If you run it in 2h30 it is hard because it is fast.
If you run it in 6h30 it is hard because it is many hours of effort.
When all the readily available energy is used (often around 20-23 mile mark) every runner, fast or slow, big or small will have to use his willpower and mental strength to finish.
This is the marathon experience….
Here are my tips for getting ready:
(By guest writer long-distance runner Harriet Kjaer, a member of Lifefood sport team)
Drink MORE WATER or eat more high water content fruit than usually, especially in the last 24 hours. Being well hydrated will help to avoid cramps, lactic acid, dehydration and of course….thirst.
Eat intelligently, LOTS OF FRUIT AND OTHER CARBOHYDRATES.
Without overeating,of course as you don't want to feel heavy for the run.
Avoid spicy food or food that you are not used to eat, especially the weekend before the marathon.
I tend to have a Lifebar around 1 hour before the race and one after for faster recovery. I also really enjoy a Lifefood RawProtein shake after training and after a race.
We can go to bed completely exhausted and without taking in any food or liquid, we still wake up some 8 hours later, completely recovered. SLEEP IS MAGIC. Don't count on the last night before the marathon for a good night sleep, you might be twisting and turning in your bed for hours, rehearsing every detail, checking the alarm clock and unable to find rest. Sleep is the best recovery imaginable, and if you get a good 8-10 hour sleep a few days prior the run,you will be well rested and ready for the big day.
Dress according to the weather.
Wear clothes and shoes that you are used to wearing, or that you have tried out at least a few times, to make sure they don't rub or hurt anywhere.
With whatever clothes you choose to wear, don't forget to put the protective plaster in the right places.
Ideally wear the shoes that you used during the last month.
Many problems during a marathon are stress related.
The best way to avoid stress is to be READY.
Knowing that :
The clothes are ready.
The two alarm clocks are set.
The transport to the starting line is planned.
The race strategy is decided.
...and knowing that, if everything doesn't go as planned, there will be another fantastic marathon waiting for you as soon as you are ready again.
Now you just have to enjoy this amazing celebration of sport and health and recover fast, so you can get back on the road for many more miles to come.