Training for a Marathon – An Introduction

People don’t often look at me and think “runner”.  I love myself some cake; and a day of Netflix, followed by an Indian takeaway is my idea of absolute heaven! But I have always wanted to be able to run a marathon.

It took me ages to start identifying as a runner because of that blurry bit in between not being able to do something and being able to do it.  It sometimes seems like you can’t really claim to be able to do something, if there is possibly someone in the room who might, potentially, be able to do it better than you – but maybe that’s just a British thing.

Marathon

My incredibly dirty running shoes *Eugh!*

I have definitely been “not a runner“.  When you can’t run from one side of the street to the other without collapsing with a stitch half way = not a runner.

I probably started identifying with the word runner when I could run a full 5k without stopping. But I also felt it started applying when I ran in the rain. When I went out even though I didn’t want to. When I set my alarm early so I could get in a morning work out.

But sadly, I have not yet reached my ultimate idea of “a runner“. When you can run a marathon and finish with a smile = definitely a runner.

Please note: This clearly isn’t a technical term, so please start applying it to yourself whenever you want to.

My reasons to run

I run because it’s free and I don’t need any special equipment. I can run anywhere in the world, whatever the weather. I run because it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. I run because a lot of people thought I couldn’t. I run because I can, but mainly because I love it.

Running a marathon has been on my bucket list for years, but that Netflix and Takeaway thing keeps sabotaging my attempts. Considering the amount of thinking I’ve been doing around my birthday (and the things I want to accomplish this year), it’s high time I got on and did it.

Disclaimer: Before we left in March I could run a 5k without thinking much about it. On my long runs I was getting to about 12 miles in one session.  Sadly, this isn’t a couch potato to marathon in 16-weeks thing, I had to put in a lot of effort to get to that point. However, since then I’ve been on a handful of runs and running in Thailand’s hot and humid climate is nothing like running in rural Hampshire.

My plan

Marathon

BUPA do a fantastic set of running plans – which are totally and utterly free! They start with a beginner walk-run plan to get you to running your first 5k, and lead all the way up to the advanced marathon plan; for people who have run multiple marathons and want to improve their time.  They also have 10k, 10 mile and half-marathon plans.

The NHS also do a Couch to 5k podcast which is what I used back when I started – it means you don’t have to measure your own times, just run when they say and stop when they say!

I also use MapMyRun to choose my routes before I run, so I don’t get lost and I know vaguely how far I’m running.

It will take 16 weeks from my first run to be able to run for 42km. Wow, that’s a long way! This means that I should be there about the 11th December.  Eventually I will find a marathon to run in the country that we’re in, but we don’t know where we’ll be next month, let alone in December!

Stay tuned to see how my training is going. Have you run a marathon before? How did it go? Hate running and think I’m mad? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Training for a Marathon – An Introduction

  1. Lindsey says:

    So proud of your COMMITMENT! Good luck with your training over the next 16 weeks. I was inspired to try to get to run 5k – or maybe 3k – but then the inspiration deserted me! So I’ll back you instead! xxx

    • Claire says:

      You can be proud of my commitment in 16 weeks! I may have to bury this post and pretend I never wrote it! You should get down to the Parkrun – I’ve heard they’re a lovely lot. x

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