So you want to run a marathon or a half-marathon? Great! It’s an amazing thing. My take on marathon advice. Warning, there is a lot of things that people don’t tell you. Or rather they do tell you, but you sort of ignore their advice and eventually understand what they were saying!
Honesty is the best policy, so here goes. I have thighs, my thighs touch, I don’t have this mystical thigh gap. So guess what, chafing happens. It hurts, a lot. Particularly post run when you have to get into the shower, as your skin is often fairly raw. For me personally, it didn’t matter if I was wearing tights or shorts, the constant rubbing of my thighs caused chafing. That’s wear Body Glide came to my rescue, rub it all over every part of your body and chafing won’t be quite as bad.
No amount of food seemed to be enough. Mondays at work the day after long run Sunday were particularly bad. Personally, post long run, I wanted a coffee and a nap and often wasn’t hungry. The same happened post Marathon. So I wouldn’t eat enough, then be hungry the next day. I snacked all the time, and just told myself I was burning enough calories to justify the constant chocolate. One for Marathon 2, is to be better about my snacking. I was pretty good at making my lunches for work and making big meals for the week, but my snacking game wasn’t hot.
Ask anyone at work how I looked of late. The answer would be tired. No amount of Touchè Eclat and NARS Concealer could cover the bags under my eyes. I struggled to get enough sleep, trying to hard to get up early in the morning and stay up late. I often ate late so would be going to bed on a full stomach, which didn’t help me fall asleep. One thing I will aim for next time is a better sleep pattern and pre-bed routine.
The Mood Swings
I love running, I hate running, repeat often and every day. You go from having the runners high, with endorphines post run, to temper tantrums about having to run in the cold, dark, rainy, windy nights. If a session was tough, or I struggled with a run, I would feel broken. This then really discouraged me to go out the next day, and often I had to bribe or force myself to go out. I am my own worst enemy, the tough runs make the good days better. They also help infinite amount on race days, you can think back to the tough days and remember how you did make it through.
The Constant Washing
Dear Washing Machine, I am sorry for the constant use of late. Occasionally, you can wear the same leggings two days in a row, but socks, tops, and sports bras tend to be out of the question for me, as I sweat a lot. Wash often, leaving a washing bag of sweaty gym kit is not pleasant, so try to wash as often as you can. There was many occasion where my kit was soaking wet, so it was easiest to just put a wash straight on!
The Constant Need for New Kit
The keyword is need for new kit. Most trainer manufacturers will advise you to replace trainers every 300-500 miles, and with reason. You will get to a point with your shoes where you really start to feel the pavement and totally miss the support you once had. Buying and wearing a new set will feel like running on clouds. Since I started running 2 years ago, I am on my 5th pair of trainers, having ran well over 2000 or so miles. Top-tip, find a pair of shoes you like, if you see them in a sale, by them. Even if you haven’t used your current pair that much, its great to get them slightly cheaper.
The Time it takes
Training took over my life. A typical 7 mile run, is just under an hours worth of running. Yet it would take closer to an hour and a half to two-hours, by the time you ran, waited at lights, got home, stretched, showered, changed etc. Everyone has the same hours in a day, it just requires a fair amount of planning and patience. For me this meant dinners at 8/9/10pm at night. Not ideal, hence problems sleeping as above.
The actual distance
It’s far, 26.22 miles far. I personally counted every small victory so the first .22 mile I was like ok, 26 more to go and so on. You could break it down into two halves, or 13 sets of 2. Do whatever works for you!
Disclaimer, this is just my marathon advice/stuff I wish I had thought through! This is by no means professional advice.