Hi again everyone. I hope all your preparations are going as well as can be and you’re not too daunted by the prospect of race day. If you have had the odd setback (I certainly have with the seemingly unavoidable colds and bugs going round) then don’t panic. Have confidence in the training you’ve already done, and don’t be tempted to overcompensate, as there’s still time to put in some really consistent and beneficial work before the big day.
Remember too that the adrenaline and atmosphere on the day will give you an extra boost that just can’t be replicated in training!
Based on my own experiences so far, here are a few things I thought it’d be useful to share:
1) Measure your long runs in time, not distance
I think this is the most important advice I’ve taken on board from our training partners at Full Potential. One runner’s 18 miles, for example, is very different from another’s! The key thing is time on your feet, and running for a set amount of time ensures you’ll keep your effort level steady and not over-exert yourself.
2) Use your long runs to go exploring
Maybe particularly useful if you’re an urban dweller. I started out with a set loop for my long runs and added a bit on each time, but that soon got monotonous. I’ve found that mixing it up really helps – try catching a train out of town and running back in, looping home from work or exploring parks or new areas of town. It’s proved a welcome distraction from the watch!
3) But remember it’s not all about the long runs
They’re an important part of your training, but your shorter, faster runs in midweek are just as beneficial in making you stronger and helping you work harder for longer when race day comes.
Also: recovery shakes, stretching and foam rolling are your friends.
We’ve seen some amazing totals come in so far so it looks like everyone’s well on top of their fundraising game! For what they’re worth though, here are a few tips and tactics I’ve found helpful:
1) Show people how hard you’re working
Now’s not the time to be humble – you’re preparing for one of the ultimate sporting challenges and every donation is thoroughly deserved! Put out a well-timed social media update with a screenshot of the long run you just blitzed, or a pic of you looking delightfully sweaty and dishevelled in your Bloodwise kit, along with a link to your giving page and it’ll seldom fail to nudge people into sponsoring you.
2) Target payday
The end of the month when people are feeling most generous is a good time for a fundraising push – and by the end of March it’ll be prime sponsorship time with not long until the event!
3) Get work involved
The office bake sale is a time-honoured classic for topping up fundraising totals. You could also try running a sweepstake based on colleagues guessing your finishing time. And many employers also offer matched giving, which could instantly double your total – worth an ask!
As I’ve said before, there are some amazing stories amongst our marathon runners. Make sure you tell your story and what running for Bloodwise means to you, and relate it to what your friends, family and colleagues’ donations will help to achieve for blood cancer patients – take a look at Bloodwise’s research achievements for inspiration.
Good luck everyone, and I’ll blog again before race day!