I have had to take things a little easy in the last few weeks, trying to balance the stress on my body through training against by foot injury and a range of other common niggles. Having had the benefit of a nice break of just over a week for Easter, I took the chance to mix up the training a bit. The improved weather had offered all the encouragement I needed to get the bike back on the road. Getting the chance to cycle for an hour or so around town and along the canal towpath is a much easier way of staying fresh during the non-running days. I even chose to cycle the 6 miles each way to the gym to do some weights one day.

Longer runs are being managed just fine so far. Each time I venture into new distance territory I certainly feel the effects in the last few km and then immediately afterwards I am completely done in. Since I seem to recover relatively quickly after some toast and chocolate milk, I am quickly coming to the conclusion that I need to dramatically alter my diet to boost the glycogen levels. Gone are the protein bars for the next few weeks and now I’m enjoying more fresh fruit, dried fruit, oats, wholemeal pasta and rice. I must say that after years of carefully managing my diet it seems alien to chow down on this much brown bread, but I will enjoy it while I can.

The biggest change in the last month has been with my footwear. My physio recommended that I see a podiatrist to help correct by (apparently) imbalanced body. The prescribed orthotics seemed like an expensive indulgence, but I gave them a try. There never seemed to be a good time to really introduce them as I always seemed to be struggling with my tender metatarsal-related injury. In hindsight I now realise I was stuck in a cycle – slightly injured and not introducing the orthotics, not having orthotics making me more prone to injury. By the time of Grangemouth 10k a few weeks ago I had decided to bite the bullet and race in them after a few shorter runs. This was not the most comfortable my feet had ever been on race day, but I persevered and now only run with them in my shoes. Slowly but surely my sore foot appears to have repaired. At first the tenderness post run was just a little less until it was gone entirely. Even after my long runs. This morning I reached a significant milestone. I awoke the morning after a tough training run and I was symptom free for the first time in over 6 months. No pain when standing barefoot and no need to look at scheduling my ibuprofen consumption.

I have just over six weeks to go and I intend to make every last day count. Without taking too many risks it is time to crank things up a little.

44 days until Edinburgh Marathon.