A Runners Review of the London Marathon 2018
Another year, another London marathon over. This year, the iconic race had 40,000 people taking part with record breaking temperatures of 24.1 degrees Celsius. You may not think it’s THAT hot, but don’t forget this is England in the spring time. Lets be honest, if we see a 24 in the summer, we get pretty excited. Running in 24 degrees however, is not that normal at this time of year. It doesn’t help that we had snow littering the ground only a few short weeks ago. Those who took part in the marathon would have had to endure a long winter of rain, wind, snow, and some pretty brisk training temperatures – and then all of a sudden get thrown into a mini heat wave for the big day. It’s a bit unfair if you ask me.
This mother nature curve ball will have impacted a lot of your marathon times, expectations, and general experience of it. The best thing to do now is to think about what you can take away from it. Either a lesson you learned from the race, motivation to do something different about your marathon training in the future, or just to have enjoyed what you achieved. It’s not always our fastest races, but our most challenging races that make us stronger runners.
We wanted to hear about some of the trials and tribulations of someone who ran the race. Tammie Hawkins had a good for age entry into the London Marathon this year and was on track with her training to get herself a personal best (PB). Due to the weather conditions, she didn’t achieve it this time around and we wanted to know about her experience, as we’re sure there are a lot of you with similar ones out there. Here is what she said about her London Marathon race.
1. How prepared did you feel leading up to the race?
"I felt more prepared than I have ever felt for a race. I have never incorporated massages and specific strength training exercises into my training programme before. I even ate all of the ‘beige’ foods for a couple of days before to increase my carbohydrate intake (which was very dull)."
2. What was the atmosphere like at the beginning?
"I was really relaxed. I was running it with my husband and our children were staying over with family, so all we had to concentrate on was getting to London on time. We walked to the train station, where we met a friend who was running it to,o and we chatted all the way to our respective pens at the start. It was great."
3. Did you get everything done in a timely fashion? Toilet? Bag drop? Finding your queuing pen?
"We had loads of time, because we were in the Green pen, which was for people who had qualifying times, so it was quiet compared to the mass start. The
biggest queue was to get into the pen, toilets and bag drop were great . Of course, the toilets at these events are never luxurious, no relaxing music
or someone to hand you a towel after washing your hands, but at least there wasn’t a queue!"
4. How were your first 10 miles?
"It was hot right from the start. We were on our target pace for the first 6 miles, which we found tough to maintain despite having done the training runs
even faster. After this point, I started to feel sick, and so we had to pull back on our pace. It was still very early on in the run but I knew I wasn’t
going to make the time I was aiming for, which is quite a demoralising realisation."
5. Second 10 miles?
"As the miles ticked on, it became hotter and hotter. What you don’t realise is that its not just the heat of the day, but the emanating body heat from the thousands of other runners around you. As the other pens started to merge with us, you could feel it getting warmer (and smellier!).
I had a scare at mile 16 as we went into the tunnel just before Canary Wharf, which frightened both my husband and myself by nearly passing out. With a bit of a refuel of some water and energy sweet, we trotted on again. I’m still not sure why it happened, change in temperature from the tunnel? Or the light? But I nearly hit the deck."
6. Last stretch?
"Even though we were really close to finishing I didn’t get my usual spot of adrenaline to do my usual ‘Forest Gump’ sprint to the line it was still tough. I was so glad in the later stages to see my family cheering us on, it really does help to keep you going!"
7. What would you change about the race itself if anything
"The weather was the only thing I would change about the race. All of my training had been done in ice, snow, and cold weather – to suddenly encounter summer temperatures, it was a shock and my body couldn’t handle it."
8. Is there anything you would change about your prep for the day?
"Train in a desert just in case!"
9. What have you learned from this race, if anything
"That you can do all of the training and feel like you are on the right track but it can all change on the day."
10. Would you do the London marathon again
"Yes, I would love to. But I wouldn’t treat it as a place to get a PB – I would run it for fun and the experience of it. The atmosphere of the marathon is incredible, and I don’t think I fully appreciated it with that pressure over my head."
11. What’s next for you?
"I’d like to do another marathon very soon so I can achieve the PB time I was setting out for at London. I’ve done all the training for it and I know I can do it – I just need the weather to smarten up!"
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