London Marathon - support John Atkins

| 17.04.2018

John AtkinsJohn ran the London Marathon for BSA on Sunday 22nd April. He has raised over £1,600 so far. Please support him via Justgiving.

Follow updates of John's training, and read John's story below that.

Training updates

Monday, April 16th

John AtkinsLast week I didn't do any running as I was resting and letting my body repair. Tonight (Monday 16th) I decided to go out on a short 2.3 mile run to stretch my legs and see how I felt.

Last week my work colleagues organised a Collection, Raffle and Tombola to help me raise some extra funds. We all donated items and I even managed to talk my local supermarkets into donating items to the raffle... Even our local brewery got involved and donated a beer pack.

Well it's less than a week to go, I'm excited and can't wait to do it.

Sunday, April 8th

Two weeks to go...I can't wait!

This Sunday so many were pounding the streets of Sheffield competing in the Half Marathon, I had to ensure I took it easy during my taper by gracing the streets of Doncaster. I ran 11.3 miles at a faster pace than usual. However, I am now more than ever feeling heavy legged and quite exhausted, to be honest. My body has taken a hammering over the past few months. Saying that, I have loved every minute of it. I've grown as a person and found that the boundaries that I once thought I could never overcome, I have broken through & surpassed them beyond my own expectations.

Although my Marathon training is drawing to a close to which I’m slightly thankful for, I’m also very grateful for being given the opportunity to take part. It’s been painful the majority of the time, it’s also been very hard on my body and mind, I’ve found it a very emotional as well as an uplifting journey. I’ll admit I’m quite sad that it is coming to an end but I’m not discouraged by that, in fact. I’m more motivated by it, I still have a job to do and I’m going to try my hardest to achieve my ultimate goal on the day, not just for myself but for every person that has watched my progress and supported me along the way.

One last thing before I sign off from another update. This quote has been on my mind during my training over the past four months, it has motivated me and kept me focussed… "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow".

Thank you again for all the support everyone has given me.

Monday 2nd April

John Atkins marathon run trainingThis Saturday to keep things fresh and my sanity in tact while tapering my distances down, I decided to split my long run into three parts. I ran a 10k to a local park where they hold a 5k park run, I ran the 5k which was very muddy and wet, then I ran another 10k home... totalling 15 miles. I wanted to keep things interesting and a bit of a challenge really as some weeks the long runs pass by with ease while listening to my music, other weeks have been a slog and a battle between mind and body. This week was a welcome change to the status quo.

Monday 26th March

It's four weeks now till the big day, so to keep fighting fit my training is starting to ease a little.

I have two weeks at best of long runs to complete but these runs will be shorter than the 20 miles I've been acclimatising my body to over the past few weeks. I will be aiming for one run of around 15 miles and one at 13 miles with a few smaller mileage runs in between.

The reason for this is to ease the stress on my body, give it time to recoup and make sure I don't pick up any silly injuries before 22nd April. Thank you for your support.

Sunday 18th March

What a difference a week makes! This time last Sunday (11/3/18) I felt like I had failed and wasn’t sure if I could carry on. I set off on my usual marathon training route hoping for 20 miles - but 8 miles in, my mind gave up on me. It was like someone had flipped a switch off, no matter what I tried I couldn’t restart my run, I simply had to give in. I felt run down mentally but not physically which I found very strange, but instead of dwelling on it I put it behind me and got back to positive thinking into the new week.

With the new week came a short 2.5 mile high paced run to blow the cobwebs off. On Friday evening I visited Metres to Miles in Epworth, I was assessed on the treadmill and measured up for my marathon trainers by the very kind Ruth. Saturday I completed a 20.1 mile run, I felt good and back to full fitness in both mind and body. Although the snow and wind were horrendously cold throughout my run, I enjoyed it and felt like I was back in business.

Friday 9th March

I have had some great support so far both by receiving some great donations or support from family, friends and work colleagues. My training has gone very well and I am now up to 20 miles, although it hasn't all been easy... Its been emotionally, mentally and physically draining. I've ran long distances before but nothing over 14 miles so I'm learning as I go along, learning how to deal with pain, nutrition, hydration and fuelling myself correctly for clocking up the miles is hard... even learning the art of eating while running.

John's story

On April 22nd I am running the London Marathon for The British Stammering Association. They are a charity that is close to my heart as I have a stammer myself.

I’ve been given this once in a lifetime opportunity to run a London Marathon, something that I’ve always wanted to do since I was a young lad.

John AtkinsI have had a stammer since I was able to talk. When I got into my late 20’s I found I was really struggling. It was stopping me doing everyday things, such as ordering a coffee, asking shop assistants questions, it even made my working life and close relationships hard, the final straw was not being able to say my wedding vows and speech as I really wanted to, I felt like I had failed. All this and more made me want to seek help.

After searching I found a group called the Doncaster Stammering Association on Facebook. Through this group I was given the help & support I wanted, I was also referred to a speech therapist that most certainly changed my life. Since joining the group, using the BSA resources and receiving speech therapy I’ve gained much needed confidence, found my voice, learnt excellent communication skills but most of all I’ve made new friends along the way.

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Follow John on twitter: @Joda82