You've probably noticed the surge of runners on the streets as the spring marathon season is nearly upon us. For those who are training towards a marathon, this is the toughest time both mentally and physically. Having run a fair few 26.2's myself, I know that 4-6 weeks out is extremely challenging as the mile volume is high and still increasing, whilst the body is getting more and more tired.
However, if you're currently in this situation, it's really important to remember there are several things you'll have on the big day that you don't have right now. Here are 6 reasons why you should feel confident and positive about race day:
- Your body and mind will be fresh - After your taper period (typically 3 weeks) you'll have all the fitness gains that you've accumulated over the months of training, but you won't have the aches and pains that you're currently experiencing. You'll be rested and raring to go.
- There'll be a huge crowd - Whether you're running London, Paris or Brighton a marathon always pulls in a big crowd which will massively drive you on! Perhaps you're struggling with motivation on your solo long runs, but people shouting your name and cheering you on will inspire you massively on the day.
- Practice makes perfect - The training period is the time to make mistakes and adjustments. By the time you get to your marathon, you'll know what food works for you and what hydration levels you need. You would've done many miles in your race kit already and you know your trainers are comfortable. With all the trial and error out the way, you're in a great position to execute the perfect run.
- Race conditions will bring out your best - As well as the crowd and atmosphere, having other runners to run with and a course where you don't have to constantly cross roads or watch out for traffic and pedestrians will make your run feel so much easier!
- You'll have less to carry - During solo long runs, carrying bottles of water, door keys, change and so on really doesn't help proceedings. On race day you won't have these items annoying you and weighing you down.
- You're on the home straight - When in training, it can be disheartening when you're shattered after a long run but you know you've got another one next sunday. At a marathon however, you know the hard work has already been done and this is the final push. Once you cross the finish line, you'll put your feet up, order whatever you want from the bar and bask in your huge achievement.
I hope this helps, you've definitely got this!
By Marc Brown