So you want to run a marathon. You’ve made the decision, bought your ticket and now you just need somewhere to begin. Freaking out a little? Don’t worry, me too! I have just signed myself up for Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Sydney Marathon in September and with just over two months until race day, it’s most certainly business time. I got in with Richard Ivanov, senior personal trainer and manager of Vision Training in Mosman and lululemon ambassador to get some expert advice – a lot of which he shares with you here below too! Whether you’re embarking on a full marathon, a half marathon or 10km, here’s a brief outline on what to expect, how to get started and what a basic training outline will look like.
It all starts with the idea and whatever your motivation is, it’s definitely is a big decision and takes commitment. Each individual has a different reason for (voluntarily) signing themselves up for a 42.195km gruelling run. And it turns out that approximately only 3% of the world population can say they’ve completed a marathon, which is a considerably small number. If you’d like to join this minority and achieve something great, all you need to do is get started. ‘If you have a body you are an athlete’, my advice is to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to train.
To get yourself into decent shape to run a marathon takes time. It’s definitely NOT going to happen overnight.
The single most important thing is to get out there and run.
Definitely lots of running. It’s that simple. I always tell my clients that to run a marathon you need to run, run and run. When I did my first marathon I only had 9 weeks of solid preparations. At the time I was coming from the nasty knee injury when playing basketball for North Sydney Bears. When I was cleared to start training again, I only had just under 9 weeks until race day. Being a personal trainer, I already had a reasonable fitness level but still found it extremely tough, especially considering it was 30 degrees on race day which is not ideal weather for long runs. Ever since then I always make sure my clients give themselves enough time to train.
You will definitely need a running program. The more it is tailored to you the better the outcome. You can easily find a basic outline online, but may find it’s been tailored to someone completely different. That’s why I would recommend getting some expert advice and making sure you follow a custom plan that will allow you to run the best possible race.
You will need to get comfortable with uncomfortable. Personal trainers love to point out “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”, as ‘cheesy’ as it sounds, it’s true. You are likely to find yourself in some very uncomfortable places, so you need to learn how to deal with them. A huge aspect of marathon training is making sure your mentally prepared as well. Your mind will be your biggest weapon but also your biggest enemy too.
Get yourself a running buddy too. It works magic sometimes. As much as I love running by myself every now and then we are all humans and genetically pre-programmed to gather together with other humans and interact. Most of the clients I had in my time enjoyed running with other like-minded people.
For me this quote buy Jordan Belfort sums up what marathon training is about.
THE ONLY THING STANDING BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR GOAL IS THE BULLSHIT STORY YOU KEEP TELLING YOURSELF AS TO WHY YOU CANT ACHIEVE IT
Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will go into techniques and running stride, other training and what you should be eating!