A marathon on ice – trained for underwater !

9 01 2011

So finally I am in the year of my North Pole marathon … and disaster has struck!

Returned from Theatre

Over Christmas my left knee never got better resulting in unbelievably the one thing that I really didn’t want to happen taking place – I had to succumb to surgery on the 4th January but I did manage to get my hands on arguably the best knee surgeon in the world today – Fares Haddad. This was largely through the pulling power of my coach Greg Whyte and my physio Ed Blake.

So its now January 9th and I have my leg in bandage and we are going to spend the next month running this marathon training programme underwater.

Kicking against a jet in the pool holding onto ‘my noodle’!! Apparently this is going to be hard work and will make me aerobically fit enough to undertake this ridiculous challenge.

Prepared for deep water training - with dry knee equipment !!!

Although my left knee is surgically better, my right one is still a risky proposition we just couldn’t do two knees at the same time!

It’s 12 weeks to go this week – the mountain just got a lot steeper but having sold a chunk of my business in December at least I am going to have more quality noodle time !!

Going to do Radio 5 breakfast tomorrow morning in my capacity of patron of the British Stammering Association (talking about the King’s Speech) then off to buy a pool buoy to keep me company in the first of my many new deep water world of aerobic / kneeless exercise! – what a bizarre way to train for this crazy challenge!

This is certainly going to be ‘fun’ hope you will join me over the next 12 weeks following our cause and concerns.

Incidentally told my father who lives in Toronto over Christmas what I was doing; said that it would circa minus 40 degrees at the Pole … he told me where he lives, they call that January!

Happy New Year …


All dressed up but nowhere to go … YET !!!

31 10 2010

Training has been surreal – Greg Whyte has been working me on heartbeats per minute rather than distances so I now have to run 4 days a week between 30 and 60 mins with a heartbeat in the range of 154 – 164 beats per minute (with efforts in between raising my heartbeat to over 175). Surreal because two weeks ago I was at my home in Spain and running on the beach in 80 degrees … is this really the right environment to be training for the North Pole ??! Last weekend found me in Sussex running up hills again in 70 degrees sunshine in October !! Probably wishful thinking that I will experience anything similar at the North Pole – guess that would prove the climatologists correct after all !! I pushed on really hard this morning and took my heartbeat up to nearly 190, strange really, similar feeling to that last alcoholic drink that tips you over the edge and you reach momentary euphoria – except in this mornings case it wasn’t even pleasurable getting there ! But I do now have my own psychologist – Prof Andy Lane has joined my team – boy am I going to need him!!

Have had Stavanger in my head – not sure why but always felt I had to fly to Stavanger – so thought I would be up front and book the flights for next April leaving Gatwick and arriving in Stavanger 4.5 hours later.

Richard Donovan emailed me this week confirming my acceptance for the 2011 North Pole Marathon on the 7th April and the flight arrangements home from Spitsbergen … oooppps!  I booked the wrong airport. So had to book the whole thing again yesterday for another £700 (!) and this time the journey is 9.5 hours with 3 changes. What with 70 degree training conditions and only a 3 hour flight this was all looking like a doddle but suddenly the reality is beginning to bite … the North Pole is extremely cold, a long way away and 26 miles in those conditions is going to be a lot harder than 8 miles in the pissing wet around Barnet this morning !!

Got the kit! Now for the first moment of truth – I enter the climate chamber for the first time on November 9th to experience running at  minus 30 degrees! Want to also test run my ipod to see if it works in those extreme temperatures – I downloaded Coldplay as thought it would be appropriate! Inspired by one of my twitter (polarrunner1) followers (@marcelzzz) who pointed out the only person we know to have ever played the drums at the North Pole!

So just a couple of footnotes for today – we are still trying to finalise the recipient of our charity donation for this event; sadly we are considering a number of people but if anybody reading this has someone who they think we may be able to help – now would be a good time to communicate with me as I would like to give this event a major profile after Christmas. One final point – if anybody would like a return flight to Stavanger (its very pretty in Spring! and not much snow) leaving Gatwick 20.55 on April 3rd 2011 returning 20.25 April 10th – I have one going cheap !!! … we will sell this cheaply for the cause.