Thursday, 2 February 2017

TRAINING FOR A MARATHON


I might be completely insane, but this April I'm running the London Marathon - the actual marathon! 26.2 miles long ahhh. I am a little bit terrified, but mostly excited and hopefully it will be one of the best experiences of my life. I'm running for NSPCC which is an amazing charity that I have always thought so highly of when it comes to the amazing work they do. I know that there are thousands of charities out there, and if I could run for more than one then I definitely would, but this one in particular is one that I've always supported. They are the leading children's charity in the UK fighting to end child abuse, and help children rebuild their lives and protect those at risk. Even though this probably the biggest challenge I've taken on, it's one that I'm most proud to be doing, especially if it means it'll help make a difference.


However, training for something as big as this needs a lot of preparation and planning, and I must admit I probably didn't prepare for this far enough in advance. I'm now only 3 months away from running it and I've now stepped up my training game, and there are many elements to this apart from just 'running'. 



1) DIET
Having a good diet is probably one of the most important things when it comes to training. Eating well ensures that your body is healthy and has maximum energy for running. Running uses a lot of energy and burns a lot of calories quickly as your whole body is working together. It's important to eat lots of fruit and veg to ensure you have all the essential vitamins that your body needs, otherwise you can get run down and unwell. I'm not saying that you should cut out sugar completely (I could never give up chocolate/cake, let's be serious), but everything in moderation and a balanced diet is good. It's also important to re-fuel after your run to make sure you are taking back in the calories you've lost and aren't losing a lot of weight. Weight loss is inevitable when you are running a lot, but if you are eating well then you are still maintaining a fit and healthy body. 



2) PLANNING
You need to make running part of your weekly routine. This is something that I've struggled with as I work full time and find it hard to muster up the energy to go, or even just the spare time. However, I recently bought myself a weekly planner which allows me to schedule in my runs for the week and it means that it's physically written down in front of me to remind me. Training is key and it takes a lot of organisation to make sure that running fits into your day, but if you plan your weeks ahead then you can schedule in more or less runs depending on other commitments.


3) CLOTHING
Clothing doesn't seem that important to some people when it comes to exercising, but for something as hard-going as this, you need to think about it. Your footwear needs to be your best friend, and if you have an old pair of trainers or trainers that aren't designed for running, then you need an upgrade. Having good trainers can really help your running and make life a lot easier for you. They also protect your feet a lot more and make sure that you're putting pressure on the right parts which will make your recovery a lot quicker and more straight forward.



As for running clothes, it's important to feel comfortable. Wearing something too tight or too loose can cause friction and will leave you feeling very sore after your run. You need clothing that fits well and that is made of the correct materials to regulate your body heat so that you over-heat. In addition to that, wear something that you feel confident in, there's nothing better than buying new exercise clothing to kick start your motivation and self-esteem.



4) MOTIVATION
As I said previously, I'm running for the NSPCC charity which is my main motivation for this run. However, not everyone runs for a charity, and there might be another motivation behind why you're doing it. Even if you're not running a marathon but you're doing something else which is a big challenge to you, it's important to remember why you're doing it. There are so many times when I can't be bothered to go out running because it's cold and rainy, but I need to keep in mind why I'm doing it and how many children I will hopefully help through running this. Without some kind of motivation or purpose it's really easy to think about giving up or becoming slack with your training, but always have the end goal in mind.



5) REST
Resting is so important - don't over do it. When I first started training I thought I was a lot fitter than I was, and started going for long runs and trying to push myself too quickly. This resulted in me getting run down and having to take a couple of weeks off running. It's important to take your training slowly and make sure that you are building your fitness up in stages. It's also important to have rest days and not to run for too many consecutive days. Your body and muscles in particular really need time to repair and re-build themselves after running, so it's important you have some relaxation time. Side note: bubble baths are amazing for muscles!

If you would like to donate towards my marathon, then I would be so appreciative, it doesn't matter how small. All donations go straight to NSPCC, and together we can make a real difference to a child's life - DONATE HERE.

What I'm wearing:

Sports Bra: ELLE Sport via MandM Direct
Leggings: ELLE Sport via MandM Direct
Trainers: Nike
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