About 3 weeks ago I signed up for my first marathon, the M7 marathon which takes place in western Sydney during one of the cooler months of the year in July. The course travels mostly along a bike track that runs along a major highway from Liverpool to Blacktown, and you end up running into a stadium where you are joined by your cheer squad of family and friends. It’s one of the smaller Sydney marathons, but a running buddy of mine competed in this marathon last year so I knew I had somebody to go to for questions, inspiration and tips.
I setup a time with my running buddy and picked his brain with every question i could think of, and asked him to provide any tips that he thought might help. This was a very valuable meeting and i’m thankful to Todd for all his encouragement and assistance with my running, he has been a huge help not only in preparation for this new challenge but from my first days with the Nike run club.
I needed a plan, a training plan. So I set out googling and searching for the best (beginner) marathon plan I could find, as I wanted to know what sort of km’s and the type of training needed to make sure i was well prepared for the run come July. I found a very good Australian running site called Cool Runnings and I stumbled upon a Forum which had hundreds of comments from people who had competed in marathons sharing their advice and tips for beginners. I felt like I had hit the jackpot! It took me a few days to get through all of the comments but it was very valuable, i’ve learnt so much just from that one thread. Someone also suggested a free online training plan by Hal Higdon, who at the time I had never heard of. He’s a running legend and given the fact that he had come recommend from various people on the Cool Runnings site I was confident in trusting the source.
There is was, on paper. The distances looked scary but achievable, so I made a promise to myself that I would stick to the plan so I felt prepared when the day came along and it was time to run my marathon.
Here is the link to the Forum: http://www.coolrunning.com.au/forums/index.php?showtopic=6530
Here’s a link to the Training Plan: http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51138/Marathon-Novice-2-Training-Program