A few weeks back my London ballot was rejected. I didn’t hear back from the charity I wanted to run for. So I found myself hovering over the submit payment button on the Manchester Marathon website.
Briefly Question Your Life Choices
I imagine even if you are a fairly seasoned marathoner, you may every so often hover into they why column. For me, I always said no to a marathon. However, seeing how my running can develop and working really hard to achieve things over the last two years, I think I can step up. I gave up questioning my life choices after a few days, instead now I’m here to give my all.
Find a Training Plan
Having successfully navigated working with a coach for Oxford Half, I’ve realised that it is for me, rather than finding a plan in a magazine. So I have signed up for Team Project Run with Lloyd Kempson, Lloyd is our coach but there’s a whole army of us that support each other. I’m loving it so far (despite missing some runs due to being poorly). But don’t let me put you off using one from a magazine. I have done previously for 5k, 10k and half marathons. My suggestion is to find a few and write your own. Most want you to run quite a few times a week, but I am proof just 3 runs is fine. So adjusting to accommodate what you can do is important. Also be flexible. Use a white board. Life happens. Do not catch up on missed runs and do not guilt yourself over one missed run. Also don’t forget to cross train – if you can’t get a to gym, walking will do. Or work out in your living room – there’s loads of workout videos on YouTube.
Work Out What You Like to Eat
I’m not talking re-visiting your favourite foods. Or maybe I am?! When it comes to training, especially those long runs, you need to work out what to eat. The night before is all about pasta for me. Then the important thing is working out what to have for breakfast. I’ve learnt this year I run better with food in the tank, so I get up eat some Weetabix and a banana. I find these work for me an hour/two hours before I head out. I’m yet to work out gels, but this is something I will be doing in 2021 (pray for me).
Set a SMART Goal
SMART. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals. Don’t sign up for a marathon 4 weeks away if you’ve only just graduated Couch to 5k. Be realistic with your times and aim to review how your training is going every few weeks to see if it needs changing up. Being sensible about the goal makes it more achievable and less daunting in my opinion.
Trust in Yourself
You can do this. Yes it takes time and effort. Trusting in the training process and trusting yourself to get out there will get you through this training block. Find some mantras you can put on your phone background or around your marathon training plan. These will help you! I have a little mantra written out in my diary every week of training.
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