I ran my second marathon a few weeks a go, I'm lucky that both of my marathons have been London Marathon but both have tested me in different ways. It's true what they say the Marathon is unforgiving, its 26.2 miles/42k of you and the road and it doesn’t let up and so you’ve got to be prepared - ready to deal with what’s to come mentally and physically and we all know that with running it can vary so much on the day despite the training.
Before you get on the start line though there's many hours of work, many miles, the strength sessions - there’s a lot but there’s going to be - its a marathon and you have to respect the distance and prepare your body for what’s to come. You've dedicated so much time for this one race. You may not have enjoyed each and every run but something kept you turning up for the next one and the next one. A focus, a goal, your why...
Its now the day you've been working towards and during the run you're hitting a rollercoaster of emotions from the genuine belief you can do it to thinking you need to pull up any second and its just so damn far!.. but again just like you kept showing up to training each time, your mind was not going to let you give up now and so you made it to the finish line! You are a marathoner!! What a high, the tears, the joy, relief, achievement!!
Then thats it... its done. You start to realise that actually the training wasn't so bad, it gave you a focus outside of the norm and as you can see theres so much emotional investment that goes into a marathon and the training. It's no wonder, and perfectly normal, that you now feel a little low, lost and a sense of 'whats next' - what's going challenge you now? Perhaps another marathon is on the cards but that won't be a for a good few months now. So what can you do?
Well, all is not lost.... how about you set yourself another challenge have a go at a shorter distance, gain speed, see how fast you can go! There's so many smaller local races on this time of year from 5k - HM distance, not forgetting Cross Country racing if you fancied getting off the road. Your marathon training has set you up nicely for the shorter distances, it doesn't just have to be about marathon race day. Think of all that aerobic base you've built up from all those long runs - don't let it go to waste! Test yourself in different ways whether it's on road or trail until another marathon training block comes along. Don't worry if you're feeling a little glum after the marathon, it's normal. Have a chat with your coach and see where to go next or if you don't have a coach, think about getting one and start setting some fast goals. Search for local races, its always good to support local events, don't put your racing trainers away just yet theres so many options out there for you!
Smile, you're a marathoner! Now let's see those speedy legs!
Personal Trainer/LiRF/ Run Coach from Nottingham
Club: Best Athletics