I am currently training for London Marathon, 22nd April, which at times does not feel soon enough as I feel like I want the long runs to be over, and at other times feels far too close!
This will be my 3rd marathon and I find that with each one I do, the training becomes a little bit harder.
With a first marathon there is the excitement of reaching new distances, the performance benefits and having a goal time but whatever you achieve its going to be a shiny new PB either way. The following marathon journey’s feel a bit more weighted with expectations, which for me are tougher. I know I am going to experience the following;
- You know you are going to feel tired, grumpy and irritable
- Long, dark, cold training runs
- Marathon feet (yuck!)
- Injury (I am yet to meet someone who has gone through a marathon training plan niggle free!) and the constant self reassurance that a few missed runs aren’t going to matter.
- An expectation on finish time
As I was walking to Wokingham half marathon Sunday just gone, with tired legs and feeling quite mentally fatigued, I was chatting to a couple of others, one an ultra runner, another running his first marathon at Brighton this year as to why we do this. It got me thinking about what is motivating me this time round.
My first marathon was done after a particularly tough time in my life. It gave me many things, some listed below, but more as well;
- A specific goal
- A sense of purpose
- A plan that took me from day to day
- A sense of achievement, journey and progression
- A reason to continue to challenge my self belief and confidence
- Training with a running club and friends through their marathon journey’s
There are always going to be peaks and troughs in training whether for marathon distance or alternative, or for that matter in any sport. I guess part of that training for me is not forgetting the journey and the reasons for doing this in the first place, and taking some time to stop and reflect. And to be kind to myself and accept that at times it feels hard.
One of my main reasons that I am taking London on for a third time is my Dad. He came down to support me on my first marathon attempt, and words can’t really capture how much that meant to me, and to remember how proud he was of me. I remember seeing him around 22 miles, where this photo was taken, I was certainly happy to see him.
A marathon is no small feat, it takes real guts and determination, and that is not just on the event day itself. Its throughout. So if you find you are struggling, remember the reasons you are doing this, remember that you are amazing for giving this go, and know that you will feel on top of the world for each and every marathon you do and the training will feel more than worth it. That’s why we keep going back for more! Keep going with the training – you’ve got this!