London Marathon 2018: Life lessons you’ll only ever discover when you train to run your first ever marathon
Running a marathon was never going to be easy, but many people underestimate quite how gruelling the months of training in the run-up to the big day can be, both mentally and physically.
In fact, there’s so many things that people don’t think about until they start their training plans, and it’s a huge lifestyle change for many.
Here’s everything you discover while taking part in your first – and hopefully not the last – running challenge…
1. First things first – footwear
You will need to treat your feet kindly if you want them to be in tip top shape on the big day.
Nick Anderson, founder of Running With Us and head running coach at Cancer Research UK, advises: “Invest in a proper pair of running trainers from the word go to prevent injury and make the running more comfortable.
And that doesn’t mean going for the most fancy brand. Nick adds: “Go to a proper running store, explain you are new to running ask for a ‘gait analysis’ so that the trainers are properly chosen and fitted to your foot and running style. Good running shops are there to help and make sure you speak to an experienced member of staff.”
Alex Ross, Podiatrist at Pure Sports Medicine, adds: “Try not to make large changes in footwear styles; if you’ve found a shoe that works with your running technique and load stick with it. Conversely if you’re currently managing an injury or having troubles the ‘right’ trainer should help ease symptoms.”
2. Music is your companion
You will run long, and often, alone.
Three hours running on a Saturday while everyone is at the pub or out for a nice lunch will be boring, and draining – you’ll want to stop, your brain will be telling you to just give up, which is why you need an amazing playlist or podcast.
This means also thinking about your headphones.
For fuss-free running try Sol Republic Relays Sport Wireless in-ear headphones.
They fit snugly and are suitable for all ear sizes to avoid ay discomfort and being wireless means you can move freely without getting caught up in the wires.
3. Small things REALLY matter
When you think about your running kit, certain things are obvious.
However, the smaller elements are often forgotten. For example, your underwear and socks matter and don’t underestimate how much of a difference it makes to buy the right type.
For chafe-free running try Runderwear.
Their range of crop tops, briefs and socks are designed with comfort in mind and trust us, anything you can do to make your life easier, and more comfortable, while training – do it.
Also, try a few mobile phone armbands if you can, to see which one is most comfortable for you.
4. Diet is so important
You don’t even realise it, but the amount of calories you’ll burn while running those long runs is insane, which is why your diet is so important.
Sharmain Davis, Nutritionist at Pure Sports Medicine, says: “Carbohydrates are your body’s main and preferred source of fuel especially during endurance exercise such as running. Carbohydrate food sources such as; bread, potato, pasta and rice are digested and stored in your muscle and liver as glycogen, ready to use as energy, as and when we need it.
“The problem is however, that we can only store approximately 2000 kilocalories from carbohydrate. Which sounds like a lot, but if you imagine a marathon requires on average 2500 calories to complete, the reality is it isn’t and you may ‘hit the wall’ sooner than you think.
“Consuming carbs before and after training allows you to fuel that training session, it allows your gut to practice using carbs efficiently during exercise as well as supporting your immune system.”