Amphibia – Running a 3 Hour Marathon (Pt 2)
Marathon Race Day – I turned up on the morning of the race confident and injury free and delighted to see a lot of Amphibia sports gear being used including our gear bags and scarves https://www.amphibia-sport.com/amphibia-scarf. I began the race with the 3hr pace runner but from the outset the pace felt a little slow so i ran slightly ahead until the half way point. Looking back i should have stuck in the pace group as i wasted valuable energy running alone for long periods. We were promised a flat course and certainly the first 15 miles were flat, but the next 8 miles seemed to be very up and down or maybe i was just feeling the pace. The day wasn’t sunny but it was warm and sticky so i was glad i had worn by waist bladder and could sip water as required – water stations were largely used to throw water around myself. At Mile 22 i still felt confident and was near the 3hr pacer but then the pace and heat began to take its toll and he slowly pulled away. There was a horrible long straight stretch just before the end which zapped any remaining energy and i ran close behind another runner to help conserve energy, before picking it up for the last few hundred metres… and a time of 3hrs30seconds. I was delighted with a good time but devastated that i had just missed the sub 3 mark…. a small detail echoed by my many runner friends on Facebook later that day! However considering the humid day and the fact many runners measured the course as slightly long, i was delighted to knock 27minutes off my PB. Funny i was always one of those people that would have said “How could you come so close and not manage to do it”, but when there is nothing left in the legs you don’t have a choice and anyway it gives me yet another reason for run another marathon (as if one was needed). Have i run a 3hr marathon – yes I have! Have i run a sub 3 marathon – not yet but i will!!
My main marathon learnings would be as follows: Cross training and cycling particularly got me to race day injury free. However long runs are key & i just hadn’t done enough of them – this is what really told in the last few miles. Don’t try to do too much in the 3 weeks before the race – its a mistake i always make and it will just leave you weaker on race day. Stick with the pacers if you can – they know the best pace to run and there is normally a crowd to work off. Know the course so you know what to expect – you don’t need any surprises! Do a lot of your training on your own – the race is going to be against yourself. Finally why not do it for charity – it’s an extra incentive to train and race hard and you get to raise a few quid for a worthwhile cause. See you at the start line!!