My marathon training journey – part 1

I’ll start this by saying I am not a natural runner. I never have been. My knees hurt when I run and I get lower back pain. Cycling has always been my preference, and before signing up for my first marathon, the furthest I’d ever run in one go was 7.5k (the first part of a duathlon).

So why, you might ask, did I sign up for a marathon? To tell you the truth, I’m not entirely sure. I think it was a spur of the moment thing having decided I want to tick a marathon off on my list of things to do before I die. Then, when a few friends completed the London Marathon earlier this year in the scorching heat, and my cousin raised the bar by completing an ultramarathon, I thought I should just get on with it and commit to one.

So here I am. I’ve always found that for me, I need something to aim towards. So I signed up for the Brighton Marathon 2019 a few months back, running for Prostate Cancer UK, and my preparation has been slow.

While most ramp up their training after the Christmas period – I’ll likely be a few pounds heavier by then – I opted to try and get a better base level of running before the Christmas run-in. 

That begins next weekend with the Great South Run. 10 miles. 

It will be the furthest I’ve ever run. 

My training has been pretty poor, but with the cycling season now over, I have been able to fully focus on running for the last few weeks and clocked a 10k PB the other day. So far, I’ve completed about six 5k’s, three 8k’s, and two painful 10k’s, averaging around 6:15k’s. This Sunday is one week before the run so I’m aiming to do a 12.5k run, which will be my last long run before the race day. 

So there you have it. I’m going to use this diary/journey for my own motivation, but also to record how a non-runner can get ready for a marathon. I’ll aim to post bi-weekly with training updates and my thoughts. 

Fortunately, I have plenty of time to prepare myself. So lesson one, start training early! 

Stay tuned to see how the Great South Run goes.

Chris Smith
Founder of Vivi Nation, sports enthusiast, occasional triathlete, keen cyclist and optimistic Liverpool FC fan.

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