Race Day for Marathon

Mainly think calm as Sunday approaches, focus on staying relax and trust that you are ready as you may be feeling fidgety.  You may not sleep on Saturday but that’s ok, wake up early and eat what you would normally eat and have a banana an hour before the start of the race.  Don’t drink too much, you should be really hydrated anyway.  Check the weather and if sunny, wear sunscreen and walk through drink stations and drink plenty, don’t under estimate the impact of the sun especially as you have trained in winter.

Arrive at the race early as it will be busy, take extra clothing that you don’t mind throwing away once you have given your bag into the baggage area or to your support crew so that you don’t get cold on the start line.  Make sure you know where the start line is and get there as soon as you can after you have been to the toilet a million times!  Try not to waste too much energy with a running warm up but don’t get stiff just standing still so just keep moving really, chat to the person next to you or just focus your mind on the task ahead, tell yourself that you are ready and picture the finish and how you are going to run over the line.  Put your hands on your hips in a superman pose and tell your self that you are amazing for getting this far.  Mental training is just as important as physical. 

Don’t go too fast in the first half, if you do you risk producing lactate quicker than your body can clear it which will slow you down.  You have trained at a pace that is sustainable for the distance so remember this, it is better to run the second half faster than the first half.  Make sure you replenish your energy stores throughout the run but don’t try anything new.

Test the water for the first few miles, ease into the race both in terms of your running pace and emotional involvement.  Look at the first few miles as a warm up run, shortening your race to 24 miles.  Slow down gradually and remain calm if you find your first mile or two are too quick.  Emotionally, stay as calm as possible, save your mental energy for the second half of the race when you will need to convince your boy to keep going.  Bymile 5 you should be into good flow so from here to 10 miles is a good test as you’ll feel comfortable at goal pace.

Halfway is a good point to see where you are, how do you feel?  If you feel good it will give you a mental boost, if you feel a bit iffy, slow the pace down and don’t panic.  The second half is where you need to concentrate on your pace, your good form and keep relaxed and remain confident.  When you hit a bad patch, hang in there, they will pass and have faith in your training.  Think about all the hard work and accept the discomfort, it does hurt but keep moving.

The next key marker is when you have 10k to go, this is a familiar distance for you so you need willpower that got you round all your 20 mile runs in the rain and when you wanted to give up, dig deep and pump those arms and pick your feet up, you will keep moving forward if you keep your arms and legs moving. And it will end, remember this, it will end, enjoy the carnival atmosphere and try to distract yourself thinking of all the friends you have met on your running journey who have helped you get to this point.

As you cross the 26 mile point you only have less than a quarter of a mile to go, use the crowd and the spirit of the runners around you to energise that last push, don’t surge too quickly though just keep your head up and shoulders relaxed.  As you cross the line, stop your watch and congratulate all the runners around you.


Paris Marathon Training


Running a marathon is an aerobic event, meaning you need to keep a pace that you are comfortable with so running with oxygen over a long time.

You need a mixture of runs but the most important run of the week is the long run. Long runs improve the ability of muscles to store glycogen and use fat efficiently as fuel, sparing glycogen. Long runs improve aerobic and muscular endurance and teach you to run relaxed with efficient form for long periods despite being tired.  It teaches you to develop patience and forces you to slow down and pace yourself.

Speed training can improve your marathon time as it improves running form, a sense of pacing as well as mental training.  Run your continuous runs at marathon pace (6-13 miles only) so you get used to the feel of that speed.

Recovery runs are also important so easy days and off days are vital, rest is as important as your training runs so look at these as part of your quality training.  Don’t let the urgency of preparing to run a marathon force you into neglecting recovery.  With higher mileage and longer runs, marathoning demands quality rest days or overtraining and injury will result.  Rest days allow the body to recover from and adapt to hard training during the rest of the week.

So what about Paris Marathon?

Marathon training is hard and it needs commitment and consistency, you will be tired after your long runs and if you have a full time job and a small family it will take it out of you.  When you want to curl up and go to sleep after a long run and your kids want you to go out and bike with them it takes its toll.  You need to have a supportive partner who doesn’t mind weekends being taken up with long runs and week nights to be taken up with running twice a week.

That said training for a marathon is exciting, you are finding out how far you can push your body and you will be at your peak fitness and that’s what is exciting about it.  And there is nothing better than doing it together and sharing the highs and the lows of your training.

Financial cost is also a consideration, current cost to enter is 99 euros and goes up to 119 euros soon.  The flights and hotel on average cost £400 and you need a medical certificate from a GP here to say you are fit to run and they is a charge for this, average £75 but this depends on your GP practice.

There are some significant races that I would advise you to do, Portsmouth half on 4th Feb £26.50,  Bramley 20 on the 11th Feb which costs £26 and possibly Brighton half marathon 25th Feb but this is expensive at £37.  Having these races booked though helps you prepare for the nerves because you will get used to lining up in big races as well as having early starts which helps you develop your own race prep routine.  All of these things are so important though as it helps prepare you mentally and physical when you go to a race in a big event where there are 50,000 people all wanting to go to the loo.  It enables you to gain your own experience which can be built on to help you succeed on the big day, things like what to wear, what is the best thing for you to eat the day before, what kind of breakfast is transportable for you, how many times you need to go to the loo.

Before you even begin to start the 16 week training plan I would advise that you have completed at least a half marathon distance.  This way the jump up to the increase in mileage will not be so huge and this reduces your risk of injury, I also wouldn’t advise starting a marathon training plan on tired legs, my advice is don’t start a marathon training plan if you have run a marathon within 2 weeks of starting the plan, this is too much for your body as you do not have time to recover and this can lead to injury and frustration.

Gosport half is on the 19th November so a good one to do and there is half marathon in Portsmouth on the 17th December.  As you can see from the basic training plan you need to be doing at least a weekly mileage of 18 miles per week and the distance does increase quite a lot in the quarter phase, by the 11th February you should be aiming to have run 18 miles in prep for a 20 mile run.

There is no pressure on time if this is your first marathon, you are racing yourself to see if you can do it, the 2nd marathon is when you race the clock.

If you have any questions just ask, I just wanted you to be as prepared as possible, marathons and marathon training is not easy, it is hard and it hurts but the rewards are amazing. x

Paris marathon Basic 2018.xlsx

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