Full steam ahead

Gary Tebbutt
Monday, 30 July, 2012


Tomorrow is the start of week 3 of Operation Ultra and so this first blog is a recap of the first 2 weeks (and the 40+ years before). I first started jogging (not running) about 25 years ago when my weight reached 18 stone or 114kg in new money. My GP suggested I may like to take up running as a way of losing weight and getting fitter, very diplomatic of him. I did and have never looked back having run continuously since then. I always remember a day when I was at school as a teenager doing cross country, hated it. 3 or 4 of us were always at the back walking the course but one day Mr Bond our PE teacher decide to send the fatties out first and the whippets out last. I was one of the first out and no way was anyone coming past me. I loved it and tried to run the course for the first time. About 3 or 4 years ago I joined Pocklington Runners near York and realised that my running had not been organised or disciplined enough and quickly saw improvements in times and distances that I could run.

Going the distance

It became obvious to me that I enjoyed the longer events such as half and full marathons rather than 10k’s. I love the training (long runs especially), and working out the nutrition, pace, logistics etc. etc. required for training and the actual race. I have always had to battle weight gain and have counted calories and watched what I eat for years in order to keep my weight down in order to run faster / longer.

Fuel in the tank

A few weeks ago the Operation Ultra guys had a photo shoot where we met everyone involved. Speaking to Nick Anderson our coach I mentioned that I thought I was doing too many miles as I was always tired and fatigued. He very quickly identified that I was not consuming enough calories. I had to eat more to fuel my running! More snacks, more carbohydrates and more electrolyte drinks. I tried it and have seen immediate effects. No more counting calories (just counting saturated fat but I will kick that into touch soon as well). Tiredness and heavy legs appear to be behind me. Yesterday, I had a fairly heavy hill session and that was followed today by a 2.25 hour ‘long run’ with the last half hour at marathon PB pace. Everything went to plan and the long run was really enjoyable. I cannot believe how enjoyable it is running on ‘full tanks’.  I am really looking forward to the next few weeks training to see what improvements occur as the first 3 weeks have been quite an eye opener.





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