Welcome and hello,
Attempting my own little blog sharing my journey from lazy, couch lover with mild wine tendencies, beer swigging and chocolate & cake monster to a runner. Some tips and probably lots of crazy………..so worth reading, well maybe.
I’ve always liked exercise, particularly running and an interest in health and nutrition. Life happens and socializing over wine with friends or chilling out in front of the tv on the comfy couch after a stressful day can be very alluring. The problem with the lazy life and the good life is your waist expands, you energy levels are on a all time low and you just don’t feel great. Well that’s how I feel, can’t be the only one.
So after complete the Gun Run in 2012 10k I was again motivated to getting back into the running life. The first goal was to run my second half marathon so I signed up for the very popular Two Oceans Marathon Tip. Nothing motivates better than having a race booked so definitely sign up whether it’s a 5k color or Zombie run or a 10km head over to your Runner Worlds site and check out the race calendar.
From Two Oceans I was feeling good and brave having always wanted to run a full marathon, I signed up for Cape Town Marathon that’s when training started to get too real. Sure my training program for the half marathon took up a chunk of time but marathon training took it to a new level. Running suddenly becomes a way of life and Sundays become Long Run Day aka up ridiculously early after eating a sensible meal the night before and getting out there before some have even made it to bed. Long runs range from 2 to 4 hrs long at a slow steady pace. It was winter too so I may have skipped a few more sessions than I should have.
Marathon day came and the weather was perfect, I felt as ready for this challenge as I could. It felt good up until the 26km mark. Then I walked aka zombied the rest of the way with occasional runs in between. My head was spinning with why did I do this? I just want it to stop? It’s so far….. But I made the finish in 5 hrs 14. I finished I had achieved my desire to run a marathon. I think your first marathon you definitely shouldn’t aim for a time unless your athletic.
My lessons I take from my first time are:
1. Pacing – Start slow, keep in at an easy pace slower than you normal pace especially if this is a new distance aka the furthest you have ever run.
2. Consistency – Follow or make a training plan, listen to your body’s feedback, but don’t just skip training. If motivation is lacking get someone involved or cross train at the gym. Avoid those duvet days unless you earn then. Ignore that temptress BED. Bed is for sleeping at night not lazing in the day. guilty as charged
3. Hydration&Energy – Events are generally really good at providing water, and energy drinks so definitely make the most of the water and the glucose boast at regular intervals if you burn out of your carbs store (glycogen) in your body your gonna feel really bad. Scientific research suggests the average person stores around 500g which is about 2hrs worth of steady pace exercise. From there it’s down to body fat to provide energy however the fat conversion process is slower so the body needs glycogen available. To if the events energy drink isn’t your choice then experiment with your own. Tip. never ever ever try something new on race day. A marathon is a big big thing for the body you don’t want to stress it out with something might cause a reaction at worse you could be desperately clenching those cheeks whilst frantically searching for the nearest porta throne to worship.
4. Be Battle Ready – We are truely our own demon be ready for the moment you head tells you, you are useless! You can’t do this! Find inspiration or a mantra like “I’m feeling strong, I’m feeling powerful!” Even faking a smile can give you a boost. Thinking about the finish and the sense of accomplishment also is a motivator, we are all different what’s yours?
5. Feel the vibe – There is something very spiritual, the atmosphere at a running event and a sense of belonging as thousands of feet beat across the starting line. It’s definitely an experience so feel the moment it’s special.
So from the couch to a marathon in a year. It’s doable. You can do it! And I’m getting better at not being so phasey between on it and sobbing out. Consistency and building up slowly (aka patience) are 100% crucial to success.