Two weeks ago I was in a bad way.
I'd just finished a 20-mile run/walk which started in a blizzard and ended with me in a cold, hungry, exhausted mess on the living room floor, and being unnecessarily rude to my girlfriend. After getting my breath back, apologising profusely and eating something, I realised what the problem was. I was knackered. Not just tired, but a little bit broken.
In 2014, I ran 8 miles the week after Country to Capital. In 2015, I ran 30. I felt fine, but running long distances means you can't always just listen to your body. I wasn't sufficiently recovered to be going that sort of distance so soon and I paid the price. On the basis that that if something isn't working you change it, I did three things.
1. Get adjusted
I started seeing my chiropractor Adrian about five years ago to fix an old ankle injury and he's been keeping me moving ever since. Having worked with England rugby players and athletes, he's used to tending to people pushing themselves hard and doesn't bat an eyelid when I tell him about my next race. What he does do is leave my ankles, hips and back a lot more comfortable and able to run more smoothly. There's a lot of mistrust of chiropractors but it works for me - whereas an osteopath and a physio didn't. Find what works for you.
Adrian works in Bognor Regis, Sussex and Kew, London: http://www.cobbchiropractor.com/
2. Get a rubdown
With my leg muscles feeling like steel cables (and not in a good way) I knew it was time to call on the bearded wonder, Simon Lamb. A long-distance runner himself, Simon is better placed than many to understand the needs of his clients and so I went along for some tough love. It's his elbows you've got to be wary of. Seriously though, an hour of Simon's excellent chat and sports massage soon left me feeling immeasurably better. A bit sore, but definitely better.
Simon works in Teddington, London: http://www.sixsecondshigh.com/
3. Get bendy
I've never been very flexible. I can't remember a time when I could touch my toes. Not that that's the be all and end all but when you've spent the best part of 20 years sitting at a desk, you're unlikely to be in prime physical shape. Three weeks before the 2014 Edinburgh marathon I was feeling particularly stiff and found a set of exercises to do. I ended up getting a very satisfying PB and while that probably wasn't the only reason, I've started doing them again. They certainly won't do me any harm
Stretches for hip flexors: http://www.fitbodyhq.com/fitness/12-great-stretches-for-tight-hip-flexors/
Yesterday I ran a hilly muddy 26.2 miles on the North Downs Way and despite a few slips in the mud and some soreness towards the end, I'm feeling fine today. I'm trying to gradually up my weekly mileage but if it gets too much I'll be backing off. There's a long way to go yet.