If you follow me on Instagram .... if you don't you can find me here ... you will know that I have a place to run the London Marathon 2018 with New Balance.
The Decision to Run London
Running this year is not a decision that I have taken lightly. I already have some epic adventures planned for the first six months of 2018. You can read about the first six months of Challenge 2018 here, so adding the London Marathon into the mix so whilst running the marathon was not originally on my list, it is an incredible opportunity I really couldn't turn down.
When I was first offered the spot I asked for time to think; I was excited but I wanted to make sure that I could do the place justice, that I could do the brand justice and document the journey for all of you and that I could do myself justice. The great thing is that along with the spot to run on the day I will get support and guidance on putting together a training a schedule. I have put together my own plan to fit in with a full-time job and busy lifestyle and the training commitments for my other challenges and I'm looking forward to getting feedback on that.
Marathon Training Tips
In the meantime I thought it would be helpful to share my tips from running two marathons previously:
If this is your first marathon it will seriously take over your life. It will consume your thoughts, like literally every waking moment. Even when you aren't running you'll think about running. From food to laundry the next four months of your life will be all about the marathon. Embrace it and enjoy it. It is an absolutely incredible experience and one you will not forget.
2. The Long Run
Many people (but not all, more on that in the weeks to come) spend one day a week completing "the Long Run". In this run you aim to up your mileage gradually. It's all about time on your feet. Most plans have this run on a Sunday. The long run is daunting, challenging and scary. I'm not trying to put you off, you can totally do it, but it doesn't mean it isn't worrying. Each week I would spend from Thursday evening worrying about the Long Run and it would totally ruin my Saturday. Last year I moved mine to a Saturday morning and it was so amazing. It meant that by lunchtime on Saturday I had my whole weekend to do everything else I wanted to do. I think that this is really important if you have a family or a relationship that you need to prioritise.
3. Utilise the Parkrun Sandwich
Another absolute game-changer for me was the Parkrun sandwich. Running to Parkrun on a Saturday morning. Running Parkrun and then going home really helped to split the mileage up and make it more fun. Admittedly, you will get tonnes of weird looks when you take a gel on Mile 2 of a Parkrun (Mile 10 of your Long Run) but it also helps you to practice being amongst lots of people and testing out what gels/kit works.
4. The Twitter Running Community Rules #UKRUNCHAT
If you've come from Twitter and you're reading this, please help me prove my point and pop your Twitter handle along with any encouragement/advice below too. That way everyone can find and follow you. Instagram is great and I am so lucky to have over 13,450 incredible followers who I love sharing my adventures and challenges with but Twitter is great to chat to people and get loads of tips and advice.
5. Plan What Comes Next
Okay this is absolutely typical of me, always onto the next thing and working at least 5 steps ahead but for the marathon this is really important. When you finish the marathon there will be a big gaping hole in your life. You'll finally have all of your spare time back but in it's place will be a big void. One thing that really annoys me, and something I am going to put together this year is a post-race training plan (you heard it hear first), is that for 12-16 weeks you follow a plan and then at the end, there's nothing. Don't underestimate the time that you'll need to recover from running but get something in the diary, perhaps for May. Something that will still require you to train, perhaps head to Scotland or the Lakes and climb a big mountain, and that way the come down will be a little less painful.
Finally, I just wanted to say an absolutely HUGE thank you to New Balance for selecting me to run as part of your team. It is such an incredible opportunity and the privilege of running will definitely help to get me out of bed in a morning.
Don't forget to leave your Twitter handles below so that people can find and follow you.