First timers - What have you done?
So you’ve gone and done it…you’ve signed up to run a marathon!
And if this is your first one then you’re probably quite understandably a little nervous about what lies ahead.
Hopefully you’ve given yourself enough time for training, I’d say that anyone with a very basic fitness should be able to complete a marathon within six months so long as you apply yourself and don’t do anything too silly. And if you’re already of a reasonable fitness then that time can be reduced by a good couple of months.
The Marathon IS a big undertaking even if it isn’t your first so remember the key points:
Consistency is really important in your training but don’t throw yourself headlong into 15-20 mile training runs if you’re not used to it. Build slowly and steady. You should have time to build your volume and distances by small increments. That way you’ll have a better chance of avoiding injury/niggles.
The 10% Rule. As per the above point build in increments, either in your weekly mileage (volume) or the distance of your weekly long run.
Get some race practice. On the big day you’ll want to know what to expect when you find yourself surrounded by people all seemingly intent on tripping blocking and nudging you for the first couple of miles. Take part in a few races beforehand and experience all different distances. The charity office can usually suggest a few upcoming runs that might be useful.
Injuries and niggles. Yes you’ll probably pick up an injury or at least a niggle somewhere along the line, most of them will clear up with a little rest and TLC (and an ice pack) some may be more serious so it’s always worth getting them checked out.
Personally (and this is just me) I tend to go to a qualified sports physiotherapist rather than your GP. Yes the Doc is free but his job is to get you working without too much pain, not to get you running again. Between you and me, most doctors hate us marathon runners.
Relax. It’s a big undertaking but thousands of people every year complete their first Marathon. So long as you take your training seriously then come the big day you should be able to focus safe in the knowledge you have everything you need in your arsenal to get you round (and probably beating a Radio 1 DJ along the way).
The marathon is a special race so respect it and it will give you a fantastic day in return, as well as a medal that you can bore your mates to tears with for months afterwards.
We’re here to help you every step of the way, so whether you have a query on training, injuries, kit, or your fundraising plan just call. (I also have a fool-proof way of dealing with blisters too)
And finally ENJOY YOURSELF! You may only do this once so make the most of it.