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Did you watch the London Marathon this year and get inspired by the thousands of people of all abilities that ran it? I do every year and that is one of the reasons I decided to run it this year for Samaritans. Before I even dreamt about training for a marathon, I already had preconceived ideas of what it would entail. I was completely wrong in some cases! Read some of the misconceptions about training for a marathon below:
THE MORE YOU RUN, THE EASIER IT GETS
Not necessarily…for me anyway. I found you have good run days, and you have bad run days. At the beginning of my training I suffered terribly with my shins which meant running even 3km was excruciating. For months and months running was extremely hard on my body and it felt like it was never going to get easier. As you increase your miles your body does become accustomed to running little by little, however, I still found it hard right up until my last long run before the event itself. That being said, everyone’s bodies are different and reacts differently to running.
YOU WILL LOSE LOADS OF WEIGHT
I thought this would happen seeing as I would be doing a lot more cardio than I normally would, however, because of the extra energy being used every week I had to eat more in order to keep my energy levels up. Training for a marathon is not the time to try and lose weight! You need to be keeping your strength and energy levels up. After a long run all I wanted to do was refuel on loads of food which is totally natural! The best thing to do is to listen to your body and do what is best for you. You will probably find a number of nutrition plans for marathon training, however, it is important to do what is right for your body.
JUST RUN…ALL THE TIME!
Yes, you do need to run, however, it is important to remember strength training and recovery too. Running too often, too far too quickly or running too fast could all lead to injuries, so listening to your body and taking it slow is very important. I was asked all the time “why aren’t you running?!” when I was in the gym or going swimming. The thing with endurance training is that it is so much more than running long distances constantly. Swimming improved my endurance and breathing, the gym strengthened my body, and both of these greatly helped my marathon training.
YOU WILL RUIN YOUR KNEES
For me personally, my knees were the least of my worries! I had a few days where I had sore knees that were taped up by my physio, but other than that my main niggles were shin splints and foot blisters. Again, everyone will experience different aches and pains when they train for a long distance, so your knees could be completely fine! I would 100% recommend working with a physio during your marathon training if you start to experience issues like I had with my shins. I am not sure I would have made it to the start line without their help!
YOU HAVE TO DO A 20 MILE LONG RUN
I didn’t and I survived the marathon! It is recommend by certain training plans to run 20 miles before the big day, and if you can without injuring yourself then definitely go for it! I basically ran out of time and the longest run I managed before the marathon was 15 miles. I listened to my physio and my body and decided to do what felt right for me so I wouldn’t injure myself. If you are unsure of what to do, consult a physio or personal trainer specialising in running. It is important not to just follow the crowd of you risk injuring yourself.