As the marathon season races towards us we have asked some of our Team Panda members and other experienced runners what they do to prepare and what to expect on the big day. Of course everyone has their own way of doing things but here are a few tips and tricks from the wildest team.
Craig Brewster 12 in 12
Craig started his running journey in August 2011 when he applied and was accepted into the London Marathon 2012. Now in 2016 he’s set to run 12 marathons in 12 months for Team Panda. This journey will take him from Brighton to London, and further afield to Helsinki.
“I’ve long had a passion for wildlife and how human interaction impacts on the environment from an early age”
Craig’s top tip before the start
Don’t get to the start line too early, unless you want to be in one of the faster start pens. All that happens is you’ll get cold and use up more energy keeping warm or trying to suppress the building adrenaline. I have a routine I stick to now. An hour beforehand I’ll find a quiet spot and sit down for half an hour, maybe listening to some music, making sure my trainers are comfortable, my race number is pinned on and everything is tied correctly.
Beat the boredom during a long run
Play games along the way to break the monotony. I split the marathon into four sections. Each 6.5 mile section is a completed race. If I’ve just run 6.5 miles then I know I can run it again, although probably slower.
You can find out more about Craig’s 12in 12 challenge and support him via his JustGiving page
Jamie took on the South Georgia Half Marathon in March 2016. A Marine Biologist/Ecologist – Jamie is now working for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). He has a blog which describes his run up to the marathon and tells how it went on the day. Illustrated with photographs of the breath-taking scenery of the treacherous South Georgia route.
Jamie’s tips for a treacherous route
My work on South Georgia involves traveling long distances by foot. During summer here, I was running most of this, gradually increasing the distance, and this kept me fit and acted as good preparation.
and how to stay motivated. I wish I could say that my determination and sheer willpower helped me complete the course. But it was predominantly the need to complete the race for all those who had made donations. I did it for the penguins!
Andy is an experienced ultra-runner. This April he’s running 50 miles a day for 17 days from John O’Groats to Lands End for his water charity. Although he’s not on Team Panda he’s certainly and inspiration and has some great tips for how to go the distance.
Find someone to train with. Chatting while running makes the time pass more quickly, and if you can’t chat on your long runs, you’re probably pushing it too hard.
Get lots of sleep the few nights before the race. That way if you can’t sleep much the night before, which is very normal, it won’t matter so much.
Plan your pre-race toilet breaks. Get in that queue early – you don’t want to do a Paula if you can help it!
Find a strategy for the difficult bits. I like to count, others sing to themselves. Just find something to move your focus onto. And when it does feel tough in training or during the race, just remember you never hear anyone say “I wish I’d never bothered running that marathon”
Alice is the social media manager here at WWF-UK. This April she’s going to be running the Brighton 10K. Alice has a great way to get a boost.
“Jelly Babies! They are brilliant for giving you that extra boost and easy to take out on the course”
Need more tips?
For more training tips and fitness plans and nutritional information take a look at our Team Panda Training hub link.
If you’re interested in taking on a challenge and raising money for our vital conservation projects, please take a look at our calendar of events. There are plenty to choose from for all abilities. Or you can sign up to your own event, just let us know and we’ll send you a team panda vest and goody bag.
See you at the finish line!