You can read the first 12 weeks of Jonathan’s marathon training journey via links further down – and support his chosen charity DEBRA, at this page.

Two weeks ago I wrote about how ankle ligaments damaged while playing football had put the brakes on my marathon training.

After resting up for a few days, it began to settle down and I was able to walk more normally. I even took school football training – refraining from kicking the balls, never mind doing any more stupid tricks – then ran (well, hobbled) the line on the weekend.

The Gumtree bike trainer was indeed a waste of £10. I didn’t realise that these are designed purely for racers (our name for road bikes in the 90s) and my mountain bike is too big to even fit into it. It’s in good condition though and costs £150 new, so I’m going to stick it on Facebook Marketplace for £15!

I needn’t have worried – the human body recovers incredibly quickly and I was soon back in the saddle on a 10-mile path ride. The bruising afterwards was minimal so a couple of days later I took it up the steepest of hills then down into Lee Quarry for half an hour of swinging round red trails.

It was good to feel the burn in my legs again and so I biked over the moors to my sister-in-law’s near Edenfield on the glorious Saturday.

Cragg Quarry

An early part of this 10-mile ride sees you climb a winding trail up to Rooley Moor Road which I have never managed before – and this time I nailed it. Either the marathon training has put me in a good place, or my new ankle support has special powers.

The only pause in this exhilarating ride came when I was faced with a holy cow moment…


We’ve visited my parents this week and, despite my best intentions sans vélo, I haven’t been swimming (I did manage to sneak in 30 lengths the previous week). 

But what I have done is run! First an ill-advised canter up and down wet field paths – I walked the return leg out of fear – then a five-mile road effort at a more typical pace. My ankle felt a bit stiff, especially going up hills, but there were no side effects.

If you can spare anything, support DEBRA by sponsoring Jonathan’s run here

I think the support unbalances my stride a little, so I’ll also wear one on my left ankle when I head out later today to see if that makes it feel more natural. In normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have left it as late as this week to bed in new shoes… I stuck with the same model (Asics Gel-Venture 8 – I’ll be trail running for most of the year, after all) and I only had a tiny blister after the five-miler.

Asics Gel-Venture 8

I bumped into an old acquaintance out walking his dog as I gingerly completed my first run (well, walk) this week. Former professional goalkeeper Lee Butler – who starred for the Super Reds of Barnsley and was psychologically profiled in my undergraduate studies 23 years ago – told me his daughter was also running London.

“Tell me you’re going to finish it, right? Even if you have to walk it?” said he.

The race is on. I won’t break four hours on debut, as I was hoping – but I’ll start the London Marathon and, come what may, make it to The Mall. Even if I’m passed by a giant chicken on the way.

You can sponsor Jonathan’s London Marathon run, supporting his chosen charity DEBRA, at this page.

App drives London Marathon environmental & social goals

Week 1: How hard can the London Marathon be?

Week 2: Running in the snow (& Peaky Blinders)

Week 3: Beer helps you to recover!

Week 4: Top of the pods… & Muhammad Ali

Week 5 & 6: From Saudi Arabia to Shawforth

Week 7: The Yorkshire terrier

Week 8: A chat with the Chorlton Runners

Week 9: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Week 10: Are we nearly there yet?

Week 11: The boy with butterfly skin

Week 12: Disaster strikes with the old David Dunn injury