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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 February 2005, 10:49 GMT
Taking a break from the routine

By Sir Steve Redgrave
Five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist

Last week I was away for four days skiing in Italy. So did I do any training for the London Marathon?

Well, it was a business trip and I had to accept that I was not going to be able to do any training.

So the answer is really, no.

Sir Steve Redgrave and his wife Lady Ann in the 2001 London Marathon
First time around for Steve and his wife Lady Ann in the 2001 marathon

But I think getting out on the slopes did compensate in some way, even though skiing is very different to running.

You still use your calf and thigh muscles a lot, just in a different motion to running.

To be honest, I have struggled to get back into my training routine since I came back home.

I missed four runs, it was my wife's birthday and other things were going on. But it is very easy - and very dangerous - to put off training once you've broken your routine.

The less preparation you do for the marathon the harder it becomes on the day itself. If your body gets used to running over distance the less of a shock to the system it will be.

But you have to be realistic and the running has to work around my life.

The type of work I do doesn't have a routine to it and that's a disadvantage.

I would like to be able to set up the week's training and create a routine but my lifestyle means I have to mix and match as I go along.

I suppose my overall fitness from my rowing has helped me - even though I've not done it for years, some of that stays with you

I've been training quite consistently for a month now. I do five sessions a week - four short ones and a long one, which is the most important.

When I first did the marathon four years ago, I tried to do a long run every other session and mentally I found that very tough.

This time I've been running more to time rather than mileage. I find timing my runs works better.

I'm not worried about what speed I'm running at or how much I've covered. I go out, do the runs for a certain amount of time and then go out in the car afterwards and use the milometer to see how far I've gone.

The first four weeks of training are about stamina and endurance but already I'm running about 11km an hour. That's the speed I'd like to run the marathon in April so I'm really pleased.

I suppose my overall fitness from my rowing has helped me. Even though I've not done it for years, some of that stays with you.

This week should be an interesting week as far as training goes because I will be based in London.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is evaluating London's bid for the 2012 Games and I'll be spending some long days trying to convince IOC members to vote for us.

But I think I will be able to train more consistently because I'm in a hotel and family life has been taken away from me.

And with any luck I might find some of the other people involved in the bid who are also doing the marathon, so I might gain a few running companions too.

  • This year Steve will donate all the proceeds from his London Marathon efforts to victims of the tsunami.

    Steve will be writing a regular column on the ups and downs of his marathon training for the BBC Sport website.

    He will be raising money through the Steve Redgrave Trust which supports the Association of Children's Hospices, the Children With Leukaemia charity, and the Trust's own project which aims to provide inner-city schools with rowing equipment.

    Reasons to race again
    04 Feb 05 |  Athletics

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