In a little under 7 weeks I’ll be running in the London marathon as a British Lung Foundation team breathe member. Running for a charity close to my heart is an honour that will always be a highlight of the events I do. Marathon day is also my birthday and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate it.
Training for the London marathon has been difficult as its summer in Australia and running is hard enough as a COPD patient, running in the heat just compounds the difficulties I have breathing. I’ve stuck to coach Doug’s training program from the New York and Gold Coast marathons as much as I can. The heat has restricted the amount of running I’ve done and some of my long runs have had to be on a treadmill. My training times have been pretty close to previous training so I’m confident that once I arrive in the cool London temperatures I’ll manage much better.
I was aiming to run under 5 hours for this race but due to a less than ideal preparation I’ll be happy with around 5 ½ hours. While times really don’t mean a lot to anyone else I use it as a goal to improve. For me the faster I am the fitter I am, which translates to a better quality of life. This same theory can be applied to other patients with lung disease and you don’t have to run marathons to realise the benefits of just being more active.
For those who have followed my journey you would know nutrition plays a big part in my lifestyle. For the last 5 months I’ve been on the highly controversial ketogenic diet as I have written about in Bio-hacking COPD. I have enjoyed eating this way and believe, for me, I have benefited being in a state of ketosis. I’m conducting blood and lung function tests and will publish the results after my run in the London marathon. What I can say so far is this diet has significantly suppressed my inflammation markers.
My main goal for the London marathon is to raise as much money as possible for the British Lung Foundation and I would like to thank those who have donated so far. On the 22nd of March I’ll be giving a Skype presentation for a patient group in California as part of a respiratory expo. The organisers have agreed to direct exhibitors to donate to my British Lung Foundation fundraising page. While I’m not from the U.K I do believe in fund raising for any organisation that uses funds for research into respiratory disease. Research benefits us all no matter what country it takes place in. So if you have some loose change please
click here and help me help others.
Many of you would know I am the Philips COPD brand ambassador for Australia and New Zealand and proud to be in this role. I use a Philips oxygen concentrator when I fly or if I’m at altitude such as mountainous regions. While its not my role to promote Philips I have found their products easy to use and reliable. I’m thankful I don’t require oxygen in everyday life as many patients do, but I do rely on it as mentioned when at high altitude.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have SKINS as my clothing sponsor and have found their compression clothing fantastic. When you think of a compression clothing company, you think of elite athletes. I find the SKINS clothing beneficial for minimising soreness in my legs and the compression shirts aid in having good posture while exercising.
National Asthma Council of Australia have been great supporters of mine over the years and have a great panel of experts with many years of experience in respiratory disease. Their website is a very useful resource for patients and their carers. I would urge everyone with respiratory disease to take a look, no matter what country you live in.
Woodland Shopfitting are not involved in the respiratory world but see the value in what in my message to patients – Never Let Your Disease Define You! This company supported me in my New York marathon campaign and are onboard again with the London marathon. They truly show what community support is all about.
This last year we’ve seen a number of respiratory patients achieve great things, from Evan Wilson’s amazing Seattle marathon run with oxygen to Peter Moore’s recent mile swim in South Africa under oxygen. This current year Mary Rose Kitlowski will tackle the New York marathon with portable oxygen. These great ambassadors not only shine a light on their disease, but also show just what is possible. Respiratory patients uniting for a common cause is a great thing that we should all be proud of. It’s never about the individual, it’s about coming together and raising awareness so more research is done to better our quality of life.