Are You Ready For The Big One?
I’m going to run a marathon!! I don’t know how many times I’ve got excited and uttered that statement only to wish I had kept my bloody mouth shut...and then of course in a moment of craziness, I register for the thing and then it’s too late to go back….do I regret any of my marathons, of course not..Well maybe the last one...anyway that’s a distant memory because I’ve just registered for my next one!
Are you ready to run a marathon? Half Marathon? ...you may be pumped up, carried away by the enthusiasm of the Lazy Runner group...or maybe you have always dreamt of doing the big one and feel that this is your year…but I ask again..Have you got what it takes? I believe every runner can run a marathon and I stand by that...however, more important than that, the timing needs to be right...here are some tips if you are thinking about a 2011 Marathon or Half marathon.
What distance are you running now...it should be a comfortable 10km, especially if you have Gold Coast in your sights.
How are you feeling? Are you running well with no niggling aches and pains or long term injuries?
What’s going on at home...do you have 5 kids under 5!! Are three of your kids in Secondary school and you are a taxi service for 4 hours of the day, is one of your kids about to become the next state champion of Nippers? Is the health of your family Ok and no one requiring any special needs or extra time at present?
How is work going?- are you currently working 60 hours a week and it doesn’t look like there will be a let up in those hours this year...Are you in your own business and have some big contracts coming in? Do you work weekends and cannot fit in long runs with the groups?
I honestly believe you need 15 hours a week to train for a marathon and 10 hours a week for the half...you may think that’s crazy but I added it up over my Bangkok epic and that is what I was doing in the last few weeks..It’s not just the running, it’s the preparing and planning, the sorting out the courses, the getting to the start and home, the massages!! The diet preparation, the extra rest required and it goes on and on.
Don’t let me put you off though, you can do it, but you just need to be aware that it has to fit in to your life, just like any other pursuit, and you will pay for it on race day if you cut your training time back.
When I was training for Bangkok, I was working 7 very early mornings a week, travelling long distances, working in Noosa during the day and looking after and running around with two teenage girls…and believe it or not I fitted it all in quite easily..I think that was because I planned it from the start, and I was determined to do it properly. I wrote up a diary of what I had to achieve every week, if I missed a run I had to make it up...and I did...planning is everything, especially if have something else in your life besides running (and I hope that applies to most of us!)
Ways to get through the training are vital as well to a long distance program...run with a buddy or a group(Lazy Runner of course), follow a program that suits your needs, it’s no good running 100km a week if you haven’t the time and you burn out a month before the big day.
Don’t be so hard on yourself; just do what is required and no more. Follow a program that suits your needs, if you are a first timer follow a beginner program. Make sure your program is long (4 months or more) that way if you miss some training runs you get time to make them up.
Don’t pick a time to run your race in, especially if it’s your first, just aim to complete it...if you are looking at a time be a little conservative and wait until the last month of training before you make any rash decisions.
Run 4 times a week and then do other things on the off days, like swimming, cycling or walking…always try for one rest day a week
Pick a marathon that appeals to you, research it and make sure it’s what you want to do and suits your running needs..Gold Coast is a good course but there are some amazing other races in Queensland and Australia.
Look after yourself...eat well, don’t go on any extreme diet and eating program, rest well, don’t party every week end and expect to churn out 20-30km runs on the week end.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Put yourself first for a change…I remember when I ran my first marathon (Melbourne) I started saying "no" to people for once in my life, "no" to a lot of social outings (my friends were shocked), "no" to some of things the kids asked to do, "no" to extra work…Remember you can say no and the best excuse and the most impressive when people ask "why?", just say “I’m Training for a Marathon”, or "I’m training for a Half Marathon”, remember it is Ok to say No to people! (except me of course)
If something goes wrong in the middle of your training program that will stop you from reaching your end goal (like an injury or family or work crisis), don’t be too disappointed. There are many other races on the calender, just get back into your taining and pick another Marathon or Half down the track.
And Finally- get excited, it is an exciting, amazing thing to do and an incredible challenge..so enjoy