Training for the Marathon (Six Months To Go)

As I mentioned in my previous post, after coming back from Lesotho I signed up* for the Marathon, and am running on behalf of Sentebale. This week I received the Information and Training Booklet which I’m working through. One point that struck me was the list of items that might be purchased with the sponsorship money:

  • £10 for a school uniform (“these last a long time and encourage children to go to school”)
  • £15 for one blanket (“Lesotho gets very cold, especially in the mountains”)
  • £35 for one radiator (“In the winter months these can keep whole families warm”)
  • £60 for one goat (“Animals are very valuable in Lesotho and provide important nutrients for families with milk and meat”)
  • £100 for a bed (“… often shared by whole families so are very important”)
  • £150 puts a child through school for a year

I’m not sure what to expect over the next 6 months. As I haven’t been a regular runner I don’t know how well I’m going to adapt to running long distances, but the uncertainty is part of the excitement of the challenge.

Things I’ve learnt from reading and talking to people so far (in no particular order):

– For longer distances, it’s important to drink not just water, but fluids with salts in, otherwise you can develop hyponatremia.

– “Hitting the wall” at around 20 miles happens because the body is limited in how much glycogen it can store

– Eat 3 hours before a long run, and drink at least an hour before

– Do longer runs off road

Map My Run has a good selection of training runs

– Join a running club in January or February, which will help with the training when it’s cold

– If you’re out for long runs in the cold you will get cold unless you have hat / gloves / running tights

– The Virgin London Marathon web site has a comprehensive section of training advice

– When you reach the finish line, check who’s around you in to make sure you aren’t being passed by a Teletubbie or octogenarian!

I bought some suitable trainers, short and socks yesterday. Watching the video of my feet on the treadmill was interesting … the left foot tends to come down harder than the right. I need to improve on this (e.g. Allow the knees rather than the feet to lead the movement forward.) Improving core strength, with the Plank exercise for example, will mean that it is easier to maintain good balance and therefore use less energy.

I’m going to aim for “getting round” comfortably, which means a 14-16 week schedule 4 times a week. Looking forward to trying out the trainers today.

* If you want to sponsor me, any amount would be welcome.

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