IF YOU’VE been training for the Dublin Marathon, then you should be pretty much there as far as your very long runs are concerned. If you’re new to the distance, you’ll now have an idea of how your body likes the idea of going for 16, 18, 20 miles – or more.
With only a few weeks to go to the big day, a bit of advice from vets is always welcomed. So, we took to Twitter and Facebook to ask for a few of the lessons learned while putting the hard miles in. We didn’t realise that so many would come back with one simple piece of advice: enjoy yourself.
Ray O’Mahony: Watch your pace, particularly at the start, have realistic goals, take on water at every station, just get from A to B and enjoy the day. Most of the hard work is done in your training for the day.
Peter O’Neill: If you start to suffer, don’t panic. It will pass. If you think you’re slowing down, increase your pace slightly. Your body may just crave variety. Visualise finishing and how great you’re going to feel. Above all, enjoy!
Fintan Lavery: Break it in to sections – four miles takes you to the park – another four miles takes you out of it, etc. Focus on one bit at a time . . . oh, and don’t listen to the people who keep telling you that you are on the last hill – they are all telling lies. Most of all, enjoy!
Joan Hogan Ryan: Yeah, I remember how good it felt to finish. At 20 miles my knee went out like a balloon. But there was no way I was giving up.
Kevin Coghlan: Good advice I got before my first one: the marathon only starts after 20 miles. Don’t worry about a slow start if you’re stuck in the crowds. Don’t race people at the start – you’ll pass plenty of stragglers if you’re going strong at the finish. Drink water before you start to feel thirsty, otherwise it’s too late. Enjoy it!
Paul Mitchell: Write your first name across your number bib. There’s nothing like hundreds of spectators calling your name out along the way when need a bit of a lift.
Brian Foley: I’m in week 13 of a 16-week training programme for my first marathon. Five sessions a week including a long run every Sunday. First 10 weeks were comfortable, the long runs were OK and midweek sessions were manageable. All change now that long runs are out to 20. Midweek sessions now really tough, even though they are no longer than the ones from a few weeks ago. It’s all new to me so don’t know what I’ve learned so far. Just stick at it, I guess. And losing some weight helps too!
Nan Carknee: Look the supporters in the eye and smile. They’ll respond by cheering for you louder, which will carry you over the finish. And I agree with Paul – write your name on your bib.
Dearbhaile O’Hare: Invest in black toenail polish, ladies – hides a multitude of war wounds!
Anna Boch: Love the black toenail polish tip! First marathon and can’t believe I’ve survived the long runs – have done the 20-miler as per marathon gurus’ training schedule, but really tapering off now and getting nervous I’ll make it to the end. Very excited, though; over 14,000 entrants – going to be some atmosphere!
Whiskey McSavage: Start your marathon slow and ignore all the people sprinting past – you’ll actually catch some of them before the end when they crash! Don’t ignore speed work – it really does help.
Sinead Hartnett: Don’t take a gel without enough water. Gaggin’ orange Lucozade sticky goo up throat last few miles. Shall never touch again . . .