As you reach the final few days to go it might not be a bad idea to spend some time looking ahead past the marathon.
What! Look past the marathon! Are you mad!?
I know it might sound strange but for any runners, either experienced or a first-timer, the end of a marathon can be a tough. Aside from the obvious physiological stress of 26.2 miles (remember, the first guy who ran this died), the mental come down can be difficult too. You have been training for months and months. Everything from that box set to the few drinks with friends on a Friday, a short weekend break away and a few extra hours with loved ones have been sacrificed for this moment.
For many they will have achieved their aim, either to finish, to exact a personal best or to realise a secondary time they had on stand-by. For others, it will not go to plan. Either way, for those who feel they succeed and for those who feel they fell short (and they should never feel they’ve fallen short, believe me I know) what they have in common is that by lunch-time this Sunday it will be over, sometimes leaving quite the gap in the weekly routine.
And it is for this reason that many a runner will experience a low after a marathon, particularly their first. It’s natural.
So, it can be good to have something immediately in the horizon that you can continue to look on to. It doesn’t have to be anything reaching the distance of a marathon but something that might invite you out for a few miles a couple of times a week, to meet up with old friends is to be welcomed.
For me it will be a toss-up between the Run in the Dark mid-November, the Clontarf half marathon along the sea around the same time or the Fat Turkey run up and down Howth (not Nevada where the photo seems to be from) come Christmas.
Not sure if I should be even calling it training at this stage. Just something to keep the body alert. About a 10 minute warm up, just under 15 minutes at race pace and then 10 minutes slow down. Short and simple.