Monday, 28 October 2013

How NOT to prepare for a marathon


After..(notice my friend had time to totally restyle her hair...DURING the race)

Run done! 10km in 53 minutes. Result.  Next 10k will hopefully be under 50. If i can figure out how to get quickly past the first kilometre of shuffling along.

Until then, here are some things I will not be doing again next year:

1. Drink lots of wine and beer

You WILL be a raisin the next day. You may try to counter this by drinking lots of water but this only means you'll be up to go to the loo every hour and, come morning, all you'll be is a tired raisin. Instead, avoid alcoholic, caffeine or sugary drinks the day before and drink lots of water throughout the day to keep fully hydrated. You also don't want to drink too much during the run itself.  Yes there are water stations along the way but there is a reason those bottles are so small; sip constantly throughout rather than chugging two or three at a go.

mmmm, wiiiiiine...

2. Try out a new dish from your favourite Chinese take away 

Damn you delicious dry chilli pork! The night before a run is not the time to be adventurous.  Stick to tried and tested carb-rich meals throughout the day.  You've probably heard of carb-loading but don't go crazy.  It's not carb overloading! You want your intake for the day to be about 65-70% carbohydrates. If you do decide to try something new, know this, runner's stomach is real...

yes, that is what you think it is...

3. Forget your favourite trainers at the gym the day before

Leading to frantic calls and a mad dash to get them the evening before.  I have other trainers but these I have run with before and know well.  In the same breath, race day should not be the day to break in a new pair of trainers. You should have run in them several times during the lead up to the race so you know if they offer proper support or worse, chafe.

4. Stay up all night

Ok, this one was unavoidable.  My bub was sick.  Partying the night away though, is avoidable. Avoid having a late night the night prior to the run.  Sleeplessness is not uncommon due to nerves but get to bed early and try to remain as rested as possible, even if you can't sleep. 

5. Have a large breakfast the morning of the run

I know this.  Honest, I do.  But, due to point 1 above, my judgment was impaired.  Unless you want to suffer the mother or all stitches while running, eat a light, low fibre meal two to three hours before the race. A few slices of toast or a small bowl of oatmeal or weetabix or a banana and yoghurt will suffice.  Save the full English for non-race days. 

6. Wear the warmest top you can find

I blame whoever made those race tees.  They were HOT! And the sun wasn't even out. I was tempted so many times during the run to strip down to my sports bra. But I would probably be arrested for public indecency :( Wear comfortable clothing on the day of the race. Lightweight fabrics that wick sweat away are preferable to cotton ones which absorb sweat.

I knew all these things but I was cocky and I got sloppy.  In fact, about the only thing I did do right was train before the race. Which leads us to the last point.

7. Don't train for the race

Many people brag about not doing a lick of training before a race then going like gangbusters on race day but this is asking for injury, or, at the very least,  public humiliation when you get carted off in an ambulance 1 kilometre into the race. Even walking a long distance without any training can leave your pelvic joints howling for mercy by the end.  Running is a high impact exercise that engages many muscles and joints in the body so, in order to avoid injury, it is important to establish a training program at least three months prior and try to run or walk at least 3 times a week to build up endurance.  There are lots of training programs available online to suit different fitness levels.


  1. Wine - Check, No training - Check, Stay up All night - Check. Great! No wonder I barely survived yesterday!!! ION big ups on the hair redo shout outs! A girl has got to look cute while sweating 10kms!

    1. Here here! We should make this the theme of our runs from now on.

  2. Hi Chica! You did everything on the list and still ran in 53 mins? Kudos! I ran the 10k as well and finished in 1hr 10mins and I was pretty darn proud of myself-) Running isn't easy for me, but I sure love the endorphin rush when I'm done.
    Dodging the sea of people during the first 1km was exhausting.
    Great blog!

    1. Thank you! I love running too but my knees aren't what they used to be. Next run i will post here before so we can get a nice quorum. Hope you'll join us.

  3. Lolest! That one about trying a new Chinese dish got me in stitches Nina!

  4. Wambui JL is my hero!!! A true Curlly gal!. I can't believe that you Nina would do all those ten things before the marathon....hihihi. I'm so glad you ran though (and in good time) alot of us would have crawled right back into bed.

    1. Lol! Wachu you should have seen my face as I saw her walking to the finish line with her twist out.

  5. haha. LOL at number 6. i wanted to strip down to my sports bra too. show my imaginary slightly defined abs and stuff. i saw so many peoples with their fros. did you do 21/10km? i did 21. :-)

    1. I wish! Though i would have died for sure! Only did the 10k. What was your time? Lol @imaginary abs.