Monday, 6 October 2014

Marathon Training: Mama- and more #Allaboutyou Linky party

Hi there!

This is my first linky party and I absolutely love the concept; Writing about my passion was harder than I thought it would be but it has made me more enthusiastic about it. I decided to do a piece on training for a marathon, it’s something that takes up a part of everyday for me at the moment and will do so for a while. In this post I will hopefully answer some of the questions that I have already been asked about how and why I'm running a marathon, also I have left some tips at the bottom for anyone considering any distance race. So without further ado lets get into it...

What is it all about?
Okay I’m not running a real marathon, it’s the Colworth Marathon Challenge; a 3 part race over 3 days that adds up to 26.2 miles: 3.1 miles on the Friday evening, 10 miles on the Saturday and a half marathon on the Sunday. However it’s not quite that straight forward; the course includes roads, hills, fields and forests so it’s not the flats roads you get at things like the London Marathon. On top of this you have to spend the weekend in a tent come rain or shine. So no, I don’t have to run 26.2 miles all at once but I do have to have the mental strength to get out of my tent each morning and do each part of the race without the best night sleep.

Why on earth would I put myself through all that? I have a few reasons
  • To get healthy- Just having ‘get healthy’ as a goal is a bit of a broad topic, so I decided to go with something more specific. To do any kind of race or challenge like this you have to be pretty fit and healthy so in completing it I should have got myself into a new healthy lifestyle that I will hopefully keep up.
  • 'If they can all do it so can I’- I have been camping out and volunteering at this event for the past 6 years. You can’t help but be inspired by all those taking part; old, young, casual runners to professional athletes, it’s amazing to watch. I decided that to be like them just takes some hard work and dedication, I had no excuse not to.
  • Something to focus on- this is a bit of a crazy year that I didn’t expect, with everything going on it can sometimes all be too much. Running in general has always helped focus me, so a marathon challenge focuses my mind on a set goal which is one step further than just running.

What training am I doing?
The first part is a couch to 5k type plan, then to 10k, then to half marathon. I should be done with that by next May which gives me about a month and a half to specifically train for 3 races in a row and make sure I am in the best shape I can possibly be. I wanted the plan to be pretty straight forward and for it to build up slowly. There’s no fancy workouts just running, strength training and some yoga to let my body recover. However, once I reach the 10K stage there will be the addition of some cross training, cycling and swimming every now and then.
Also included in my training are a few attempts at the actual course, it’s not too far from home and it is pretty easy to get to. I hope that practicing on the course will let me get used to what to expect and know what parts I will need to save my energy for.

Training on rugged terrain... just keep going!

What’s my diet looking like?
At the moment my diet is just healthy and balanced. There’s a lot of fruit and veg as well as cutting back on any unnecessary sugars and saturated fats. It’s not a diet tailored specifically for running but when it gets to about January I will start trying out a more specific meal plan so that I'm works best for me in the run up to the challenge.

What do I hope to get from it?
I hope to get a serious sense of achievement from it, I don’t have to be fast, finishing will be enough for me. I also hope to have improved my health and my figure (just in time for my Mum’s wedding on the following weekend).

Would I recommend it to anyone else? What tips do I have?
I would recommend running as a general past time to anyone; it's great for your mind and body and you don’t need any fancy equipment or special training as running is just instinctive. As far as training for a marathon or a long running challenge, I don’t see why anyone couldn’t but I would probably suggest  that you don’t jump straight into it, start by running casually and then consider if you really want to do it.
As far as tips go:
  •    Plan out your training with plenty of time to get into shape- I have given myself 10 months which I think is enough, but that all depends on your level of experience.
  •          Train on the surface you will race on- treadmills are great but make sure you get put on the road as it is a completely different feeling. My race is cross country so I try to train on roads and on fields, as well as going up and down hills.
  •         Enjoy it! I love the feeling I get from a good run, don’t beat yourself down if you’re not fast enough. Just enjoying the training and the race; focus on finishing and being happy when you do.

     Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed it and maybe even got inspired to give running a go for yourself! If you want to know how my training is going keep checking back as I will have regular updates, I will also have posts on tips for new runners and some general health and fitness posts.
     Don't forget to visit the other blogs in this party by visiting Mama- andmore

Claudia x