Great 26.2 Expectations

Wednesday, 28th October 2009

Failing to achieve Great 26.2 Expectations?

What the Dickens?!
Recent articles in the US indicate that many runners stateside are struggling to achieve their marathon expectations and indeed fail to find the true benefits of running a marathon.
The Wall Street Journal in particular recently wrote about the lack of runners finding true health via a marathon route despite increasing participation levels “The number of marathon participants crossing the finish line in America keeps rising, jumping 3% in 2008 to a record 425,000” (Wall Street Journal October 2009)
Indeed the Wall Street Journal went on to quote “In a sport where 40% of runners are first-time participants, most won't make a lifestyle out of running, because of waning interest, a busy schedule or vulnerability to injury. A good number of runners do a marathon and don't come back"
However, LGN ascertain that there are a plethora of reasons why people decide to embark on a marathon and this ensures that there are a whole host of differing expectations.
Being lovers of all things running at LGN Run Clubs we have a dream that every marathon participant becomes a runner for life, but for some this is just not realistic and not what they aspire towards.
To help ensure your marathon meets all expectations, and with London marathon ballot places announced, we thought some simple goal setting & planning might help.
LGN approach to meeting marathon expectations
Identify why you are running a marathon
As mentioned there are many reasons for running a marathon; but if you can clearly identify the reason it helps you determine the outcome you expect.
Try not to let your reasons alter over time and don’t let the dreaded ego cloud your reasoning judgment (“I am not a charity runner I am now an elite runner..”)
Announce to friends and family why you are doing marathon, make it clear and ensure you don’t run under any other expectation
Charitable reasons
If running for charity, especially a cause close to your heart, methods to achieve your expectations could be by ensuring your fundraising goal is achievable, working closely with other charity runners to help ensure they meet their goals and perhaps inspire others to follow your lead.
The most important key is to seek quality sports therapy advice to ensure you arrive on the start line fit & healthy to complete the distance and reach your fundraising target.
Health & fitness reasons
If entering a marathon as a route to get fit, then really take a step back and ensure you are receiving the correct support and training advice. Ideally a marathon would only be taken on once smaller race goals have been achieved and bettered as confidence is essential for longer term benefits to flourish. Confidence is also required that your body has had time to adapt to running requirements. LGN would advise that new goals go in the calendar before your marathon has been conquered and regular short term health assessments help you see fitness benefits.
Try to make the marathon a start point in a much longer journey & don’t view it as an end point, thus remove pressure and ensure it works for your own specific health goals. 
PB reasons
Ensure your marathon PB (Personal best) expectations are realistic, based on previous performances and are agreed by coach and or fellow training partners. Acknowledge nature of marathon running means it can be a case of loading many running eggs into one race basket.
Ensure you use your marathon training focus to achieve PBs in shorter distance races both pre and post marathon to reduce pressure of one off 26 mile race performance.
Classic drunken bet reason
Consider reneging on the bet, and possibly benefit from peer group respect for not being a ‘yes man’. Actually check if other parties involved actually remember making the bet before announcing your decision to uphold your end of the bargain.
If all else fails and you have no way out, possibly look to convert marathon run to more positive motivation (charity of health) and ensure you do a Magnus Magnusson ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’, so get good advice, great running shoes and leave no stone un turned in retaining your pride.
Ensure you capitalise on your post race bet victory and are able to use gloating as platform for fiscal gain, peer group social standing improvement and opposite sex admiration.
Whatever your reasons we wish you well on your journey and hope you achieve your great expectations!
Happy running from all the team at LGN.
Do a runner with LGN

« Go back