Marathon Tips

Edinburgh Marathon is coming up on Sunday – a favourite among many on the marathon circuit. I have one friend who did it last year and one who’s doing it this year (her first marathon!), so I thought I’d catch up with them both to get the perspective of a marathon newbie and some advice from the Edinburgh mara veteran.

My-Ha Lang is a runner buddy of mine who is taking on her first marathon this Sunday in Edinburgh. I’ve been following her training over the last few months and am so excited to see her smash it on the day. I caught up with her to see how she’s feeling.

Why did you choose Edinburgh Marathon?
I’ve always wanted to go to Bonnie Scotland. I’ve never been further North than Newcastle. I have always heard great things about Edinburgh, the sights, the views, Scotch Eggs, you know, everything. What better what to visit a City than to run it! (Plus I love the Scottish accent!)

How has your training gone?
Up and down. As soon as I signed my life away, I looked into a training plan ASAP. Printed, Blu-Tac’d on wall, and fluro highlighted my runs each day. It took a long time for me to take the training seriously. It wasn’t until Week 5, where my training plan said Sunday will be my long run. I was actually in Paris that weekend to do the Paris Half Marathon, so it worked perfectly. It was that day, where I ran past 10 miles feeling amazing that I knew I could do this.

What are you most looking forward to?
Oh wow! To be honest, having my social life, days and hours back. Training for a marathon REALLY takes up so much time. Especially if you don’t have a natural flair for it. It’s an absolute killer, and you find out more about your body (pains) than you thought you knew. But another thing I will look forward to is knowing that I will be the slowest in the group I am going with, so they will be there at the end cheering me in. I can feel the tears already!

What are you most concerned about?
BLISTERS!!!! I got one from a 10k race the other night! God knows what my feet are going to look like after 26.2 miles!
I’m not concerned about anything in particular, just feeling real nervous and scared and am doubting myself on a lot of things. Like, I haven’t put enough mileage in, I haven’t worked on my nutrition, my running vest doesn’t look right, or I haven’t taken this seriously. All of this comes to mind all the time, but it’s that is what gets me running!

My other badass mate, Angel Dee absolutely bossed Edinburgh Marathon last year so I caught up with her for her top six tips (it was a top five, but she came with a bonus round).

1. Last year we ran in temps of 32° in the shade (there is no shade on the route as a lot of the course is out on the coast so in reality it was actually 35/6°) and with water station at Mile 4 into the race, it is advisable to start sunscreened up to the eyeballs, with a small bottle of water to sip. I only lost my deep cycling shorts tan in December when I went to Barbados. Not sexy when wearing a leotard as your costume at Notting Hill carnival in August.

2. Due to the narrow road from 15 miles into the marathon it is difficult for cheer squads to culminate, there were small teams of people cheering from the bushes at the side of the road. Much needed, but also funny.

3. The shit farm at around Mile 18/19 nearly killed me. It was hot. Hot shit doesn’t smell so good. Maybe a point to make up any lost time.

4. Inclines are very slight, but mean business. Very fast course for that very reason.

5. Mile 21 is very quiet, perfect place for a cheering squad. Problem with that is the accessibility there. My friend, Darren noted that he took the spectator bus and walked a fair bit from 13 to 21 (thankfully not the whole course). You can get spectator bus tickets from the  Edinburgh marathon website

edinburgh-marathon.com/?shop

6. It’s very tempting to walk around town before the race but Edinburgh is basically on top of what feels like Mt Everest. Save the sightseeing for afterwards if you are staying, or visit another time. Absolutely stunning views across a beautiful city, but don’t walk around and regret it in your race.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Edinburgh while you cheer on some mates, check out the Holiday Inn.

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