The London Marathon is just one of those things someone can only dream of completing.
I’d always said I wouldn’t do the London Marathon because I was worried I’d injure myself and it would affect my work.
However, during my 10km a month for a year challenge that I set myself after the buzz I got from completing my first 10km run, I naturally progressed my running distance to half marathon distance.
Anyway, during this time I had a client who I was training for the London Marathon who ended up deferring to 2019. So I though if I’m putting in the miles during their training I may as well apply and see. Long story short I did, I got in and that client is instead my friend and running buddy!
So, here I am with £3000 to raise for The British Heart Foundation and 26.2 miles to train for. EEK!!
Where do you even start?!
The only reason I agreed to the £3000 target was because I run an annual 3 hour long fitness class. In 2018 we raised almost £1400 for the British Heart foundation. As I knew I would be planning it again in 2019, I felt confident including that in my target.
It’s very overwhelming when you have these kind of targets to hit. So I sat down and created a mini plan/list. Firstly I had to keep up my long runs at the weekends leading up to Christmas. These varied from 10 miles to 12 miles. Usually, people who have signed up for the London Marathon don’t receive their “proper” training plan until after December so I felt happy with this base distance and concentrated on foam rolling and strength training at the gym.
Then I hade a huge list of fundraising ideas. Asked my friends and family for ideas and posted on my social media platforms. I felt like I had my Marathon ducks in a row (that doesn’t stop the looming anxiety of being nowhere near £3000 mind you).
Targets to hit in 2018 were reach 14 miles and raise £500 by January. I need bite sized goals to reduce the over..whelmed…ness…
Christmas 2018 I was SO poorly. On Christmas day I went to the gym and trained with friends. Then on Boxing day I went for a run with my buddy. Boxing day evening I was absolutely on the ground and took to my bed until New Years Eve when my partner and I crawled to a party we had tickets for and left by 9:30am.
So 3 weeks later I attempt my first 10 mile run after being so poorly. It went absolutely fine and although I’m not at the 14 miles I planned to be, I hit my £500 target and I now have my fuelling spot on.
My fuelling plan
I am an IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) sufferer. Pasta the night before a long run doesn’t suit me. Gels and exercise drinks don’t suit me. Ever heard of runner’s squits? I say no more.
Fuelling for an event like the London Marathon takes a little trial and error, and when you find what works you stick to it!
The night before a long run I carb load on fishcake and chips from the chip shop. Now, I tried this one because I have always found that this take away makes me feel full but not bloated. It gives me a damn good night’s sleep. I don’t get dehydrated or have an upset stomach the next day. Do you know what? It also fuels me VERY well for a long run it seems! It contains protein in the fish cake and plenty of carbs for my glycogen stores.
In the morning, I wake up nice and early so I have time to drink a couple of coffees. I also eat flapjack. This has slow and fast release sugars in, I can JUST about stomach it in the mornings (not a sweet breakfast fan) and it doesn’t sit heavy in my stomach during the run (or cause runner’s squits)
During my run, as I can’t use the gels or drinks I needed to find a sugary alternative….and that is haribo. I know I know, I am living the dream! Who WOULDN’T want to HAVE to eat chips, flapjack and haribo?!
The flapjack has about 50g carbs, then after hour 1 of running I eat 40g carbs with the haribo and then every 30mins from then on is another 20g hit. So far this has worked wonders. I might find that I have to change this as my runs become longer but finding foods that don’t mess with my stomach is a huge achievement for me.
Plan for 2019
I’m now nearly in February 2019 and my target was to reach my first thousand which I have achieved. I have a quiz night planned, a gin tasting night, a beauty event and as mentioned my 3 hour fitness class. I am also making little ribbons to wear on the day and dedicate each mile to someone’s loved ones for a donation. With all of these events getting fully booked, I’m hitting that £3000! The pressure has now lifted completely and I am now enjoying my runs.
I have a half marathon on the first weekend of February and a 15 mile run in March. I’m now focusing on working up to a total mileage of 26 miles per week and can currently complete 15 miles per week. Bear in mind I teach 14 fitness classes per week, I massage and I PT people so my physical activity is already quite high. I nap a lot!
My hotel is booked and near a fish and chip shop for my meal the night before, winning.
Have you ever run a marathon? Please comment your tips below! If you’d like to sponsor me or read my updates, please visit www.justgiving.com/sarah2019