I’ve been training for a marathon! And everyone knows it because I won’t stop talking about it. But why on earth would you put yourself through it I hear you cry! Well last September I completed a 13 mile Tough Mudder challenge and while I was eating all of the cake and reaping my reward for working so hard, someone casually joked that the next step would be a marathon. I nearly choked on my battenberg. No way on this earth was I going to attempt that one… but then I kept joking about it, then the jokes stop being so jokey…
…and here I am three weeks away from the starting line of the brand new Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. It’s basically a musical marathon, with different bands every few miles spurring people on, along with a big party in the Albert Docks once you’ve completed all 26.2 miles. Just over a year ago I couldn’t even run for nine minutes (I actually had to step off the treadmill at seven minutes and take a breather – cringe!) but I’ve done the classic ‘tell everyone’ trick and the thought of embarrassing myself has certainly spurred me on.
I’ve been training for what seems like forever but is in fact only four months, and I’ve learnt a few things along the way. If anyone else is considering taking on a similar challenge my first piece of advice is to just sign up! Worry about the training after. Now you’ve got the hard part out of the way (!) here are some things to expect when you start to pound the tarmac.
You will be hungry at all times
This is a running (excuse the pun) joke in the office because I just eat constantly. Packets of almonds during meetings, porridge at 4pm and chickpeas galore. I’m a pretty healthy person and getting enough calories from ‘good’ foods was surprisingly difficult at first – I’ve even had to start actually cooking, which I loath. However eating the right diet has been a huge part of training and I really recommend ditching the fast foods and unhealthy takeaways. Yes I’m running 30 miles a week and people sometimes see that as an excuse to eat whatever you want, but trust me when I say you can’t outrun a bad diet. Obviously I don’t do it 100% of the time though, such as when I consumed an entire wheel of brie after a 20 mile run…
You’ll have to learn to eat as you run
Basically my life is all about food right now… But when you’re out running for hours on end you need to take provisions. Dried fruit is an instant energy hit as it’s pretty easy to carry with you and there are a huge range of tips for other snack online. There are also some not so helpful solutions such as mash up a banana, put it in a bag and spoon it into your mouth as you run – a logistical nightmare for someone so uncoordinated as me. Also it’s just gross.
Chafing will become a very real part of your life
Ladies, invest in a good sports bra and many, many plasters.
You might start to get a tad defensive
When it comes to a first marathon, most people just want to cross the finish line – myself included. I warn you now, people will not accept this as an answer to their question ‘what time are you hoping to do it in?’. They will want a time – less that five hours, four, why not go for sub three?! It induces a mild panic in me and I start to get all shirty about that fact that I just want to finish, preferably without throwing up on the side of the road.
Your body is an amazing machine
I honestly can’t believe I’ve got this far. People are usually surprised at my surprise because I’m a pretty determined person and I’ve always enjoyed keeping fit. However everyone has those waves of self-doubt when you think what the hell am I playing at, I’m not an athlete, lets stop with the whole charade. This passes, I promise. Running is all in the mind and once you’ve conquered that you’re 90% of the way there. Plus runner’s high makes it all so worth it!
You’ll hopefully realise that running is wonderful
Despite all of the above, I still love running. It’s cheap, it’s easy and takes very little organisation to just go out and do a few miles. You get to see your surroundings properly, instead of out the window as you sit in traffic, and it’s a brilliant stress reliever after a long day sat at a desk.
I’ll be running my marathon on the 25th of May and I’ll be sure to update you all on my progress, wish me luck! Love Aimee x
P.s I also blog about my life as an Honorary Scouse, have a spy!