It’s all getting very exciting

So I am sitting at my desk on Friday night. Donations are literally flying into my fundraising page and I am now safely over £3000 and on my way to £4000. Such wonderful generosity from everybody who has donated, and I am genuinely touched by it.

As I type this, it is slightly under 40 hours until I start my London Marathon run.

If you want to track me on the way round, just follow this link (using a mobile phone) and it will take you to the app and you can track my progress. My start time is just after 11am Sunday.

Download the TCS London Marathon 2023 App:

Final preparations are underway at the Snook household. Well I say underway, but essentially all I have done is gone and gotten my leg taped up by good old Trevor, and that is about it so far. There is still plenty of time for preparation, so no need to rush.

In case anybody is wondering from the photos, I should probably cover two things

  1. Yes I did shave one leg before I had the tape applied. One shaved leg is a strong look, so I might just keep it.
  2. Yes, I do have a tattoo of Ron Swanson on my calf (along with a few others).

Its a shame to cover Ron over, but I am sure he would understand. In fact, I doubt Ron would look very kindly on running marathons, as he would probably find it all a bit unnecessary, but luckily it is me running it and not him.

The girls presented me with a little present earlier, which is now attached to my shoe. I absolutely love it, and every time I look down at my feet in exhaustion this message will be looking back at me.

Any nerves that I was feeling have shifted now, and I am just excited to be running London and very proud to have inspired so many people to donate to my fundarising.

All that is left now is to pack my bag in the morning, head up to the city, collect my race pack, one nice relaxing sleep and then I am off. 26.2 miles round London. All the sights, all the sounds. The crowd cheering and (with a bit of luck) my body holding together. It is a strange thing to say, but I do love running marathons.

I have been threatening to retire to anybody who will listen to me complain about my running. Have a year off and pick back up from scratch. But being so close to the race I know now that this is incredibly unlikely to happen. I love the challenge of these events, love supporting the charities I have fundraised for over the years and only a moron would give all that up.

I might take a bit of time off though, cause I have London to Brighton Bike Ride on 18th June . 8 weeks or so to train for that. Should be fine! One thing at a time though. London Marathon first.

Once again, thank you each and every one of you who have donated. It means so much to me, so much to Michelle and her son, and so much to Daisys Dream.

Love to you all.


How’s the leg Snooky?

Since my last blog post, and my outpouring of the disaster that the calf tear has wrecked on my marathon training, I have been inundated with people messaging me wishing me all the best.

These messages have meant the world to me, and the donations continue to come in from all over, which just fills my heart with joy.

My fundraising team has raised around £26,000 for Daisy’s Dream so far. If we could get to £30,000 that would cover the cost of a Therapeutic Practitioner to provide both direct and indirect support to circa 200 children over the course of a year. Would be phenomenal to get there. I really hope that we do.

So, onto the question of the day. How’s the leg Snooky? I must have been text this at least 20 times this week, and the answer is always the same. If I had not raised so much money for Daisy’s Dream, I would not be running. But as I have raised so much, and so much generosity has been shown, I will be making the start line and completing the race. My determination has never been higher.

In reality, I do still have a calf tear and it is not fully healed. Even if it was, I doubt anybody would recommend healing from a calf tear, then testing it out with a marathon!! That being said, I am still going to be able to run. I will adopt a walk/run strategy from the start to make sure I keep moving. Am not exacly sure on the timing, but am thinking perhaps walk 6 mins, run 6 mins, something like that.

My good friend, physio, coach and all round legend Trevor has threatened me with everything that he has that I must stick to this strategy, so fingers crossed that I don’t get caught up in the moment and run too much. He says that I need to stick to the plan to protect my calf and also make sure I finish. So I may break the habit of a lifetime and actually pay attention to good advice for once.

I am nervous as hell about this marathon. I have done more than my fair share in the past, and never been nervous before, but this one is already getting to me and we are still 4 days away (as I write this on Wednesday 19th). It means a lot to me this one, and it also means so much to me all of you who have donated to such a wonderful cause.

If you have not managed to find the time yet, of course you can donate right up to the day, during and afterwards.

I will pop my tracker details on here close to the race so those of you who want to can track my (probably extremely slow) progress.

Thanks again for all the love and support and the donations. It really means the world to me.



4 reasons why my diet is the missing link to my training.

As any regular blog readers will know, mostly I blog about training, fundraising or write ups from the races I take part in.

Ever since I stated this endurance racing adventure there has always been an elephant in the room.  Lurking in the background has been an inescapable fact that I have chosen to ignore.  Yes you can train hard.  Yes you can train smart.  Yes you can make sure to rest well and sleep 8 hours a night, but if your diet isn’t on point then you are almost certainly letting yourself down.

