With Chicago Marathon fast approaching, the distance I will
be running over coming weeks is going to increase massively. There is going to
be a huge focus on the long run, with it becoming my main run of the week.
Having run my first marathon last year, I know first hand
how it is just as much, or more, a mental challenge as well as physical one!
During my long run last week, I really struggled mentally.
It brought back memories of the struggles I endured last year, including route
boredom. Since then, I have really had to think about how I am going to overcome
it and the strategies I used last year.
With a degree in Psychology, I have been and am going to be
using many techniques, here are some of them:
The prospect of a hot race day is something that worries a
lot of us runners.
Potentially two of the hardest runs I’ve ever completed were difficult because I simply wasn’t ready for the heat and hadn’t adapted to it – Great Newham Run where there was a freak heatwave and running in high humidity whilst in Mombasa, Kenya.
Being able to handle the heat and having effective
strategies in place is something which I am still working on. Here are the
things I’ve learned to do differently so far:
Having completed Brighton Marathon carrying an injury in April 2018, I tried running 10km on the Wednesday at Chase the Sun Clapham Common with Runthrough. I had promised that I would run with a good friend of mine who had never ran an event before. My partner also ran the event but at a faster pace than us.
After half a mile, I was not in a
good way but tried battling on. At the 5km mark, my body felt very heavy, each step
that I took felt very forced and I could feel my injury starting to flare up
again. I just couldn’t carry on, even walking felt very tough – I stopped at approximately
7.5km. I was beaten – it was my first DNF!
2017 was a successful year. Having
trained well, rested when needed, and ate sensibly, many new personal bests
were set. I also achieved the goal which I had set at the start of the year –
to complete the Great North Run in under 2-hours and 10 minutes.
On the back of the successes of
Great North Run, I set my focus on completing my first marathon in 2018. I
signed up to Brighton Marathon!