This is part two of the marathon blog, if you missed the first part, you can find it here: https://g4eid-km8h.net/?p=632
So what does it take to run a marathon? I guess it depends on your current level of fitness, and what your motivation is? I’ve stumbled into a position where it at least became possible simply by running a lot. But it’s not quite as simple as that.
Running distance is perhaps not that big an issue, running 26.2 miles I suspect is. I’m certainly in no position to offer any professional advice, there are countless sites on the internet that will give you a far better picture than I ever could, but in my experience, you simply have to have a desire to succeed. You need to want to do it. Period. In my case it took me several years to reach that point. Many times I can recall getting towards the end of a half marathon thinking I had absolutely no desire whatsoever to run the same distance again! But once that decision was made to go for it, there was no turning back. Whether I succeed you’ll have to wait and see, but once I’d decided, it became an obsession. From that point, everything is geared up to establishing what you can do to maximise your opportunity for success. And that’s going to be specific to each individual. From a personal point of view, I’m still carrying too much weight, but at least for now, it’s not stopping me running. What I could try to improve was my fitness.
Running certainly exercises many muscles, but I soon worked out that in many other respects I was nowhere near as fit as I needed to be. I enrolled with a Personal Trainer, and while I openly admit the sessions can be sheer hell, they are well worth it. These guys know what they’re doing, my trainer Neil has run marathons himself so knows the score. Trust me, you may think you’re fit, but until you’ve tried high intensity sessions for an hour you’ll soon find out you’re not! High Intensity Training means do 45 seconds (or so) of some activity giving it everything you’ve got, and I mean everything. Then follows maybe 15 to 20 seconds of rest, then straight back into it. Each ‘circuit’ may contain four or five different exercises. At the end of that circuit, you get a minute or two’s rest. Repeat this four or five times. At the end of my first session I felt I was about to die, but a good trainer knows how far to push someone and will always know when you’ve had enough. Neil babbles on about muscle names and various parameters of physical fitness which mean nothing to me, but what I’ve found is that the more sessions I do, the quicker I recover between those sessions. Plus I can now certainly feel the difference in the level of my fitness. It’s really quite astonishing.
So, eat well, get fitter, and get those miles in. That’s my simple formula!
As for the journey, yesterday you found me about a mile in, this time, it’s a little bit further….
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