I've signed up - and paid for - two marathons this year and run neither.
Since then I've taken a month off, got back into swimming (I LOVE SWIMMING), discovered that I don't really like physios and I'm feeling ready to go again. Fingers crossed I'll be on the start line in October.
Planning my training this time round has helped me see where (I think) I might have been going wrong, so I've written a list so you can learn from my mistakes.
Mistake 1: Choosing a course just because it's flat and fast
If you choose a course just because it's flat and fast because you like running fast, flat, city based races, then great. But I like hills, countryside and smaller races. The last half marathon I loved (Muckle Toon) included this lovely hill:Manchester Marathon, for me, was all about the time so after my shins hampered my PB chances, I just didn't want to run it.
This time round I'm going for a compromise. I want to join the sub-4 club with my run club buddies but I want to enjoy it, so I've chosen the Bournemouth Marathon, having run the beautiful half marathon there last year.
Mistake 2: Choosing the wrong plan
I used the same plan for my Manchester marathon training as my Edinburgh marathon training last year. I got injured both times.
This time, I embarked on an epic internet search for a new plan - one that included time for swimming, long runs I can fit onto week nights, speed work on a Monday and time for socialising whenever I fancy it. Turns out it doesn't exist, so I'm writing my own (see this post from Goldilocks Running for more on why writing your own plan is the way forward: http://goldilocksrunning.com/tag/marathon-training-plan/)
Mistake 3: Being lazy about recovery
Newsflash: if you do your long run on a Sunday morning, get straight into bed, sit cross legged watching Netflix for the rest of the day, leaving your foam roller in its nest under your bed, you probably will get injured and it will be your own fault. Not much else to say on this one.
I’m going to be blogging regularly about my Bournemouth training and if I ever write it down I'll put my training plan up here. So if you’re a marathon whizz and think it looks like I’m going wrong again let me know via @RunThroughUK.