In 11 weeks time, if all goes to plan, I will be basking in the post marathon glow. That’s it 11 weeks. Something that was drummed into all who attended London Marathon’s Meet the Experts event yesterday.
Personally I did not quite realise how close we were to race day; but when the first speaker at the event told us there was a collective gasp from the audience. So not just me then?
Lately I have been asking myself many questions as I try to come to terms with scope of the challenge I have signed up for. It seems these questions are asked by thousands of runners.
The room was filled with people just like me, with 101 questions that just needed to be answered.
Meet the Experts provided the perfect arena for this. The day was filled with sessions that focused on every aspect you could possibly think of; from what to do on race day, to nutrition, to pacing, training your mind, nutrition, to name a few – the day was packed with all the information we could possibly need, from the Experts themselves.
To help us “train our minds” we had a sports psychology consultant giving tips to get us thinking about the fears surrounding training and the race itself. And the clue is just there – its all psychological. The fears are just that, and if you train the mind well then you are capable of anything. Something I learnt today completing the London Winter Run (which I will write up at a later stage).
Martin Yelling’s session did wonders for me. Recently I took time out due to a bad cold and I was giving myself a hard time – thinking it would hinder my training. Martin simply stated if you are ill, there is no point trying to push yourself. I know now I did the right thing, taking that time out to recover was the best decision I made. Taking this time out also made me think that I was behind in training – which is not the case at all. Looking at Martin’s time line from this point in training I should have reached an eight mile long run. Last weeks long run was 12 miles – so I am on course, and just need to keep that in mind.
Another sticking point for me from Martin Yelling’s session was the break down of the runners finish times. When I signed up for the London Marathon I said to myself I do not have a time in mind, I just want to get round. However, I am only human, so as i’m getting through my long runs I am starting to work out in my head what my possible finish time would be. Constantly thinking “please don’t let me be last”. Reassuringly, the vast majority of runners finish with a time above four hours. So it is unlikely I will finish last. That said, I’m pretty sure Spiderman, the giant dinosaur and the Teletubbies will pass me at some point – but that is okay.
I could go on and on about the expert advice received at Meet the Experts – there was so much to take in. The science of nutrition just blew my mind. Thinking about getting the exact intake to sustain training and race day itself is something that requires such attention. That part is something I definitely need to focus more on in the coming weeks – testing everything out now so I have time to work out what works for me.
With a goody bag and a few bits of London Marathon merchandise in my hand (it is a once in a lifetime experience after all), I went away more focused, more determined and, unsurprisingly a hell of a lot more nervous.
77 days and counting……..
#ReasonToRun – because there are some who can’t