Keep on Running
I’m Nikki and I’m training to run a marathon. Whilst I train, I’m seeking out club members that have run a marathon and asking them about their first marathon, along with any of the tips and tricks that they’d like to share with me.
This week, I’m talking to Tanya Boardman. If you haven’t experienced the thrills of Tanya’s Drills and Thrills sessions, then I highly recommend them. Tanya’s also the one keeping my legs in top shape with sports massages – which seem to be super valuable throughout my training. That’s one of the things I’ve learnt this week: Make massages part of your training. They really help.
So, to Tanya’s answers. Tanya has spoken about her first marathon in this engaging video. And it turns out her first marathon was the London Marathon in 2004, so why did she sign up to do it?
1. Why did you enter your first marathon?
To support my friends, turned out that they didn’t get a place and I did.
2. Where and when was your first marathon?
3. What was the most valuable thing that you learnt whilst training for your first marathon?
That I really enjoyed running and by running further, I got faster.
People are more generous than you think and it’s a really impressive thing to do. When I started out, I wasn’t raising any money for charity, but people seemed to want to donate so I fixed that and raised over £500.
Sport massage – who knew?
4. What did you learn whilst running your first marathon that no one had ever told you before?
Don’t judge anyone’s marathon running ability by what they look like at the start, especially if they are in a Womble costume.
5. What did you do immediately after your first marathon and the next day?
I ate an apple, walked to the train station and went to work as normal the next day. (I might need to work on a more exciting post-marathon routine!)
6. How many times have you run a marathon since?
12, plus an ultra.
7. During later marathons, what have you learned that you wished you’d known for your first marathon?
Eat real food on the way round, if you can train with and run with someone it can help you to run faster. Start slower and you can enjoy the distance (this only happened once for me)
8. What was the favourite marathon you’ve ever run and why?
One favourite is tricky – here’s my top 5!
Hastings – I had taken all time expectations off myself, ran slow to start with and enjoyed every step of the way;
Connemara – distracted by the mind-blowingly beautiful scenery all the way round;
Florence – the pre-event pasta party was great and the city is stunning;
Paris – my fastest course;
Dublin – the Americans in the crowd know how to lift you up and remind you how amazing you are
9. How have you managed to maintain your motivation whilst training for a marathon?
By listening to other people’s conversations, enjoying the view and just putting one foot in front of the other!
10. What tips do you have for overcoming the wall?
Try not to get there – eat on the way round, I find real food best, but try things out. If you’re at the wall, you kind of have to suck it up and be bloody-minded enough to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter how slow. Your body can do it, your mind will be saying you can’t.
11. What tips do you have for staying comfortable on marathon day?
Regarding comfort, once I start I’m usually OK, so for me it’s about pre-race routine. Getting to the start early, going to the toilet (usually about 3 times) and having a snack like a banana. En route, if something does feel uncomfortable, deal with it sooner rather than later – re-tie your shoe, stop for a pee, adjust your kit.
12. Is there anything else you’d like to share about marathon running, that hasn’t been asked here?
You probably won’t feel ready, but trust the training and if you’ve made it to the start line you can make it to the finish.
I always look forward to the terrible long training run because I know it will set the scene for when things get tough in the race.
Spend as much time the day/afternoon before with your feet up (like lounging on the sofa)
13. Who’s been a big help to you whilst you’ve been marathon training?
Running club members/running friends for inspiration for long run company and so much advice; Marathontalk podcast; sports massage/physios