I signed up for the 2016 Paris Marathon mid April. I have never run a marathon and want to do it for the sense of accomplishment, but also to enjoy it.
So, perfectly in line with my Type A / obsessive planner personality, I started anticipating everything that I will need to do over the next year. I see this as a 12 month journey that I want to enjoy along the way. So here is what I did in the past month.
1. Read a ton of information ! I bought two books : ” Marathon You can do it” by Jeff Galloway and the ” Guide to Running” by Paula Radcliffe.
Jeff’s Run / walk / run philosophy resonated 100% with me.
- He reminds us that the “marathon is an endurance event. You should be able to finish a marathon and enjoy the sense of achievement. Key components are persistence and moderation.”
- He introduces regular walk breaks into the “run” : “walk breaks allow your running muscles to recover before they are injured and conserve your energy so you can exercise for longer periods, which builds the endurance you need. You get the same endurance from the long run if you run slowly as you will if you run fast. However, you’ll recover much faster from a slow long run.”
I am not doing my first marathon for speed and Jeff says : ” Your first marathon should be done at a pace slow enough so that you reach the finish line knowing that you could run faster and that you want to run another.” That sums up my thinking !
2. I experimented with the run / walk method. The method allowed me to do several long runs – up to 14,4 km – without any pain what so ever. Runnig for over 90 minutes with no pain ? I’ll take it ! The method also encourages cross training and as I don’t see myself giving up other fitness activity (some weight lifting & swimming), I can continue doing this.
3. I experimented with lacing my sneakers differently. I was really upset last year because I paid a lot of money for new Asics which lasted THREE MONTHS. I am not sure if they were too big, or what but my heel would rub and it wore the inside of the sneaker out very quickly. While I have had this reoccurring problem with Asics, the last model was the worse. 150 bucks down the drain.
While I was recently at the Paris Running Expo, I had a foot ID done by Asics. It was fascinating, and of course I took the opportunity to tell them how unhappy I was with my last pair. The gentleman suggested tying my shoes differently. Really ? Could that help ? I figured I would give it a try. He explained it to me and it makes the shoe snug around the heel. So I have been experimenting… will let you know how it goes ! So far so good.
This video explains how to do it :
5. I went to the podiatrist to redo my orthodics. I have had orthodics for almost 3 years, they completely solved my knee and hip issues I’d had. I hadn’t gotten a new pair yet and with the mileage I will be logging, I figured it was about time.
6. I have been making a list of things I want to experiment with, (like Gu, a running belt, handheld water bottles), things I need to get (new sports bra for example), and things I probably do not need but might just get anyway (compression socks for example).
7. I have been looking at races to see which ones could fit with my training schedule. I have signed up for several in May / June.
May 30 : La Marollaise
June 7 : Vincennes Castle Race
June 21 : Paris 12th arrondissement race
8. I went to a running store to
drool over look at equipment, compression socks, etc.
9. I ordered a permanent time chip from Top Chrono. They do many of the races here in France, so I figured it would be a good investment. I have a permanent bib, and the history and race results are stored on their website.