Since May 2016!! i've been leading to this... The 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon .
Months of preparation - of long runs, of interval runs on tired legs, training when i didn't want too or fell like doing, almost daily foam rolling, core exercises and using a suspension trainer, trying to eat clean and refusing junk food.
I hope you have experienced this yourself but if not there really is something special about running the London Marathon - with nearly 40,000 people who all have stories to tell, when with a clear line of sight you see thousands of people surrounding you.
The marshals and supporters, crowds shouting your name, willing you on to the finish especially at those tough moments. Finally seeing my family at mile 25.8 Generosity of spectators who offer jelly babies, oranges and sweets just to give us a quick boost as we head on by and fellow runners who just support each other at times of need. Basically it's a offering help to someone else as they too have been in this painful situation themselves in the past. The spectacular landmarks - running past the Cutty Sark, across Tower Bridge, along Embankment up to Big Ben and then the penultimate last few hundred metres along The Mall with Buckingham Palace in the background.
The best way this day can be described is that is - AMAZING an experience of love seeing and feeling and it saddens me when the day is over. I always seem to say to family and friends that's it! That was my last marathon.. but... a day later... the fantastic memories and reflection of "fun" i can't help but plan my next challenge, i make more plans My Perivale 5 mile race, The Cabbage Patch 10 mile race, Watford and Dartford half marathons all do wonders for self-achievement and my training but for me the London Marathon is the big one and most important to me. Even more so than my own birthday! To be fair as I'm getting older my birthday doesn't have the same significance it used too hence why the London Marathon gets promoted into the number one spot.
If there's anything you'd like to ask about this Marathon, don't hesitate to ask I'm more than happy to share my experiences with you but from the beginning :-
1) if you've just watched the London Marathon and think "I'd like to do that" Log on to the London Marathon website and enter the ballot with another 200,000 people. You may just be lucky to obtain one of 39,000 running spaces?
2) Really serious in running this marathon? Then consider running for a charity but you will have to raise sponsorship money of approximately £2,000!!
3) Once the ballot is entered then PLEASE oh PLEASE start your training NOW!!.... now, now, Now, Now! NOW!! If you're new to running this will give you ample of time to get used to ever increasing mileage, running through all the elements, allow time for body weaknesses to get highlighted in the form of injuries. You will need time to recover before starting training again
4) This will take you up to late October/November where you will find out if you were successful in the Ballot. If not still try a charity although now you will have less time to raise your required funds. If successful look at a reputable website for a training plan and choose an APPROPRIATE plan for your ability. This is usually a 16 week plan! but returning to point three!... You've already built your running foundations and won't be starting from scratch. Therefore you're on course to reach your goal in April! You'll be glad you started this early. Use social media find other runners from all over the country, they are all friendly and offer support. They've been there, seen it, done it. They can help with any concerns you will have and importantly encourage you.
5) The running plan you have chosen will say on this day do this. On this day run that... OK everyone's body is different! You will have aches and pains that need time to recover. Be sensible if your body says it needs time to recover before do x routine, move your schedule around delay it or even miss it? Your schedule is repetitive you will have time to do it again.
6) No matter your personality. You will have mood swings especially in the last few weeks! Its human nature and we've all been there, try to relax, stay focused on you goal
7) Think about have regular sports massages. They loosen muscles, eliminate aches and importantly REDUCE the chances of injuries
8) March/VERY early April plan your kit, buy new trainers, wear them in! Long runs come into play. You'll get a better idea of your pace and predicted finishing time. Whatever your time add a few more minutes especially if family will be cheering you on, on the day. This allows for fatigue, tiredness and general runner backlog
9) I personally like a massage in the last week. I also like to go to the Expo early avoid the crowd and then save your legs for the remainder of the week. Have early nights, start your carb loading and drink more fluids, especially with electrolytes
10) The day itself. You will have race nerves. Relax and focus and stick to your plan. Think of why you're running and maybe who for. You have reached the London Marathon the last 26.2 miles of your journey and training plan. You can do this! Get ready for hundreds and thousands of spectators ready to cheer you on. Even through your toughest moments, open your ears listen to the crowd. You've got this because crossing the finish line
11) Wear your T shirt and medal with absolute pride!! Tell all your family and friends. If they are rude and don't want to listen to your story again, make them! Remind them of YOUR achievement point out to them exactly how far you have run
12) Go back to point one! Do this all again!! You're an official member of the running community .