Lessons I’ve learnt from running my first marathon

Last Sunday, I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I ran the London Marathon 2019. Here are some lessons this experience taught me.

#1 Hard work pays off

My 18-week training cycle started during Christmas break. Ever since, I’ve been consistently running five times a week and regularly going to the gym. I’ve been doing yoga, drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, and trying to eat as healthy as I could. All this paid off when I crossed the finish line on 28 April.

#2 Consistency is key

With a plan in my head, I just kept running and making habits stick. You can become good at anything if you keep at it.

#3 And so is attitude

Staying positive when things aren’t going as planned is everything. I had to run through the awful conditions of the autumny London, and had to plough through some of the most gruelling miles during the marathon. I wouldn’t have done that without belief I can actually do it.

#4 You won’t get anywhere without focus

They say that the real half point of the marathon isn’t the 13.1 miles into the race. It’s a 20-mile marker. This came apparent for me last Sunday. My legs were tired. Without being focused and being preset at the moment, I wouldn’t be able to finish the race in the time I wanted to.

#5 Clear head will get you wherever you want

A little bit more about mental prowess. Running a marathon is not just physical activity. It’s mental, too. Sometimes all it takes is a darker thought to fail and to stop. It’s key to not to overthink things.

#5 You need to have your WHY

When the toughest moments come, it’s great to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Just like in life, it’s also important to have your reason to run.

#6 Keeping things organised helps

It’s not just the pre-race flat lay, but also different elements of your training and life. Being able to fit in the runs into a busy workday, preparing meals for the week ahead, or even remembering to pack everything for the training session. The less prepared you are, the more likely you are to fall short of your goal.

#7 You won’t get far without others

Running a marathon, and running in general, might seem like a lonely mission. It’s not. Behind my marathon success stands a huge crowd of people. From family and friends, through colleagues, running club, charity, to all the spectators and volunteers on the day. Just like in marathon, you’ll need people in your career and life to support you, guide you, and be there for you when things get hard.

#8 Celebrate

Take some time to celebrate when you’ve reached your goal. I’ve had a McDonald’s meal and I didn’t limit my intake of brownies this week, just to reward myself. Next step is to analyse what worked, and what didn’t, and setting a more ambitious goal. Berlin Marathon 2020, I’m coming!

Bonus lesson: Spelling and grammar can be tricky after running 26.2 miles. Spend some extra time proofing your work when you’ve just completed a marathon.

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Huge thank you to everyone who’s been part of my marathon journey, including all those who donated towards my incredible charity Sense

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