Oh Jeez It’s Actually Happening….
EEEEK, marathon. As in actual full on marathon. 26.2 miles – oh dear God. So as some of you may or may not know I (along with thousands of others) plan to be one of the runners crossing the Virgin London Marathon finish line this year. The race is (scarily) quickly creeping it’s way towards us. Runners are all in full flow with marathon prep training mode. Now just 12 (and a bit) weeks out. I’ll be posting about my marathon journey, with all the ups, downs, in, outs and just how it’s effecting my training. I know it’s a huge feet to achieve – not only because it’s a marathon (eek) but its also my first one (double eek!) I’m super excited for the journey along the way.
The notorious race is heading our way on the 23rd April. Millions will line the streets to watch the fabulous sporting event take place. 12 weeks till race day….I’ll let that sink in a minute…yup not long at all really. Although, I’m super fit as part of my job as a fitness model and trainer, a MARATHON is a whole different world of training for me. I have always enjoyed running, and have done my fair share of half marathons, 10k’s and mud runs, but running hasn’t actually been my point of focus for the last couple of years. As I have taken to strength training and yoga more and more, running hasn’t recently been a key component of my training. My last half marathon was 2 years ago so I have some work to do.
Adidas Runner’s Run Club
Amazingly enough I have the support of one of my favourite sporting brands – Adidas along the way. Lucky lady. And so can you! Throughout the running season (whether you’re in training for a race or not) Adidas Runners put on regular run clubs, Monday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s (Saturday’s are longer runs). There’s nothing that quite beats the support of a runners community. I’ll be the first to say that I have always been quite the solitary runner. I like to switch off from the world, put my headphones on and not have to think about anything or anyone else. However, since giving the Adidas Runners run clubs a try I can honestly say I finally ‘get it’. The companionship, the camaraderie, the motivation you get from others. Not just that, the learning you get from others. And it’s not just the running coaches either (although clearly they’re amazing at what they do and know their stuff). It’s also a really wonderful thing to bounce ideas and conversations off the other runners. Oh you’re calfs are tight too? Oh you’re struggling to fit in time to train too? It certainly makes you feel a lot more like you’re a team pulling together towards that finish line than all alone.
So my marathon update…I’ve been trying to get the mileage in but if I’m being honest it’s been a lot more difficult than planned. As a conditioned strength trainer I’ve had to make quite the switch up in my training. Shifting from a focus on 4-5 strength (gym based) sessions per week to far less of a strength focus and a shift to running and even more flexibility training. As a personal trainer it’s hard for me to get used this idea. Strength training is undoubtedly a huge part of my training – and life! However, I love a new challenge, so I’m ready and raring for it. I’m also pretty darn sure that strength training will have a pretty vital role in my marathon training – it will just be more tailored to the need of a runner.
Throughout my journey to my marathon I’m learning more and more the importance of strong glutes and a strong core. Also the extreme importance of the recovery process, the foam rolling and the stretching. There’s definitely 2 camps of marathon trainers – those that are from a more runners mindset, maybe a running background. Then there’s people like me, I’m from a strength background. Both camps can serve as a huge help to each other. For instance I can tell you, you HAVE to work on your glutes and core. NB: read up on core and glute activation pre running. You HAVE to foam roller and stretch in order to help your muscle tissues repair from pounding the pavement. These things are certainly not just added bonuses, they’re an absolute pre-requisite.
What I may be can’t tell you as much about is your cadence, your pace, your running mechanism. I have been approaching some of the best in the business for help with this and I can’t wait to report back what I’ve learned in order to hopefully help you guys out too! I’ll also be posting some foam roller and stretching videos to help you along the way. For this marathon it will be my mission to find out how to be my strongest “runner self” whilst venturing into a completely new marathon mindset running training regime. It’s my aim to help bring that to you too.
Are you a newby too?
Anyone else a super marathon newby too? As a start for fellow first marathon timers I would definitely recommend the book “Run Your First Marathon”, by Deena Castor, Grete Waitz and Gloria Averbuch. It certainly helped me turn my nervous / terrified / panic stricken apprehension to a feeling of much more excitement, can do, focused and informed mindset. I didn’t realise that for instance it might be a good idea to go on a short run the day before a long run to get used to the feeling of leg fatigue before combating those long miles? We’re all always learning, and that my friends is the best way to be!
The Pre-Race Race
Another good point I picked up, has anyone signed up to any other races this year? I always find it so much easy to focus on running when there’s a race day destination point. I’ve signed up to the Surrey Half Marathon on March 12th as a pre event to the marathon. This gives me a nice bit of time before my marathon and will serve as great practice for race day. It’s also nice that one of my best friend’s is running the race for a cause dear to our hearts so it’s a great excuse to support her and a charitable cause. There’s a lot of races put on before the marathon for this very purpose. It’s a great way to get yourself familiar with the race day process so it isn’t all new on the actual day.
Throughout the lead up I’ll be bringing you my diary of my marathon journey. Don’t forget to come and join us the Adidas Runner’s meet ups, I promise it’s a great way to mix up those lonely training miles. Hopefully see you there!
Sending health & happiness,