How does training for an event such as a Marathon relate to “normal” Life?

How does training for an event such as a Marathon relate to “normal” Life?

Actually, this should probably be entitled “What connects training for a marathon, your first day at school or just “doing your job” On paper nothing but in reality, everything.

When I made the decision to enter the ballot to run the 2022 London Marathon, I assumed it would be about following a training plan, run the miles, get my nutrition and hydration right, make sure I was wearing the right trainers etc. Interestingly, buying the right trainers really does equate to your first day at school. When you have never run a half or a full marathon you probably think the same trainers you wear for the gym will do. Wrong.

How so? Well, when I started to run, I found I wore out my gym trainers within 9 weeks & at £60 I could see it was going to be a very expensive exercise, so I went to Runners World Watford (other retailers are available) I had my gait analysed (yes really there is a machine that does this for free). I was recommended that I should wear Brooks Ghosts. However, what surprised me most was I was told I should wear a size larger than normal. I took the advice I was given and found my running got better. Yes, they were more expensive than my gym trainers, but the salesman said they would last between 6 & 9 months. While I should have changed them at 7 months, when I noticed the wear on the heels as it may have stopped me being injured, but I wanted to see if they would last 9 months and now, I’m paying the price.

How does this snippet of information relate to your first day at school? Well, when I first went to big school (53 years ago) I went to Woolworths and bought myself the basic tools I would need including a protractor, various Perspex angles, coloured pens & pencils, biros even a fountain pen. I didn’t realise that 75% of what I bought I would never use, and it would have been better to ask someone who was at the school what I needed. Another analogy was when I was at primary school (57 years ago), I needed a pair of football boots, and my mum took me to the school outfitters (Pullens) and bought me Rugby Boots!!!!! Mum didn’t understand the difference she saw was a pair of boots with studs. Fortunately, my dad spotted the error, and they were exchanged for the correct footwear. Mind you wearing them didn’t change my abilities (they were and still are awful) but at least I looked the part.

It was the same when I left school and entered full time work, my chosen profession was to be a hairdresser. Once again, I went along and bought what I thought I needed including a Pifco Hairdryer (who remembers them), I thought all hairdryers were the same, boy was I wrong. While perfectly adequate for home use it was totally inadequate for use by a stylist.

Fortunately, I didn’t buy scissors at the time and by the time I did I knew exactly what make I needed.

What prompted the above is sadly having developed shin splints I won’t be fit enough to run this year’s marathon, but I do have Plan B, which I will announce in the next week or so. As I can’t run (far too painful at the moment) I still need to keep up with my training as my PT has devised a training regime that will enable me to be able to resume running as soon as I have healed. However, this morning as I walked back from training, I went passed the local secondary modern/comprehensive/academy and saw all these 11 year old boys and girls queuing up. We have all seen these children where their blazers are a couple of sizes too big, but by the end of the year it will fit and their backpacks which are almost as big as them. As I scanned their faces, I saw a mixture of anticipation and fear (well it was big school, and this is where things get serious) and I wondered how many parents realised they had spent money on equipment their kids didn’t really need and would be lost long before then of their first year.

So, the thought for the day is whatever you are doing always seek the advice of a professional or at leas someone who is knowledgeable as it will save you money and pain in the long run.


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