I'm Running London 2012 - Help!
Being accepted for one of the largest and most popular marathons in the world is a pretty daunting, yet exciting experience.
Some people celebrate by jumping around the room, overwhelmed that their dream has come true, and others look at the acceptance form and it dawns on them that they have committed themselves to running 26.2 miles in April 2011 and think, "Oh no, what have I got myself into?"
Both reactions are normal, so do not worry if your anxiety levels have hit the roof and you start freaking out. Just remember - you are lucky. You may not necessarily feel lucky but by having a guaranteed place in the London Marathon, be it ballot or charity place, you possess something that thousands of disappointed people would steal off you in a second.
So, to help clam you down a bit and get your mind set right, here is the fitFAQS checklist for the preparation for the training and the race itself:
1. What are you Goals?
All 35,000 runners or so who you will be running with in April will all have a variety of reasons for running and different goals that they want to achieve. So, the first thing you have to determine is how you want to approach the race. Are you doing it merely to enjoy the buzz and experience of running a marathon, or do you have a competitive side and fancy setting yourself the goal of finishing in the magical 4 hours. If you don't already know, that's fine, but it's a good idea to work-out how you want to run the race early on in your training as this will have an impact on how you approach your training sessions.
2. Get kitted out -Properly
During your training, irrespective of what time you anticipate finishing in, you are going to running hundreds of miles. Therefore, in the same way that you wouldn't go for Kwik Fits cheapo tyres if you were embarking on a very long journey, it's not a great idea to opt for a £20 pair of running shoes and some running trousers from Asda.
It is so important to spend that little bit extra on good quality running clothes and shoes, so that every training run you embark on, you are comfortable and nothing starts rubbing in naughty places (this may sound comical, but trust me, chaffing parts of your baby making anatomy is really sore and I don't recommend it)
So, to give you a hand and save you trawling the web and high street for running gear, fitFAQS highly recommends the following:
Heart rate monitors
The ability of getting feedback from your training runs is essential whatever your race ambitions. It is so important to know if you are running at the right the intensity at every stage of you training, to ensure that you are not over or under doing it. Heart monitors are not overly expensive pound for pound the best value gadget you can invest in for the upcoming months of training.
Click here to find the largest range and best value monitors we have come across.
As individual a choice as you can get. There are so many different types of running shoe on the market it is so difficult to chose which pair are best for you. Personally, i think Brooks are the best on the market as they have never let me down, so they are well worth the investment.
So, make life easy for yourself and visit a store which will analyse your running stride for you. At least then, you will be told which type of running shoes best suits your running gait and the choice is then significantly narrowed.
More information on running shoes can be found at our new page dedicated to training gear (coming soon) so take a look and remember - whatever make you choose - don't be a cheapskate, you'll only regret it!
Boys - Nike is always a safe bet when it comes to good looking and comfortable gear, so click on the banner below and see what you fancy. I have personally run with Nike Kit for years and have would never change to anything else. What's more, fitFAQs have been given an exclusive code to give all visitors free postage until the end of November.
So, buy a truck load of stuff, type in the code "NS966" at the checkout and get everything delivered to your doorstep for free.
3. Start Your Training Slowly
Please do not fall into the trap that so many runners do every year and begin your training on January 2nd. If all goes incident free, you could get fit enough in time for the race but hardly any marathon training regime goes full term without a niggle, a nasty dose of man flu or the odd hangover.
Give yourself a good platform before you start upping the miles and get running now. Not necessarily far or every day, but just a few miles 3 times a week varying your pace is perfect. You should be aiming to be able to run for at least 5 miles by the beginning of January.
4. Eat, Breathe, sleep running
You probably thought hell would freeze over before the day would come when all you do is think about running, but in order for you to best tolerate the physical and mental demands of training, you have to become a bit of a running geek.
It all helps you to focus the mind on the challenge ahead, so do not be ashamed if during a casual conversation with a friend that you have an overwhelming desire to rattle off you split times for your last 10 miler - if it happens it's a good sign.
5. Get Fund Raising.
If you have been lucky enough to win a ballot place for the marathon, you will not have the pressure to raise the large amount of money to "pay" for your place as Charity runners do.
However, this does not mean that you shouldn't still try and grab a tenner of all of your friends and donate it to a charity of your choice. www.justgiving.com is a great place to start, so earn a few quid for your chosen charity and make the effort more worthwhile.
Other pages you might find interesting: