What marathon training has taught me

It’s fair to say that when I signed up for this year’s Brighton Marathon I did off the back of a friend of mine completing it against the odds. I won’t share the details of her story but suffice to say, she overcame MASSIVE obstacles during her training, didn’t complete it in the way she had hoped to….. but finish it she did!

Inspired by her determination, I decided that I had no excuse not to give it a bloody good go myself. And so I signed up….. With best part of a year to train for it………

And now? Well, here we are. Just two weeks to go, the bulk of my training plan behind me and just the tapering and event itself to go.

The training has taught me a lot….

  • I am more determined that I realised. When I started, the training plan was quite terrifying and I could bring myself to look more than a week ahead. To be fair, I still don’t look too far ahead and I think this has really helped me. Instead of being overwhelmed by the whole plan, I’ve taken it one run at a time.
  • I might actually be more suited to running longer distances. I’ve never really enjoyed 5k’s….I just start to feel settled and it’s all over. It’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of parkrun (the distance not the event, I actually this it’s a fabulous concept). With the marathon training, as I’ve learnt more about effective fuelling, I’ve found myself settling into the longer runs and, once they’re over, have enjoyed them!
  • Marathon training messes with your mind….. For a start it skews your concept of distance. When you have recently run 18-20 miles, for some reason the statement “I only have to run 12 miles today” seems like a perfectly normal thing to say…. but since when did 12 miles become ‘only’? FML!!!
  • You may have done 18 last week, but 12 this week will still feel really hard… and maybe even harder than the longer distance!
  • Winging it is not an option.
  • It’s quite tricky to run, eat a shot block and breathe… scrap that – it’s bloody near impossible….
  • Running is not glamorous! There is chafing, sweat, blisters and a distinct lack of loos, to name just a few things!
  • You discuss things with your running friends that any other friend would find A) disgusting and B) best left unshared!
  • When your  mind and body work together, you can achieve amazing things.
  • The tiredness that comes from the long runs and the months of accumulated miles in your legs brings a quality of sleep that is unparalleled!

There’s probably more…. but for now that’ll do.


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