In less than 5 days I’ll be taking on my first marathon on the most iconic marathon course in the world. Find out what I’m aiming for, how I’m feeling and how to track my progress on the day.
Five months ago I found out that I had a place for the London Marathon to allow me to take on my first ever marathon. How time flies when you’re training for a marathon! I can’t believe in just 5 days I will have become a marathoner.
Many of you have been interested in my progress and want to know how I’m getting on during the race so here’s what you need to know:
What’s my target?
Much to the disappointment and puzzlement of some of my friends, I’m not running to win this race but I’ve set myself some targets. Those of you who know my blog or my coaching style will know I approach every race with 3 targets:
Ecstatic – if the weather’s perfect, everything goes to plan and I feel amazing on the day, this is the time that I would be ecstatic with. In this case, it would be to complete the marathon in 3 hours 45 minutes.
Pleased – this is the middle-ground, realistic target that I’d be pleased to come away with. If I can finish my first marathon in under 4 hours I’ll be chuffed.
Satisfied – if things don’t quite go to plan what is the slowest time I’d be satisfied with? Given that this is my first marathon, just crossing the finish line with a smile (or grimmace) on my face will be an achievement.
How am I doing during the race?
The easiest way to find out how I’m getting on will be to track me on the London Marathon website.
All you need to do is visit the London Marathon homepage and follow the link to track a runner (it doesn’t exist at the time of writing but should be easy enough to find from the homepage). You can then search for me by name or just plug in my bib number: 51587.
My timing chip will record when I cross the start line (it’s likely to be at least 15 minutes after the race actually starts at 10:10) and then every 5km, at the halfway point and the finish line.
If it’s anything like last year, they’ll project where they think I am based on my pace up to the last tracker point I passed.
The race is also broadcast by the BBC so there’s a chance you’ll be able to spot me on TV. It’ll be a small chance given that 36,000 other runners will be doing the same thing as me and I won’t be as fast or snazzily dressed as some of them.
Coverage starts on BBC Two at 08:30 on Sunday morning and switches to BBC One in time for the Elite Men & Masses race to start at 10:10. The coverage continues until 14:30, by which time I should, hopefully, have crossed the finish line. The Red Button is also going to have further coverage options so keep an eye out for me, although “needle” and “haystack” spring to mind!
Also, technology permitting, African Children’s Fund will be tweeting my progress so check out @AfChildFund on Twitter and also look out for any other mentions for @running_dan_w from other friends from the roadside!
What will I look like?
I’m going to disappoint some of you – I won’t be dressed as a superhero, or rhino, or ballet dancer, or telephone box, or bowl of porridge as someone suggested! Running my first marathon is hard enough without complicating the matter with fancy dress.
I will be wearing this white African Children’s Fund t-shirt with my name and twitter handle splashed across it, along with my race number, 51587:
How am I feeling?
It’s unusual how many people are asking about my running – I’m not used to it! In short, I’m feeling great. My training has gone really well. I’ve ticked off all the milestones (literally in some cases) and I’m feeling well rested as I’ve scaled back my running in the last couple of weeks.
I’m incredibly excited. As you might tell, I can’t get enough of all things London Marathon. I eagerly await that famous atmosphere and to be surrounded by thousands of other runners pushing themselves around an iconic route.
I am, of course, a little nervous but that’s natural. I always feel a bit nervous before a big race and I’ve had none bigger than the London Marathon.
What I am not feeling is anxious, stressed or worried. It’s all about trusting the training and, a big part of marathon success is your mental attitude. You need to relax, believe and enjoy. Believe it or not, no one is forcing us to do this – we’re doing it for fun.
All that’s left is for some good sleep, food and water over the next few days and a nice relaxed 4 or 5 miles on Thursday before travelling to London on Saturday to register and pick up my race number and timing chip.
My fundraising is nearing my target of £2,000 – a huge amount for the small African Children’s Fund – but as their first ever London Marathon runner I want to push this total as high as possible to set a great benchmark for whoever may be their next London Marathon runner.
Please donate here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/runningdanw