Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Marathon Memories and some First Timer Tips

Running season has kicked in here in the Southern Hemisphere. Seems every weekend there is race….

Next big one here in my home town Sydney is the Blackmores Running Festival this weekend. I love this race because not only do you get to run through our beautiful city and its famous landmarks but it involves all ages and all skills offering a 4km fun run all the way to a Marathon.

I have competed in this run festival for 4km, 9km and the Half-Marathon over the years but not yet the Marathon (I did my first Marathon last year on the Gold Coast). This year,  I won't be getting to the start line at for any distance which is disappointing. Following a winter of sickness and little training I now wonder how I will ever return to my former marathon self!

I do know a couple of people aiming to run their first Marathon this weekend which has bought flashbacks to me on my Marathon training and the the taper weeks when you are mentally trying to get your head around the task ahead.

I wrote a blog of my experience (read it here) and looking back I still can't believe I ran the distance and just finished under my goal time. As I train today, I still can't quite figure out where I ran my 36km training sessions or how I trained through winter. Also, life got very busy. As a working mum - and selling our house amongst it all - I wonder how I managed to get enough training done to feel confident at the starting line! 

However, I made it (and they say just getting to the starting line really is an achievement in itself) and I completed it, and can now be proud of myself for setting the goal and ticking the box (as they say). I think I will attempt it again - just not this year!!

For my friends and everyone out there who are about to reach for the same goal for your first time, I wish you all the best. 

Hoping that the training schedule was not interrupted by too many hiccups and you are looking forward to the challenge ahead. Remember to savour the day, push through when you hit the lows and know that at the finish line you will be oh so PROUD when you see that finish line!

Here are a few personal tips which may useful this week and on the day:

1. If you are like me and need music to keep the pace, make sure you put together a playlist that will last the distance and has all your favourites - I even repeated the ones I know keep me pumped near the end so I didn't have to find them during the race.

2. Don't wear anything or try anything new (especially new runners!) - we all know this newbie mistake but I think at times we have all regretted that last minute decision to do something differently.

3. Take more gels than you will need and keep them in different places - they may fall out and it will play with your mind (lesson learnt in last half marathon!)

4. Know what pace you want to run for your target time but know that this will vary during the race. Despite wearing a super duper race watch borrowed from hubby I still loved also wearing the time band I picked up from the Runners magazine stand at the Expo. If you see them there - get one! It was just another indicator I could refer to and check where I was at.

5. Have some supporters on the course, it helps you to be looking out for people and they certainly give you a boost with their cheers as you pass!

Think that's enough advice from me.

Who else has run a marathon? Any other tips? 

All the best you marathoners! Love to hear how it goes. Will be thinking of you. Lisa xxx


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