Things I’ve learned from running the marathon…

Always check what the weather is going to be like on race day

I checked the weather in the week leading up to the race, but as I was away from home, I didn’t check it the day or night before.

Do it from an app on your phone if you don’t have access to the TV/internet where you are.

I thought it was going to be white cloud, 10’C, with a chance of drizzle (from a forecast a week prior)… It ended up being 22’C sunny and HOT!

If the weather is hotter than you think – RETHINK what you are wearing!

Always wear less than you think you’ll need as you’ll warm up on the run.

If I’d have done this then I probably would have reconsidered what I wore on race day (warm top, t-shirt and vest!!). On the run, I had visions of me finishing and taking all of my layers off my top half, stripping down to my bra in frnot of all the supporters… luckily I didn’t!

And if it’s the least bit sunny, WEAR SUN SCREEN!
I did and I’m glad I did, my nose was the only bit that got slightly burnt! 🙂

Start slower than you think you want to

I started at a comfortable (for me) 8:15 minute miles and planned (and ran) this for 10 miles. My aim was to run slower for the first 10 miles (8:15), then 8:00 min miles for 13 miles, then finish strongly for the last 5k (7:45). It didn’t happen.

I stayed on pace until about mile 15, then it got hard.  And at 20 it got hellish.

I still managed every mile at under 9:30 miles and ran the whole way, but I think if I’d run a negative split (like I did in the half marathon) I’d have felt better during and after the run.

Perhaps I should have been more conservative and started at 8:45 so that I’d have more left to give after the half way mark? Perhaps I could have done: 1-10: 8:45, 11-20: 8:15, 20-26.2: 8:00 min miles. I would have still finished in 3:40 and would have probably had a better race and perhaps felt better mentally and physically. And I’d have 20 mins to play with if things got tough towards the end (before crossing the 4 hour mark).

Perhaps I’ll try that strategy on the next 26 mile run I do!! Glasgow to Greenock anyone?? lol

Try and get some friends / family / supporters to cheer you on

When you are out there and you are 20 miles in… your feet and legs are sore, you want to cry and you are finding it hard.  It’s great to have people cheer you on.

Put your name on your t-shirt so that strangers can cheer you on.  Trust me, when you are 22 miles in, someone chanting your name does wonders.

Or you could tell friends and family that you are doing the race and where you think you’ll be at what time.  See if they’ll come out to cheer you on. 

Keep going!

No matter how hard it gets, keep going!

You should have done lots of training to prepare yourself for the big day and you should be able to keep going.

If neccessary split the remainin distance into smaller sections.
I was going to spilt it into: 6,4,3.1,6,4,3.1.

But I ended up doing, 6,4,3.1,2,1,1,1,1…1,1,1,1…1,1,0.5,0.1,0.1,0.1,0.1,0.1,0.1,0.1!!!

Use positive self talk…

When you’re finding it hard, use positive phrases to youself, like:

  • You can do it
  • Run Strong
  • Stay Strong
  • This is easy
  • Just run
  • Relax
  • Keep going

Anything else??

Think of all the people who are behind you, supporting you.  Think of your training runs and what you’ve acheived so far.

A marathon is a big acheivement and it’s hard work, no one said it would ever be easy. But you CAN do it!

Rememeber there are others in the race just like you, if you want to take your mind off the pain, talk to others. If someone is running at a similar pace to you, run along beside them and chat to them. 

Help them through and they will probably help you through and make you feel good.

After the race

Unless you really really NEED to, don’t stop dead when you cross the finish line…

Keep walking and try to keep walking for about a mile or so/30 mins – then stretch, and do what your body really wants you to do: sit down.

Remember to arrange to have warm clothes waiting for you at the finish line, and try to get some supporters there for you for when you really need it.

I had some trousers, a fleece, windproof jacket and body warmer in a bag for me.

I couldn’t get the trousers on (my legs were too sore… lol)…but the fleece and windproof jacket were brilliant. Drink and eat to start your recovery and fluid/salt replacement. (lucozade, milkshake, carbs, protien).

Thank any supporters and enjoy the moment.  I felt a little crazy…tired, emotional and I was swearing a hell of a lot when I finished.  Enjoy the moment and remember what all the hard work you put in so that you could acheive what you have.

Most of all – enjoy yourself!!

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3 Responses to Things I’ve learned from running the marathon…

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