1)  I am an unhealthy vegan.

vegan-policeLike most people in the Western world, I probably don’t eat the best diet.  Despite going 99% vegan last year (nobody is 100% vegan…………right???), I quickly found a way to eat a fairly unhealthy vegan diet.

Vegan cakes are easy to make.  Chips are always vegan, and so are baked beans, lots of vegetarian sausages, many pies, take away pizza (with no cheese), etc etc.  Also, almost all booze is vegan, and who doesn’t enjoy a bit of booze?

Plus, it is easy to over eat no matter what your diet is like.  Simply, if you consume more calories than you burn up each day you will gain weight.   And gain weight I did.  Over the Christmas period I managed to gain an impressive 16lbs of weight.  8kg in new money.  That’s a lot to gain in 3 weeks off work.

2) Sometimes I run like the wind………other times I just have wind!

I often suffer with stomach cramps when I run.  If I get my diet wrong before I run, or I go for a run too soon after eating I will almost always suffer from a bad stomach.  This is fairly common with runners or endurance athletes; however when I generally eat badly I feel a lot more sluggish when out exercising.  This clearly does nothing to aide my training.

3) You are what you eat

This is an old saying, but is entirely true.  How can you expect to fuel a machine to its maximum performance if you feed it crap.  If you put dodgy petrol in a car then it runs worse.  Perfectly logical.  If you feed yourself on crap food you will perform worse.  Also logical.

4) 5% of the time this works, every time.

Mo Farah celebrates winning the men's 5,000m final at the European Championships in Helsinki in JuneI cannot remember where I read the following statistic, but it has stuck in my ever since I
read it.  For every 5% of weight you lose you gain 5% in athletic performance with no additional training.  In other words, somebody who is as fit as me but weighs 5% less will be 5% faster.  This makes perfect sense.  You don’t see very many overweight people on the podium at triathlons.  Mo Farah doesn’t look like he is carrying a lot of extra baggage around.

Another way to think about it is this.  My “racing weight”, e.g. my ideal weight for maximum athletic performance is around 168lbs (calculate your own racing weight by clicking here).  This is 76kg for you Europeans. Or exactly 12 stone for us good old Brits.

I currently weigh a whopping 206lbs, 93.4kg or 14stone and 10 lbs.  In other words, I am 38lbs (17kg) overweight.

If I was lined up at the start of a marathon and somebody said to me “would you like to carry round this backpack that weighs 38lbs or not”, I think you can all guess what the answer would be.  But that is essentially what I am doing.  Imagine how much quicker I would be, how much easier it would be on my body if I can shed that unnecessary weight.


The moral of the story…..

So the moral of this story is, it is time to sort out my diet, and by proxy my weight.  I am determined to nail this missing link to my training.  I have never paid that close attention before, but this is going to change.  Somehow I feel this might be the most difficult part of any training I have ever done.

Wish me luck




What alcoholics refer to as "a moment of clarity"

On Saturday evening I arrived home from a long drive back from Sussex, having  been eating food at a BBQ all day.  Well I say food.  Mostly cake.

I was tired out.  I didn’t want to do anything other than sit on the sofa and perhaps enjoy a nice cold beer.  My wife and I had put our girls to bed, and we were all set for a night of doing as little as possible.

As I wandered into our bedroom to change into some trackies a strange thought came over me.  “Why not go for a run…….?”  As soon as it popped into my head it seemed like the obvious thing to do.  I had been eating cake all day, hadn’t done any exercise for almost 2 weeks and a run would do me good.  It appeared that I actually wanted to run.  My brain seemed to be telling me that I would rather go for a run than sit on the sofa and drink beer.

I found myself changing into my running gear in a trance-like state.  Before I knew it I had said goodbye to my wife, had strapped my trusty Luna Sandals to my feet

and was out of the front door, running my regular 7km route.  Despite having a relatively full belly and being hugely dehydrated I was running well.  I wasn’t watching my pace on my running watch, I was just running.  

Reaching the halfway point on the run I decided to take a different route home as I fancied running a bit further than I had planned.  Quietly, in the back of my mind I could hear a voice faintly saying “What the hell is wrong with you Snooky?”.  But there was nothing wrong with me.  I was just running.  Running for fun.  And I was enjoying myself.

Now obviously I have enjoyed running in the past, but Saturday seemed to be different.  I just felt good running.  Comfortable.  Like it wasn’t an effort anymore.

Continuing on (and getting a bit lost) I eventually found a road I recognised and headed home.  I had run almost 11km at an average speed of 6min/km.  That used to be close to my maximum speed.  Now it appears it is just my normal running speed.

This change in me, this love of running, I really hope it is here to stay.