Marathon Madness

Two years ago, I was mad enough to sign up to running the Brighton marathon. In April 2016 I completed it in 4 hours 23 minutes, a result I was super happy with.

If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail –

There’s never a truer saying in this case, the training plan is so important, your end result on the day is determined by the amount of training you’ve put in.

I have a 2 hour commute each way to work every day and a busy social life. Trying to find time to run was near on impossible…I ran one evening and twice at the weekends building up to 38 miles a week. Running three times a week probably isn’t enough but you have to do what works for you.

As much training preparation as possible will take pressure off of you on the big day. Your body will be ready, now you just have to work on the mind.

Any sort of running, especially a marathon distance is equally about training the mind.

A positive mind leads to positive results –

If you tell yourself you’re going to do it YOU WILL!

I’m a regular gym goer and runner, but I’d never done anything of this kind before, I just knew if I was putting so much time and effort into it I had to get a result I was happy with.

The Brighton marathon is a scenic, flat route taking you along all of the gorgeous sites that Brighton & Hove has to offer. More than 9,000 people take part in the event every year. The event was well organised and my friends who were supporting me managed to spot me in eight places! So equally easy for spectators to navigate the route.

Events like this are addictive, I said I wanted to run a marathon and once I’ve done it I would tick it off of the bucket list and that would be that. I’m now looking into running marathons overseas, any excuse for another trip!

Find categories listed below for more detail on a training plan.

Training plan – for the mind and body

When training for a marathon the most important thing is to make sure your mind and body can run the distance. It’s great if you can run the 100-metre sprint in record time but that isn’t going to get you around a 26.2-mile race course, it’s all about endurance.

You WILL slow down. Unless you’re an athlete or a regular marathon runner, it’s only natural that you will slow down, or even fluctuate your pace throughout the race. One piece of advice I would give to somebody training for their first marathon is not to start off too fast. Set a steady pace for yourself and maintain that pace. Only run to a pace that you’re comfortable with.

TRY NOT to stop. Its mind over matter. If you allow yourself to stop regularly where do you draw the line? Your mind has to carry you through and your body will follow. I always try really hard to not stop unnecessarily, its only harder to get started again and find your mojo. Of course, if you’re in pain or have an injury you have to stop. But don’t allow your mind to give up before your body is ready to…keep your legs moving.

Nutrition

Training for any kind of running event is equally about what you put into your body as much as your training plan.

The night before a run make sure you carb load. I always eat a bowl of pasta with chicken and vegetables. Try to avoid a tomato-based sauce as this has been known to cause heartburn when exercising. It’s important to eat foods that are a slow releasing energy. You’ll need all of that energy in reserve when you’re running.

There’s mixed opinions on what to eat the morning of your run. Some people choose not to eat, or eat very little because it can cause discomfort in the tummy. I can only speak from my own experiences and I burn a lot of energy when I run so I need everything I can get! The super food for me is Porridge – it keeps me going for hours, literally! A snack closer to your race time is a good idea, banana is a great option. I’d also recommend a slice of toast with peanut butter.

Preventing Injuries

Can you guess what I’m going to say? Yes, you probably guessed it – stretching. It is so important to stretch before and after your run, any distance. It may not prevent injuries entirely but it will certainly help.

I’m also a massive fan of Yoga practice, I find it helps balance both my body and mind. When you’re running a lot, I hugely recommend mixing up your training plan with regular Yoga classes.

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