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5 Marathons in 5 Days : Bank Holiday Training

For aspirant 5 marathon in 5 day walkers (!), here is what I got up to training wise over the Bank Holiday!

On Saturday I walked the 10 miles or so from Bourne End to Hurley Lock along the Thames towpath and back  (stopping off at Coopers, my favourite artisan coffee shop on an industrial estate just outside Marlow). Followed this with a few weights (not cigarettes for anyone old enough to remember them!)

It's amazing the wild-life that you meet when training in Marlow!

On Sunday walked with Gaynor and Coco just to Coopers (this time for scrambled eggs) and back, about 5 miles (alas Coco, our chocolate brown cockerpoo, found some live cow pats to roll around in - took Gaynor ages to wash her).

The adorable coco - minus cow pats!

Monday walked to Coopers, Marlow (more scrambled eggs) - about 8 miles and then back for some more weights. Unfortunately, we passed two great big black labradors who took a dislike to Coco. Foolishly I interceded and was pulled to the ground - banged knee, thumb and elbow in the process, but (luckily) nothing a few dabs of Savlon couldn’t sort. Why is it you feel so silly when felled in this way - exacerbated when the dog owner came up to ask if I was okay and asked about virtually every part of my body!….

Mental note, position Robin between any approaching dogs and myself when on the walk

When I got home Robin had sent a great photo on his 20km training walk in the picturesque Algarve which he did on Saturday - no doubt the RAFM will tweet this. (We did!)

Alan with the staff of Coopers


Quite a bit involved in trying to raise the dosh - emails to kind donors and potential donors to tell them about this blog, more in hope than expectation that they will have either the time or inclination to read it; email exchanges with Paul and Ajay at the RAF Museum and also with Julie Garvey, a fellow Trustee, who is providing fantastic help on marketing for the walk. Also a bit of email work finalising arrangements for the walk with the RAF, Robin, Nick (Trustee walking stage 1 having completing a 10k charity run over the BH), Glenn (our Chairman who is joining for stage 3) and Malcolm (another Trustee joining for stage 4).

I also checked the to see the total raised to date. Including gift aid, this is nudging about £26,000 which is terrific but still a way to go (no pun intended).  
Image - definitely not taken from the Sound of Music!
Most of this is from Trustees and Robin and my contacts but there is a particularly poignant donation from a man in memory of his father who served with the US marines. And a funny comment received from a Liverpudlian donor/chum: 'the background of the picture used on the my donate site must have been filched from the Sound of Music stills'…..

Training tips:

My aching muscles were relieved with baths using ‘Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak’ (particularly effective after being pitched to the tarmac by a couple of ravaging hounds). Food intake: lots of porridge, salads (from Tom Kerridge’s dopamine cook book), an 8 oz rib eye with vegetables at 1269, Beaconsfield and a beef, gorgonzola and walnut salad at Carluccio’s, Windsor. (Oh how I am longing for a couple of pies and mash with liquor from Cockney’s Pie and Mash Shop in Portobello Road- mental note, get some after I finish, perhaps treat Robin…).
Essentials to be taken on the walk. Hopefully I'll need the Sun screen more than the Compeeds

Me at SGSA with our CEO, Karen Eyre-White,But the weekend has not all been about the walk. Work consisted of emptying my inbox and writing a report (I have been putting this off) to my board colleagues at the SGSA. All of this was interspersed with some fun and a chore: going to the French market in Marlow; seeing Bill Nighy's latest film (Their Finest, rated 4/5 by the Guardian) at the Regal, Henley on Saturday (which Gaynor enjoyed) and then listening to the Big fight on Radio 4 (which I enjoyed - wow!!); very importantly watching my beloved Chelsea on Sky as they beat Everton 3-0 (I am a Shedender-Upper) with a couple of Battle of Britain beers on Sunday - come on you Blues!!!: and, on Monday, by contrast, experiencing Anthony Horiwitz’s psychological thriller {Mindgame) at the Theatre Royal in Windsor (very funny, but wasn’t meant to be!).

Also, the chore -  I put up another shelf on a store unit in the garage, only took 40 minutes for a 5 minute job, I really should have videoed this for this blog/blag to inject some humour, Frank Spencer in action…

Overall, what I would call a perfectly balanced (naturally,apart from my fall), if rather boring Bank Holiday weekend!!!


Chilled by, partly, listening to the walk Spotify playlist - just can’t get the Proclaimers song out of my head!

Also re-read some of the quotes about walking we researched at the start of the planning:
Charles Dickens - The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy.
The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose: Thomas Jefferson
Of all exercises walking is the best: Friedrich Nietzsche
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking: Matthew Henry
It is not talking but walking that will bring us to heaven. (not taking this final quote to literally!).

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Alan and Robin's 5 Marathons in 5 Days is proudly supported by Spitfire Kentish Ale

Alan Coppin : Museum Trustee
About the Author

Alan Coppin : Museum Trustee

I have had an extensive career in the private, public and non profit sectors. After leaving a senior management consultant role at KMPG, I became CEO of international leisure company Wembley plc before becoming CEO and government accounting Officer for Royal Historic Palaces. Currently, I am a trustee of the Royal Air Force Museum and hold a number of advisory roles as well as chairing the Sports Grounds Safety Authority.

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