On 29th of May I officially finished my very first marathon – Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 2016. To tick-off the main item from my bucket list this year took me merely half a year to prepare for and 4.39h to run (it also took me only 2 months to sit down and write something about it on a blog – but that’s another story).
Reflecting on my training and performance during the race, I would like to share with you…
3 Things to Keep in Mind When Training for a Marathon
- Those same old tips about running a marathon on the internet exist for a reason. You will see that person who shoots in 8m/h pace for the first 5 miles only to end up in 12m/h pace for the rest of the marathon. You will see people queuing for the first porta-potties in mile 3. No matter how many articles on ‘what not to do before a marathon’ exist with the same pieces of advice, there will be people who break the ‘golden rules’. Don’t forget that those tips/rules/pieces of advice are on the internet because they work.
- You will panic. Everyone finds their own thing to panic about when training for a marathon. Even 15 minutes before the start of the marathon you will probably start thinking of all the crazy things that could happen in those next few hours of your life. When training, I have panicked about, well, almost everything. I panicked about being too slow, not re-hydrating myself enough, not eating correct food, getting an injury and also experiencing runner trots during the race and my longs runs (the list could go on) Admittedly, the last one stayed throughout the whole training process and when running the marathon itself. Whilst it would be great if you can stay calm during training, it is also ok if you freak out a little bit from time to time – you are preparing for a major event for you after all!
- Marathon CAN be enjoyable. I know that some people do take pride in ‘surviving’ a marathon. ‘I thought I would die’ – says a marathoner with a smug face. Well, in my opinion (and, now, experience) marathon can be enjoyable – especially your very first one. Whilst certainly it is not easy and could even be the hardest thing you have ever done, there is no reason why you have to suffer through it. If you are in so much pain during all your first marathon, it is possible that your training was inadequate and/or you have not listened to those same-old marathon tips all over the internet (see my first point above). Even though it was really hard, I still enjoyed my first marathon! And why shouldn’t you? No PB to break, the atmosphere is great, trained responsibly for the last half a year for this single day – don’t You deserve to enjoy the day?
As every runner I could go on and on rambling about my training or about the feelings when crossing the finish line. Why not experience it yourself? If This Girl Can , you most probably can too!