Emma completes her 26.2mile goal

Posted 15.10.2019

After months of dithering over whether to sign up for a marathon, I took the plunge in Spring and decided to commit myself to Bournemouth Marathon on 6 October – giving myself plenty of time to train!

I should probably point out that this was not my first marathon, having completed Portsmouth Coastal Marathon in December 2014. This particular marathon came off of the back of a challenge I had set myself to go from Couch Potato to Marathon over 6 months. Needless to say it wasn’t exactly fast, but at that stage I just wanted to be able to say I had finished a marathon to mark a milestone on my burgeoning running journey. Finishing in 5hrs20, I was confident that in 2019 I would at least be able to build off of this time and get a new PB!

Since 2014, I had taken part in 17 half marathons so I wasn’t exactly new to running longer distances – however, as silly as it sounds, I did not fully realise how much of an additional distance and necessary training would be needed going from a half to full (I must have forgotten from 2014). I had originally wanted to train during summer as it meant longer days and brighter evenings so I could run after work, but didn’t take into account any summer heat. However armed with my Polar Vantage M (eventually going to a Polar Ignite when it launched in June 2019) and my Polar Running Programme I started my training.

I did forget to mention that when signing myself up for the marathon I also signed up my mum to run with me without her permission – once she got over the shock of getting a seemingly random ‘Congratulations for signing up’ email in her inbox (and a bit of grovelling from me) she was up for the challenge too. I do have to take the time to give her a shout out and say what an incredible running buddy she was. Once we started hitting 16mile+ distances, I needed that person alongside me to keep me motivated and going and she was incredible. Plus what a great way to catch up and have some ‘mother-daughter’ bonding!

With regards to the Polar Running Programme, this would also be the first time that I trained to heart rate. I have to say, I now wouldn’t train another way. I found my breathing was easier and more even, and that I avoided getting fatigued earlier on in the run. Often I would be able to do 15 miles and still have enough energy in the legs to keep going for even longer!

When race day did eventually come around, we did feel a little apprehensive (having had a couple of weeks off due to irritating little niggles – why do the meniscus and perineals always like to flare up as you start feeling confident!) but the sun was high in the sky and the view from the beachfront already looked spectacular. Support from the crowed was incredible, and somehow we managed to run round the entire course together finishing in a time of 4hr19. Not quite the time we wanted, but over the moon to have knocked 1hr1 off of our 2014 time. Here is to doing a sub4 in 2020!

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