now I’m doing four sets of five and lots of hanging to strengthen my grip. My gym has this cubed frame with monkey bars so I’ve been able to practise there instead of embarrassing myself in a children’s playground. So that’s a bonus.
I’ve got the strength. Now the flu and dead leg are behind me I’ve got to focus on the distance. I’m going to start running everyday and to reduce the impact on my knee I’ve been told to do intervals. I’ll walk for a bit then run for ten minutes at a reasonable intensity, then slow down again and build that up gradually. It should take the pressure off my IT band and get me used to the stop-start nature of the race where obstacles will give me a chance to take a breather. I’m counting on that, no matter what my teammates have to say. I’m bigger and slower than them, and fully intend to set the pace from the rear.
You can pick up the new Xperia Z3+ at Carphone Warehouse (opens in new tab) now.
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