From 5k To Full Marathon: Where The F To Start With Marathon Training
The Debrief: Oh my god I’d done it. I’d sold my soul (legs) to the marathon, help.
About a month ago when the London Marathon 2017 ballot results were sent out, I felt an overwhelming sense of urgency to know if I had got the golden ticket or not. The golden ticket being, getting a place to race. I didn’t, and for some very odd reason, this sometimes runner (by sometimes I mean I used to run cross country back in school and have dabbled throughout adulthood, but who hasn’t?) felt crushed. Nope, this isn’t the end of my marathon journey I thought, I’ll just run for a charity instead.
I picked Shelter because of all their hard work with the homeless this Christmas. This Christmas over 120, 000 children in Britain will be made homeless, raising money for them is only a small start but I couldn’t think of a better charity to run for.
The one thing I noticed as I began frantically searching the internet was how little information there was for female runners out there who had never run more than 5k, which is why marathon diaries is now a thing. Every two weeks when I’m not crying in a corner in pain I’ll be filling you in on my training and bringing you along with me on this journey I like to call ‘the journey to adulthood.’ Because in my head when you’ve run a marathon you’re a real adult.
Let’s scroll back in my life to the moment I sat there and thought ‘shit, I’ve signed up for a marathon…where the f do I start?!’ This is where I started: I panicked, I googled and I called my dad. My dad likes to run, he likes to run a lot. To me, he’s superman because he’s raced in over 50 triathlons. He told me to google a ‘marathon plan,’ set myself some targets and actually go out and run...Solid advice.
So to get myself started I wrote down three personal goals. For anyone else struggling with the whole concept of running a full marathon, I think it’s really important to see it has a series of races, rather than the whole thing. The thing is, in reality if you’ve hardly run before, you need to smash a 5k before you can think about 42k. My goals were as follows: run a 5k without stopping once, join a running group and run three times a week, no excuses. Sounds easy, right? Lollll.
I’ve been doing the above for the past three weeks, and these are the things that helped the most. Firstly, the Nike Run Club. Big up to these guys, they have a variety of sessions ranging from speed runs to recovery runs (both of which you need to go to) in a range of cities across the world. It might seem daunting the first time you go, but the whole Nike team are super friendly and encouraging, and it’s a great opportunity to meet other runners who might be on the same journey as you.
Secondly, reminding myself that it’s mind over matter. Hands up if you’ve got for an easy 5k and gone ‘nope, not happening, I may as well go home and eat all the food?’ That's me. But what’s the worst that can happen if you just keep running? You get tired, and you’d probably get tired from eating all that food so it’s basically the same thing.
Third, making myself accountable. Yes, this has involved being that person that posts about their runs on social media, but hear me out. By making myself accountable to my friends and family on Instagram it feels real, and if it’s real on my social feeds then I have no excuses.
If you, or any of your pals are running any kind of race soon and have had little to no training, feel free to join 'Club Debrief' on Facebook and comment any areas you'd like us to cover. Oh, and if you fancy sponsoring me, all proceeds go to Shelter, you can do so here. Every little helps, as Tesco once said. See you in two weeks, where I may or may not have made it past 5k.
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