If you read last week’s blog (link at the bottom), you’ll be aware that I have a coveted place in this year’s London Marathon and the training is beginning in earnest.

I work from home most days, so how hard can it be to manage four runs a week?

Well this week, it was harder than you might think. For a start, you can’t cram them into four consecutive days to cater for life; you need to carefully plan distances, intensity and rest days to adjust your body to the load that you will place upon it.

Friday was my weekly long run – eight miles – but I had a long-standing appointment in Manchester then, when I got back, the school run and kids to appease while trying frantically to get all my work done before the weekend. So I shunted it to Saturday.

A couple of hours in the Trafford Centre on Saturday morning became six and it was dark when I got back. So rather than running on country paths and around reservoirs, I found myself on a murky pavement heading for Rochdale. Then the hailstones started…

I ran past a fair few pubs and a great number of takeaways. No more Saturday night pizza and ale for me! On the return four miles – all uphill – I remained in the Garmin’s pace range and felt fine when I got back. I’ll only have to do that three times in succession – then another 2.2 miles! – in April. No sweat.

A few days later, it snowed for real. On Wednesday there was nothing for it but to head out into the hills and the grippier fresh snow to put my six miles in – well four, as I’d been lumbered with the school run again and was on a time limit.

I’d never even considered running in snow before. What fun! The unexpected crack of a hidden frozen puddle; the sun glistening on the icicles hanging from quarry cliffs. Armed with the Garmin, I didn’t think I’d ever run with my phone again… but the watch can’t capture the beauty of your surroundings.

So on Thursday – a rest day – I headed up there again on a hike to take some snaps!

Lee Quarry in the snow

Lee Quarry in the snow

Lee Quarry in the snow

Fans of Peaky Blinders may recognise the quarry below from the final series…

Lee Quarry in the snow

Peaky Blinders Lee Quarry

I’ve had some amazing feedback this week from people with experience of running marathons. Gillian Hill, general counsel at Verastar, got in touch to say she ran London – her first marathon – aged 46 and it was one of the best things she’s ever done. This despite picking up an injury two months before the race! Acupuncture and deep tissue massage got her back to fitness.

“My top tip is not to think of it as a 26-mile run – but to think of it in bitesize chunks, for example a six-mile run then a four-mile run. A lot of it is in the mind.

“My only other tip is to enjoy it and not take target times too seriously. The atmosphere is amazing so take time to soak it all in!”

In a conversation completely separate to Gillian’s experience, Luke Bennett, head of partnerships at Atom Learning – who has completed three marathons – told me to limit training load increases to 10% a week to avoid injuring myself.

“I’d also advise you to do something else during the week, say one day of strength training. A lot of people throw themselves into it and do too many miles too quickly, so change it up.”

Good to hear: I do yoga and pilates every morning and strength training a couple of times a week. Perhaps I don’t need to drastically overhaul my programme after all!

Over the next few weeks this column will include advice from experts in areas such as nutrition, training performance and psychology – and naturally tech will be running through it all. If you have an anecdotal or expert contribution to make – or know someone who does – get in touch at [email protected].

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

Week 1: How hard can the London Marathon be?