9 Things That The Pros Don’t Tell Beginners About Marathon Training!
With only 3 weeks until Dublin and 6 until Las Vegas I’ve fallen into a strange mindset where I don’t wanna run at all and just want to eat tons of junk food.
It’s really not a great situation to be in when you’re meant to write a so-called ‘healthy living’ blog.
With that in mind I’m here tonight to talk about the 9 things that they don’t tell you about marathon training.
For once, not all of them are completely negative (although most are!).
- The depression the week after finishing is horrible – It’s not the depression so much as the realisation that you spent so many weeks preparing for this race and it’s now over. What the fuck will you do with the rest of your time? Shave your pubes and mail them to Noel Edmonds as retribution for the evil fucking shitfest that’s ‘Deal Or No Deal’?
- Tapering will send you mad and it’s not always necessary – You never know who to believe when it comes to tapering. Do you go for 2 or 3 weeks? Or do you even bother with it at all? Personally I believe tapering is for fucking hippies and/or real athletes. My tapering will start at the end of November after Las Vegas where I’ll wind down after a hard year and hopefully enjoy Christmas.
- You’ll always feel like you could do another long run – I’ve ran 2×20 milers already but I’m still not satisfied. I wanna go out on Sunday and run another one. Even after that I’ll still know that I could do more. The mental aspect of training is the hardest bit to get to grips with. Sometimes saying no to another run can actually help your efforts!
- You’ll question whether it was worth all the effort – I tend to go bat-shit insane a month before a marathon. I become really fatigued and emotional and I start to question my motives for running. Ultimately though it is worth it if you see it through and enjoy some of the training! I think I’ve finally got the balance right in training for my 5th marathon. I focused on reducing my caloric intake in the early weeks of my training plan and although I’ve put on a bit of weight recently, I’m still around 7lbs lighter than Paris/Belfast.
- You might be annoyed that you gained weight – Carrying on from my last point, the dreaded last 4 weeks are tough in terms of weight gain. You’re having to balance a reduced amount of running with the mental stress of running the marathon which just makes you wanna eat all of the things.
- You’ll start to get self conscious about talking about marathons around your friends – “Are they fucking tired of me constantly harping on about this race?” This isn’t such an issue if most of your friends are runners, but if you work with people who aren’t interested in running then you might have to button it a little.
- By the end of your training plan you’ll likely feel fat and slow and will question your ability to run 2.62 miles, let alone 26.2 – This is why I don’t taper any more. The first few times I trained for a marathon I tapered like hell, gained weight and then when it came to race day I was heavier and had no confidence in my ability. I think reducing your running leading up to the marathon to a small degree is helpful, but cutting it by 50% might actually hamper your preparation. Ultimately you’ve gotta listen to your body. If you’re tired in your last few weeks and don’t wanna run, don’t force yourself into it. Your body is naturally tapering.
- Even if you hate the 26.2 experience, you’ll be using your computer to enter new events shortly after it – You’ll start off casually browsing new marathon races and before you know it, you’ll get excited and screech “shit I didn’t even know Albania was a place, let alone a place with ROADS! LETS RUN THERE SISTER!!!!”.
- Most importantly – the support from spectators is incredibly important along the marathon route – Races that don’t have vocal supporters are much harder to run especially in the latter, quieter sections. Races that are well supported all of the way through are so much better for your morale! When it comes to the last 10k of a marathon, your mindset is very important. It’s easy to lose all hope and give in. If you’ve got a crowd of well wishers around you on both sides of the street, it’s so much easier to do what you set out to do!