Marathon Series: Surviving the Countdown

Wednesday 10 June 2015 by

Hill, Hampshire, #HoBFitness, Marathon training, Running, Countdown

Welcome back to week twenty six of my Marathon Series, as I blog my way to a marathon – from beginner to 26.2 miles. This week, we’re talking about surviving the countdown.

I’ll be honest, one of the hardest things I have found I’m dealing with is the fear of the countdown. I’ve signed up to the Bristol to Bath marathon, which (helpfully) provides a day by day countdown to the big race. And I’ll be honest, it blind terrifies me. As of today, I have 136 days until I’m expected to run 26.2 miles. So there are certain tricks to avoid being paralysed by that big ticking clock, and these are my coping mechanisms…

Have a good plan

Make sure your training plan is solid – that you trust it, that you can keep doing it, and your feet are covering the miles. If you trust your plan, then it will feel a lot easier.

Know your goal

So you’re going to run a marathon. That goal is the easy one. But what do you want to achieve? Do you want a fast time, or to just get around the route? Do you want to eat a huge burger at the end of it? Concentrate on the goal, in the same way you’ll be concentrating on that finish line on the day.

Give yourself a reason to keep going

I’m raising money for the Stroke Association. I know someone who is doing it to prove they can after a major operation. Whatever it is, give yourself a reason to not stop.

Choose another countdown

Tick off the days to the marathon, sure, but why not tick off the days to something else? Choose a goal to look forward to after your marathon – a holiday, a bang-up meal. Even Christmas. There is always something to look forward to.

Countdowns are scary. They can demotivate as much as motivate you, and sometimes they seem impossible because they’re just so unbeatable. But you can beat them – you countdown and then you do it. Get over your fear, and the marathon will be easy!

What do you do to avoid countdown fear?

Don’t forget to let me know how you’re getting on, using the hashtag #HoBFitness. And check back in a soon when we’re talking about the best running songs.

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