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Ideas for what to do post marathon

14 Jul

The last week or so has been a roller coaster. I was interviewed at the Garmin Legends Lunch at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon and then ran the Marathon and then it all came to a standstill.

After I crossed the finish line there was an initial high of sharing my news that I had finished and was very happy with my time and having done it, I ordered my photos and relived my weekend with friends and my husband but then I woke up on the weekend thinking:

“ok what happens now?.”

I suddenly realised I hadn’t thought this far along. I had been concentrating so much on training for the marathon and preparing myself for the lunch but I hadn’t prepared myself for when it was all over and I felt a bit down. Suddenly there was no need to stick to a schedule or run 5 times a week and even get my foot strapped.

I would imagine there are probably a lot of people that are feeling like this now. There is the elation of having finished, and no more nightmare 30-36k runs but at the same time that purpose has gone and it is time to find something new.

I’m all good now and did a great session at the Kangaroo Point stairs with lovely friends on Sunday and was pumped again but it was a strange feeling.

Setting goals 

I am a very goal driven person so I have decided it’s time to set some goals again to stay motivated. I want to lose a little bit of weight, work on building some muscle as well as go back to basics and run some shorter races – so 5ks, 10ks and a half or two in the next 12 months as well as mastering the Kangaroo Point Stairs that I ran at the weekend. It will seem strange running less distance  but I know it is not necessarily easier as potentially I will be running faster.

Below are some thoughts I have explored in the last few days about how to stay motivated after the marathon/big event you have been training is over – so if you have been or are feeling the same way as me they might help:

Ideas for what to do post Marathon

what's your post marathon challenge?

A bigger challenge?

I have a number of friends who started running marathons and then had a real taste for them and went one step further and got into ultra marathons. If you finish your marathon and still want more then maybe this is an option to think about or perhaps triathlons and the ultimate Ironman! It’s not for me – the marathons I ran were hard and the thought of running any further than that makes me feel quite faint!

Different terrain

I have on a  number of occasions enjoyed trail running and used to run up Mount Cootha both on the road and on the trails. My friends that used to do that have unfortunately left Brisbane so I no longer do it but maybe after running a marathon you might want to try something new and venture into trail running – quite different to road running but lots of fun.

Different place

Fancy another marathon but not the same one. There are literally hundreds all around the country/world. I have done 5 marathons in 5 different countries and it makes the goal and excitement even more as you are working towards a goal and a holiday!  If you are a beginner marathon runner I would seriously consider giving yourself a fair while off training for another one though. Don’t rush straight back into another one in a months time unless you know your body very well. I did it after my first marathon and crashed and burned spectacularly!

Different distance?

Now that the marathon is finished if you aren’t keen to do another one then think about trying a different distance. Running shorter distances is great for getting quicker in your overall running times, maybe that is something to consider.

Enjoy just running for a while?

If you are a content person that doesn’t need goals then why not just enjoy running for a while without the pressure of a race coming up? Me personally I can’t do that as it would be very easy to not run!

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Welcome to the world of Ultra Running

13 Jul

Imagine the sense of exhilaration you’ll experience at the end of race that’s even longer than a standard marathon. Intrigued? Welcome to the world of ‘ultra running’.

I have a few friends that are ultra runners and I have often had people ask me what’s involved and what it’s all about so today’s post should help answer a few of those questions.

If you’ve never heard of ‘ultra running’ before, the term basically covers all types of competitive running longer than the 42 kilometres of a typical marathon. They can also take place on any surface – including roads, dirt tracks and mountain trails.

In Australia, the UK and US, 50 mile (80km+)  routes are becoming increasingly popular, as are trails that take in rough terrain and woodland to really push runners to their physical limits.

While in many respects this could be considered the next step up from a marathon, taking up ultra running doesn’t necessarily require you to double your training schedule. Speaking to Men’s Health magazine, record breaking ultra runner William Sichel said it’s not necessarily increasing your training that’s crucial to succeeding in ultra running; rather it’s about adapting your running style, by incorporating walking breaks.

If anything, the only difference you’ll notice between traditional marathon running and ultra running is the speed at which you wear your running shoes out! It goes without saying that the more kilometres your rack up, the quicker you’ll need to replace your footwear.  Stringer Sports is a favourite Australian source for running shoes at the moment – in a lot of the stores they are too expensive and I end up having to order from the US but their prices are reasonable. And, for any UK readers, take a look at the selection of running shoes from Millet Sports and opt for a design that incorporates gel and foam into the design for optimum comfort when you’re covering long distances.

Ultra running shoes

Even though your training schedule won’t need to be expanded, you’ll notice that ultra running takes more of a toll on your body and recovery time is longer. If you’re feeling the strain of your exertion and you’re struggling to recover after a spot of ultra running, check out these top recovery tips from Runners World.

Ultra-running is about discovering your bodies limits; and pushing past them to achieve and endure more. If you’re an experienced and accomplished marathon runner, why not take the next step with ultra running and put your body to the test?

Interested in racing in Australia? See a list of Ultra races here.

I am not sure I am ready to yet but who know’s one day…….

Have a great weekend and happy running 🙂