Five Little Changes For Marathon Success

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Now that I'm back from India all eyes are on marathon training, and I could not be more excited! While I was studying running a marathon just wasn't achievable, there are only so many hours in a day, and between a demanding full time job and learning all the things I just didn't have the headspace to take on anything else. Not running long distances was probably one of the hardest sacrifices for me, I really struggled with my emotions around not running, and missed it terribly. The thing that got me through was knowing that in 2018 I'd be running Edinburgh Marathon, and that means that this training cycle is going to be something quite special. As well as working with my coach, clocking up the miles and putting the time in at the gym, there are a few little changes I'm making which I hope will come together to make a big difference on race day. After all, marathons are as much about what you put in in the months leading up to them as they are about what happens on race day!. 

resting hard - one of the reasons I didn't take on a marathon during my masters degree was because I knew that the training would wipe me out. While I’m marathon training I find I need a lot more rest than usual if I’m going to perform at my best. With some big intentions set for this year I want to be on my best form, so rest is at the top of my agenda! I’m making sure I get into good habits when it comes to when I wake up and go to bed (check out my tips for better sleep here) and that I give myself proper rest days to let my body recover and rebuild.

drinking less - I like a drink. Mike likes a drink. We are one of those couples who are truly excellent when they’re a bit sozzled, but being totally honest, before Christmas we were at the point where we were having a glass or two of something every night, which just isn't great. Given resting and weight loss are two of my pre-marathon priorities I;m going to be cutting back the booze over the next few months (of course barring a few special occasions!)

eating better/shedding some weight - I’m a lot heavier these days than I was when I last ran a marathon - it’s the result of moving less, eating more (as you do when you start a new relationship) and being rather fond of wine (see above). While I don't think there’s anything fundamentally wrong with my body, I am also mindful I’m going to be hauling it around a marathon course and then from London to Brighton, and I’d like it to be a little lighter if I am going to do that! At the same time I want to make sure that I am feeding my body with all the good stuff it needs to perform, so I am really focused on what I put in, have cut back on the cake and am making sure I pack in lots of protein, good fats, veggies and whole grains. 

doing what my coach tells me - I pay my coach a lot of money. Money that’s totally wasted if I don't do what he tells me. So I’m trusting him implicitly with my training, making my homework a priority and looking forward to seeing the results! 

foam rolling more - I don’t have a strong track record when it comes to looking after my muscles, and I shouldn’t really be surprised when they are all stiff and sore. So I am doing as I’m told (see above) and having lots of hot dates with my foam roller, I know it will make a difference, I just have to keep reminding myself! 

What little changes do you make up in the lead up to a big race? 

*image: Anna Rachel Photography*