My marathon experience: Part 1
Updated: Oct 23, 2021
It’s written down now so I guess I can’t back out. That’s right…I’ve bitten the bullet and I'm doing a marathon, something that has been on my bucket list for ages.
I figured with everything still up in the air for this year, having something to focus on and work towards was something that would be really good for me. Hopefully next year I will be able to travel a bit more again and everything will be back open so I thought training would be harder to fit. Running is a destress for me, so I think I need this marathon to focus on in order to keep me sane!
I’ve always had the aim of completing a marathon. People say they get hooked and end up doing loads of them but my knee definitely won’t allow that – one is enough for me. Once it’s done I’ll keep running, but that will be my racing days over I think (watch me in a year completely swallowing my words and signing up for a triathlon or something).
Last year I trained for a half marathon but of course it ended up being cancelled so it turned out to be a virtual one. I did complete it, but I’ve never had the race experience (well...unless you're counting school sports day), so it's something I’m excited for.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m already terrified. I’ve done my research to make sure I have a flat course because my knee cannot do hills and that’s conveniently brought me to my hometown – York!
The race is in October, giving me 40 weeks from the day I signed up to get myself marathon ready.
I’ve got another half marathon in July, so that should be a good warm up for the big day too.
In terms of how I’m preparing, I’ve taken a 20-week plan and doubled it, so I spend two weeks on each of its weeks.
The outline of this is:
Monday – Rest day
Tuesday – Short run (3-5 miles)
Wednesday – Workout (about 40 minutes)
Thursday – Short run (3-5 miles)
Friday – Workout/Yoga (about 40 minutes)
Saturday – Long run (your longest run is 20 miles which you do a few weeks before race day)
Sunday – Short run (always 3 miles)
I’m trying not to focus on the end goal, and instead take it in short chunks. Right now if I think of running the full 26 miles I feel sick, so I’m trying to just think about the week ahead and hopefully it will all work out.
Advice from others
Jolandi said, “I did my first marathon last year October. It is such a mental thing so just put your mind to it and you’ll do just fine! I feel extra proud of it due to the fact that it was a virtual race. But with the right support and training, nothing can stand in your way! All the best!”
Kirsten said, “Half marathon is a great start and a strong foundation. You need to gradually increase your long runs but be careful not to increase your mileage too quickly. Time on your feet is more important than mileage. I would also try and do some of your long runs off road to give your joints a rest.”
Odette said, “Increase mileage gradually, not too much in one go. Don’t worry about time, just enjoy the process. And do some off road running as well as road running, learn to use all leg muscles and cope with different terrains. Also, practise in different weathers and include nutrition in your longer runs, find out what works for you and how much you need, everyone has different likes and dislike and needs for food and drink along the way. Find out what your need is before the big day. Oh... and enjoy!”
Of course I am raising money through this process so anything you can spare I would be really grateful.
I’ve picked the Honeypot Children’s Charity. It is the only charity in the UK that provides continuous support for young carers aged 5-12. Their vision is for every child to make the most of their one chance at childhood.
Honeypot's early intervention service model has been designed to alleviate social isolation, protect mental health and reserve educational underperformance, and is delivered in a safe and nurturing environment in which they can develop their full potential.
Each year, Honeypot supports more than 2,500 children through their programme, completely free for every child they support.
Honeypot supports young carers through a mixture of face-to-face and digital services, including respite breaks, learning workshops, digital outreach, and a wellbeing fund for children from deprived backgrounds.
All Honeypot's services aim to provide young carers with a fun and relaxing break from their usual caring responsibilities, protect their mental health and let them develop meaningful relationships with children with a shared experience.
A spokesperson from Honeypot said, “The coronavirus crisis has hit young carers hard. Already facing isolation and stress every day, they now have to cope without their usual support systems. Many are exposed to extreme levels of stress and anxiety and dealing with heightened financial uncertainty.
Honeypot's Wrap-Round service has been developed to ensure that they can remain a lifeline to the UK’s young carers as they navigate through the damaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Here’s a little snippet of the children they've helped:
"Thank you for giving me the holiday of a lifetime." – Leo, aged 9
"I really enjoyed my visit to Honeypot this year. My favourite part was when we did Honeypot's Got Talent." – Grace, aged 11
"I had an amazing time and was very sad when it was time to go." – Sarah, aged 9
Well it’s now all about the training for me. As this comes out I am at the end of week three of training. I’ll be doing some updates on social media and my funding page along the way to let you know how I’m getting on.
Please donate if you can, and share with others: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/india-wentworth1
Wish me luck!
NEXT UP: My marathon experience: Part 2