G and I both ran the London Marathon yesterday, on a beautiful warm day. G had a good run – starting at a sensible pace, running even splits, and finishing in 3:28:01. I ran like an idiot – going off way too fast at the start, and (inevitably) hobbling home after my wheels came off at about 18 miles, for a total time of 3:04:09.
I learned some lessons again that I should have learned before:
- You can’t run a marathon well without training for it. G and I both relied on our background fitness. But really we needed a tailored combination of long runs, speedwork, aerobic fitness, and strength. Getting the right mixture is much more important than running in the park every day.
- If you go off too fast at the start, you will pay for it later. It is much better to go off slowly and then speed up. It is claimed that every 10 seconds a mile you run too fast in the first half will cost you a minute a mile in the second half. And it is much more fun to be overtaking people in the last ten miles than to be overtaken.
- You can’t run as fast when it is hot.
- You’ll go through some rough patches in any marathon. Don’t quit: they will pass. I had a stitch twice, and several segments when I had to walk, and I still ran fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.