The big scary “M” word

The big scary “M” word in my case (as I’m already married ;-)) is of course the marathon. It’s my favourite distance. It’s the distance I find the hardest to train for and indeed to run. But the feelings when you finish it are just amazing. It’s like you’ve just done something so incredibly wonderful – and in my eyes, you have.

I feel a deep sadness and regret that I’m not doing the London marathon. Even worse is that I’m not running it when Paula Radcliffe is running her last marathon. And the fact that quite a few of my running club are doing it too (and one lovely lady is running her first marathon and absolutely smashing the training despite being a more short-distance lover – she’ll say she’s doing terribly but she’s really not, LAUREN).

But that’s by and by. I’m doing the Southampton half marathon on that day so I’m not going to be sat there moping. And let’s be honest, I can’t do ANOTHER marathon on a pathetic amount of training and then get injured AGAIN.

I do want to do another marathon soonish though as it’s just something I bloody love doing. I’m not a short distance runner…5ks and 10ks are just horrifically hard and painful. With a marathon I just zone in and feel alive.


So Liverpool Rock and Roll marathon is my marathon of choice and it’s in June (a week before my birthday, how very lovely). Obviously I will quickly throw in a disclaimer to say I could get injured and it might all come down in flames. Who knows, I don’t have a great track record for these sorts of things. But I am hoping and praying to the running God on the big fluffy track in the sky.

I don’t really have a proper training plan this time around (what good has it done me so far…). It’s more of a very gradual mileage build-up with long runs plotted in the calendar. I won’t run more than four times a week and so far I’m not sure if I will run more than three times a week. I’ll also still go to the gym (balancing it with the number of runs I do/how I’m feeling) to continue strengthening my legs and core etc.

Gym Helly Hansen kit 1

Loving my Helly Hansen leggings!

I hope to get up to 18 miles as a long run but I’ll see what happens when I get to 16 and judge it then. I’m also running more hills regularly in the hope that they’re strengthening my legs in a very functional way. Basically it’s a “let’s see how this goes” kinda marathon plan. Nothing set in stone because it never can be with me it seems.

Nutrition won’t change dramatically (Hi I’m Anna and I like cake) but as I start hitting the higher mileage when the weather gets warmer I’ll need to think more sensibly about hydration. I do know that I drink enough water as I have stupid amounts of squash all day long at work and at the weekend. I did try to cut out/reduce squash but it wasn’t successful…

My problem is drinking too much water and flushing myself out of the good stuff.

Squash drinking

Over-hydrating is a far worse issue than dehydration. I need to drink water more sensibly. Especially the day before a long run, the day of the long run and the day after. Happily I’m a big fan of the hydration tablets. Nuun are my favourite.


I actually wrote a review about nuun hydration tablets – find it HERE. I love their flavours and I love that they also do a caffeine one (especially for during a run). This way I can drink lots of water but not flush my system out of the good stuff.

My longer long runs will be run in May so the temperature won’t be too hot but I know I’ll be in need of water and electrolytes more than at the moment as the runs are longer and warmer. Oh the days of carrying a water bottle on a run! How very annoying.

But I am literally holding my breath right now. Dare I even make the merest suggestion that running is going well for me right now? I am desperate to not get injured and feel I’m trying really hard at injury prevention (loads more strength work regularly, my standing desk, not jumping back into stupid mileage, gradually building up long runs…). My one problem area is running the long runs too fast. I go out with such good intentions but then feel so good speeding up I can’t seem to help myself. I’ve told myself though that when I hit 10 miles and over I WILL SLOW DOWN. And I plan to run my really longer runs (13 miles plus) a minute slower than marathon pace.

It all sounds very rosy doesn’t it? We shall see…

How do you hydrate for hard work outs and/or long runs?

Do you drink a lot during the day?

What’s your one injury prevention tip?

***nuun inspired me to write this post concerning hydration and marathons, but I received no compensation.***

16 Replies to “The big scary “M” word”

  1. That sounds like an excellent plan, Anna. (Well, I know you don’t have a plan but you know what I mean). I’m really looking forward to following your progress! I wish I was as good as you at doing the core/strength stuff. I always start with the best of intentions and a few weeks in the core stuff just falls by the wayside 🙁
    Autumn recently posted…Hola!!My Profile

  2. Keeping hydrated during the day is something that I strugle with especially when we’re out. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day sounds easy, but it can be hard at the best of times. I’m much more conscious of my water intake now though, just because I get so thirsty these days. I’ve just signed up to a 5K race and looking for a 10K and perhaps a half marathon in the summer.
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted…{Recipe} Lemon Macaroon Protein BallsMy Profile

  3. I’ve definitely started to pay more attention to hydrating while running in recent years. I used to run without a sip of drink no matter what the weather, and I discovered the hard way how dangerous that could be when I had several episodes of blacking out while running or immediately afterwards due to dehydration in 2011/12. Now if I don’t want to carry water with me I will run laps so that I can loop back past my house and grab a drink that I leave on the porch. I still like to drink mostly water, but I will have one bottle with High 5 tabs in there as well.

    Haha, oh I wish I had a no.1 injury prevention tip! All we can do is try to be sensible and hope for the best unfortunately. Strength training is always beneficial though, as is running on varied surfaces. The jury seems to be out in terms of research on stretching though, so even though I will always stand by my yoga DVDs I’m hesitant to recommend that in any kind of objective sense.
    Jess recently posted…The Results Are InMy Profile

    1. Oh god, yeah blacking out is never good!! Good idea about planting a bottle on your porch. I just find running towards home a bit demoralising if I know I’m not done yet. It’s just a mind-set thing. But it is a good idea…
      I always feel better after a good stretching sessions so I do think there’s some logic to it, even if it’s just a comfort thing.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Fitness on holiday (and a US parkrun)My Profile

  4. Your plan sounds very sensible indeed. I was a bit annoyed when I realised that the Southampton race was the same day as the London marathon as I like to watch it usually, but never mind I can see it when I get home. Probably a very good idea for you to be out enjoying yourself and thinking about other things.
    I need to dig out my waist belt thing, as I did my long run last week with no water but was really thirsty by the end so I think I need to take something with me for a few sips. I love nuun too, so will take water with a tab in there as I lose so much salt when I run ( my face gets coated in it).
    Generally I drink enough- I have water and peppermint tea at breakfast, water all day at work (as if I don’t, I lose my voice) plus a herbal tea or two, and then more tea and water in the evening. It is when I am out of routine that I don’t drink enough- like if we are away for the weekend or something.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Jantastic – Febulous completeMy Profile

    1. Yeah they planned it so they could catch the ones who didn’t get in to London and those that did who had signed up to Southampton (as a consolation) were told they could defer their place easily for next year. So a good idea, but not so great for those of us who want to watch the marathon without any spoilers!
      I used to be really good about taking water with me when I was out but now I just tend to buy fizzy diet drinks like Fanta Zero (I adore Fanta Zero, I literally could drink it all day long) so I see it as a bit of a treat as I’d never have it normally at home or at work.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Fitness on holiday (and a US parkrun)My Profile

  5. Ahh you’re coming to Liverpool! I did Liverpool as my first full marathon last year, it was great. There were some tough bits but I think there are in any marathon. I’m pacing the half marathon this year so will be around – might bump into you afterwards! Good luck with all your training.

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