Top Tips for running your first marathon…

Many people have “run a marathon” on their bucket list. And I was no different. I made mine more specific though. Having grown up seeing the London Marathon on TV, I promised myself if I ever got the chance to run the London Marathon then I would do it. I thought I was pretty safe, as year after year I kept applying to the ballot and year after year I kept being rejected…

Then finally in 2018 I found out I got a place for the 2019 marathon! The problem was I could only run 5km…

Top Training Tips:

1. Find some running friends.

I recommend joining a running club. I joined Chorlton Runners in Manchester, who are absolutely incredible!

It can feel a bit scary to identify yourself as a “runner” before you’ve done much running yet. But everyone is very friendly and supportive and can give you lots of tips and advice.

Plus they like running… even in the hot sun or driving rain! And they will encourage you to go running, even on those days you would rather sit on your sofa.

2. Choose a running training plan… and stick to it as best as possible!

There are lots you can download for free (I used one from the London Marathon website).

My top tip is to stick it somewhere obvious and visable (like your fridge), that you can tick off daily.

Do be kind, and allow yourself to move your running and none running days around to fit in with your life though.

3. Use it as a chance to explore and adventure.

You have a lot of training runs to do.

Use it as an opportunity to explore places you want to go and re-visit old favourites.

It’s also a chance to try to exhaust your parent’s springer spaniel (an impossible task), and catch up with old friends if they are prepared to come and run with you!

4. Be prepared to listen to your body.

Sometimes you need to be a bit flexible with your running plan as you can have off days, feel exhausted or just have  other things you want to do.

The key thing is if you must miss some of your runs, always try to miss some shorter ones and always try to do your longer training runs.

5. Think about your nutrition.

You are going to be asking a lot of your body so it needs to be getting the right fuel for the work you are expecting it to do.

Experiment in your training to see what works for you during and after a run (it is energy gels during and veggie sauage rolls after for me!).

6. Run a Half Marathon race as part of your training.

It should make you feel more confident going in to the big day.

Especially as by that point in your training it should be a shorter long run and actually feel amazing!

I did the Wilmslow Half marathon, which felt great despite a big hill towards the finish line.

7. Celebrate the small victories.

Training for a marathon will take over your life.

Take time to celebrate the small victories along the way.

Especially each time you’ve run the furthest you’ve ever run before (which happens quite often).

8. Update friends and family on how you are doing.

There is a fine line between obsessing about your marathon and talking about it all the time – to talking about it just the right amount.

Where that line sits depends on you… and the patience and tolerance of your kind friends and family.

I generally found everyone liked to be kept in the loop and hear how well or badly the training was going… but then again maybe they were just being kind!

9. Develop techniques to get you through the walls.

We all have different walls – that line where running goes from being fun to being painful and difficult.

And when you run a marathon you will probably go through several along the way.

You need to find ways of dealing with it – distracting yourself with your favourite music or a great audio book worked particularly well for me.

10. Most importantly of all… know the impact your run will be having.

It might sound cheesy but having the cause you are running for in mind makes a huge difference. I pictured the children in Uganda as I came into the final stages, and how much of a difference my marathon was going to make to giving more children a chance to leave the streets.

I know that for every £100 raised we are able to resettle another child home to their family and do three follow up family couselling visits. I also know that we have an incredible 88% long term success rate because of this individualised care.

It meant the world to me to have the S.A.L.V.E. global family cheering me on all over the world, every step of the way too.

Thank you and good luck

Running a marathon was just as hard and just as wonderful as I had imagined.

It was a chance to push myself physically, mentally and emotionally.

A chance to gain fitness and new friends.

And, most importantly of all, a chance to raise over £4,000 to support more children to leave the streets of Uganda thanks to the incredible support of my wonderful friends and family. I never expected to raise so much and am so grateful about how generous everyone has been.

So if you are thinking about running a marathon, I would recommend you go for it!

If you are kind enough to choose to run for S.A.L.V.E. we will be there to support you through every step of the journey. Your decision to run for S.A.L.V.E. will enable us to give children living on the streets the chance of a brighter future in a safe caring family home.

If you would like to learn more then please get in touch – we would love to change children’s lives together: nicola@salveinternational.org

Related Post
0 Comments