For those who know me, most would know that running 42.2km was never really something on my ‘to do’ list up until recently, when I started working with lots of runners, many of them from Mind Body Motion run club. I love sports, always have, always will, however a little over a year ago I had never run more than 10km in one go. I am tall, a little uncoordinated, and sound(ed) more like an elephant than a gazelle when I run. However, I decided that I wanted to know ‘what it felt like’ to run a marathon, to help me work better with my clients. And I must admit, I got a little curious…what is it that all these people love so much about running?!
Well! An interesting few months of training it has been so far!
So, what have I learnt?
- 42.2km is really far. Like really far. And I am more of a tortoise, which means I have to be running for a really long time.
- When your legs start to hurt, and then everything starts to hurt, it helps to think about something else. I’ve started using a strategy I often teach clients, which is a psychological strategy to separate yourself from your thoughts, where you tell yourself you’re a banana. Yep, sounds super silly, but this is why it works. Without a doubt, I get a little grin, and then my brain often drifts on to something else.
- It really helps when you think about what you get to have for breakfast at the end of a run. My fave: smoked salmon, spinach and ricotta on toasted sourdough. Even better if you know it will be cooked for you when you get home!
- I am really sensitive to caffeine. ½ caffeinated gel at once, max.
- It doesn’t help if you have any wine the night/day before. Even one glass for me. Some very quiet Saturdays in it has been!
- Beach recovery sessions are amazing. Swim, sun, book = happy muscles!
- Having your partner come and meet your for the end of the long run to keep you company is really nice, especially if you usually run on your own.
- Massages are the bomb. As are golf balls and tennis balls. I would not be able to run this much or far without them!
- Strength training is a non-negotiable. This helps reduce the risk of developing any injuries, and can improve your overall performance as well. Yes Sarah Comensoli, I have been listening!
- Sydney is rather beautiful and peaceful early on a Sunday morning – there is no one around except for other runners and cyclists (and the occasional drunk…)!
It has been wonderful, there have been tears, and there have been times when I wanted to quit, but at the end of every session, there’s always a sense of pride that you did it.
I’m off for my longest long run on the weekend before starting to taper for my first marathon in little under a month. Stay tuned for my post race assessment… fingers crossed it goes well!
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