Marathon training – a path that not only challenges the body!
Osprey Runner, Sarah Pappusch (@runforlifeandsmile_), has been a marathon runner for over 4 years; she tells us more about her training routine and how to prepare mentally for a marathon.
Before, I never would have expected in my life that I would run a half marathon, or even more so, a marathon. I always took my hat off to my father when he talked about his races. Now, I have completed 6 marathons!
I still remember how incredibly excited I was before my 1st marathon in Berlin, 2015; with the respect I had for my training I knew I was able to do it but my nerves were still there. Every time before a long run, I’d say to myself: “You will never do that to yourself again!”. Back then I always trained hard according to plan, but absolutely couldn’t imagine ever going 42.2 km.
Now I’m facing marathon number 7 and it almost still feels like it’s the first. My respect for the distance has not decreased a bit. I get nervous when I think about the distance. I know from past runs how different this one day can be. At some events it went well and at others I ran into some problems. What to expect now? I absolutely don’t know!
However, what I do know, is how to best prepare myself for it. My experience with the training plan was not that successful, but I can only recommend it to everyone to deal with it and make their own experiences. Many athletes get along with it and it really makes sense in front of such a long distance.
Since I work in shifts, it is relatively difficult for me to stick to a plan. I mainly use my days off or the time before a late shift. It is important to me that I complete one run over 20 kilometres and another over at least 10 kilometres per week, everything else I decide spontaneously. I also like to go swimming or cycling, as it is a great balance for the body as well as for the mind.
Marathon training is definitely not easy. You need clear thoughts when you’re on the road for 2-3 hours at a time. I try to increase my kilometres from week to week until I’m from 20 km, 25 km, 28 km to 30 km. The pace is gentle and should be in the absolute comfort zone. Experts speak of the basic endurance area 1, where fat burning is also particularly important. So, I try to find a pace that I can go through consistently and still not try too hard, even if it sounds a bit strange at 30 kilometres. Not only the body is strengthened by increasing the distance, but also the head.
The kilometres fly by more and more from each training session with an amazing feeling as you get closer to the big goal. Especially now in summer, I always tried to run early or on cloudy days, because the body definitely has to work harder in the warmth. That’s why I always have a hydration pack with me on warm days. In this case, the Kitsuma 3. There you can also stow your cell phone or gel. I also like to have music with me on the long distances, in case it gets a bit harder for my mind when you already know the route by heart.
Another important part of training is taking breaks, the body definitely needs rest after the intensive training sessions. In addition, you don’t need to feel guilty while eating, eat what you feel like. Above all, give a lot of energy in the last week, where you can shovel in any calories of what you desire. The body will thank you on your big day.
And what happens now before the marathon? I can also speak from my own experience when I say: “You absolutely never feel completely prepared for this one day!” Every time I ask myself the question: “Was that enough now? Should I have run some more? ” Maybe yes, maybe no. Such thoughts are normal and if you can say for yourself that you made the most of the time, then you definitely got it right. Nerves are simply part of it and especially at this distance. The most important thing is having fun and we shouldn’t lose that in training or competition. Even if it gets incredibly, the feeling at the finish is absolutely unique, regardless of whether the race went well or badly. I can only say it over and over, never try to put yourself under too much pressure.
You can find more information about Sarah’s marathon training on her blog (www.TwoRunners.de).
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