For most runners Spring marathons are less than three months away……….
Exciting isn’t it?
It is around this time that people start to panic and maranoia kicks in. Here are a few tips to hopefully keep you on the right track.
Make a plan
Or get one. A simple internet search will find loads and loads of plans,some free,some paid and all promising to help you be a better runner (most are bollocks). Pick one that’s right for YOU , not just for this week but for every week up to race day, it’s no good starting a plan that has you running six days a week when you can really only commit to four. I favour 16 week plans as you will more than likely pick up a niggle or get the lurgy that is going around work……..which leads me to my next tip.
Don’t chase missed sessions!
We have all been there ,you have had a cold,had to stay late at work or just had a bout of cantbearseditis (its real google it!). You can’t chase the past, if you have missed a week just carry on as normal with your plan, if its been a couple of weeks or a serious illness it may be wise to reassess your plan/goal. One of the reasons i prefer a 16 week buildup is when the inevitable happens i have time to regroup and rebuild.
Set a time goal.
This is important, the amount of times i have heard ‘i just want to get round’ or ‘i want to run four or four and a half hours’. If you don’t have a goal finish time how do you know what pace to set off ? Marathons are a difficult beast to tame and if you set off too fast you will melt into a puddle of despair and misery by mile twenty . ( I’ve been there done it and got the T-shirt). A good place to start is double your half marathon time and add ten minutes to get your marathon pace.
Nothing new on race day
Kit,shoes and nutrition should all be sorted well before the day. We all like shiny new gear but brand new kit can sometimes mean disaster, if you have ever chaffed your nether regions because of new shorts you will know what i mean. I like to do a dress rehearsal two weeks out as that’s normally last long run day. Everything i’m going to wear for the race gets tested to check its not too tight/loose and that i feel comfy, if you don’t want to carry gels on race day google what the event are using and buy a few to see how they sit on your stomach if different from your usual brand.
Enjoy the experience
Last but not least enjoy the day. Embrace the pain, it will hurt, a lot ,you will question your sanity and you will at some point want to kick the heavy breather in front of you right up the arse! But when you see that finish everything will fade away and you will feel on top of the world! Not many people are brave/daft enough to run the marathon so enjoy the smugness but be prepared when you get back to work to be asked ‘was your marathon as long as London?’