We're back for Part 2 of Ben Barwick's advice on marathon training.
I think the crux of the marathon is between 18-23 miles - this is where the marathon is won and lost. You’ll need to concentrate on one mile at a time, try not to think of how many miles there are still to go, focus on your running style and maintaining your pace.
This is where the marathon comes down to belief, will power and sheer stubbornness. You’ll start to feel sorry for yourself and your brain will try to convince you to slow down or to stop. Physiologically, providing your race pace was correct and you have replaced some energy and stayed hydrated, you can still keep going but you have to get rid of the negative voice in your head. Think about why you’re running this marathon, all the training you have done and the sacrifices you have made. Tell yourself that you will finish this and try to think only about positive things….just one mile at a time and nothing will stop me.
Once you get beyond 23 miles you start to believe you are going to do this and get a mini rush of confidence, it’s still hard, but it gives you a lift to keep going. The crowd will also really help at this point but you will still have to dig deep and work for it.
When you cross the finish line you will understand exactly why the marathon is such a demanding but exhilarating challenge. Most runners say “never again” as they cross the finish line but I’m afraid running marathons is quite addictive, we can’t resist the ultimate test as a runner and you’ll probably be back for just one more!
The recovery process after the marathon starts as soon as you cross that finish line. You need to rehydrate well (give it a bit of time before you hit the beer) and when you feel like it, get some food down you. The better quality the food, the better you’ll feel in the morning!! Your feet need to be pampered – and this is where a pair of OOFOS come in – the soft supportive shoe is just what your feet need, they can relax, breathe and begin to recover. You might want to run a cold shower over the legs, just to calm them down. I find that really helps.
OOahh Slide have been my go to shoe after running. I can take my trainers off, let my feet breath and they just feel like they are being looked after. I found the arch support a bit odd the first few times I used them, but it has become really comforting now. They are fantastic.
All views and advice given are the writer's own.