Between March and May I got into long distance running. This was partly inspired by a friend and partly because I felt like it would be nice to tick off ‘did marathon’ on my life goals’. As the process went on, it became a little bit more about understanding my body and exploring this thing called ‘the wall’.

Joe with a medal I ran the High Performance Half Marathon on 3rd March. I took 2 hours and 25 minutes. Strava tells me it’s a personal best but I think it’s actually the same the first HM I did some years ago which Strava didn’t record properly.

Some notes:

  • It turns out it’s fine to get to a Half Marathon a few minutes late (It did take me a while to reach the tail walker)
  • My heartrate was very high for the whole thing and I felt sure I was going to hit a wall but apparently I was just excited.
  • I’d expected to be bored and had downloaded a bunch of things to listen to, but actually I didn’t put my headphones in the whole way round; I just ran with my own thoughts.

I was happy enough with the event to start eyeing marathons in the next few months.

Second Half:

Second half

I ran another HM at Saturn’s ‘Running up the numbers’ event in Egham (which happily gave me an hour to recover and then go and give a lecture), with the general plan of ‘Running a few HM is a good way of doing marathon training’ I was slower (2:45:48) but reasonably cheerful - felt like I probably could have gone on a little longer but the rain started coming down unpleasantly

BTW - running a few HM is not sufficient: I hit my wall a little after the HM distance and the whole event changes to being about willpower rather running, which isn’t really ideal.

First Marathon


I completed my first marathon in a little over six hours (phone and watch both ran out of battery in the last couple of km) on April 1st (it was a bit of a last minute decision; we were due to have friends over who canceled). The first HM was done in 2:38 - the second half took nearly four hours as I hit what I now understand to be ‘the wall’ (it didn’t feel anything like I expected). I thought I was overfueling but it turned out to be the opposite. To try and get a slightly more respectable time (More honestly; to try and do a race where I don’t feel completely pathetic for more than half the time) I have booked on to the MK marathon in May


  • Much much more fuel.
  • Phone and watch batteries don’t last for a full marathon (or at least, not one run that slowly)
  • The wall isn’t very nice.