Training for my first Marathon…

I’m Hannah and I started my journey this January to hopefully becoming a marathon mum before I reach the age of 40 this year!

Runner Feature - Hannah Dave RunThrough Running Club London

I started running a few years ago at the age of 35 to try and get fit and lose some weight after the birth of my second child. I’ve never been a runner and I was one of those people who said “I can’t run” and I was always amazed at people who could. When I started running I couldn’t even run to the end of my road without getting out of breath. But I eventually built myself up to running further and further and began to enjoy it and notice myself getting fitter and losing the baby weight. I had built myself up to 5k and decided to sign up for my first race which was the 10k Race for Life. I also joined a group of other mums in the town on runs which really helped with my training. I love running on my own as well as with friends who help push me further and keep me motivated. I loved my first race and it made me consider signing up to a half marathon but the thought of running 13. 1 miles did overwhelm me. But a few years later I’ve now run 4 half marathons and I have now taken on the challenge of running a marathon

After not getting a London Marathon Place for the past 2 years I decided to sign up for a marathon locally this May. But like my doubts about not being able to complete a half marathon the thought of running 26. 2 miles is scary, the furthest I’ve run to date is 15 miles! I’m not a fast runner so I think it’s going to take a good 5 hours to run the marathon! I’ve never followed a training plan before, when training for half marathons I just built myself up slowly to that distance. But for the marathon I thought I’d better follow a training plan. I’m following a mixture of the London marathon and Bupa 17 week intermediate training plan.

I’ve had to swot up about lots of running jargon to find out what tempo, fartleck and interval runs are, I never realised there are so many different types of runs. But all these types of runs have helped to increase my running speed and ability to keep going on longer runs.

As a stay at home mum I have to fit in my training runs in during the morning while the kids are at school and in the evenings when my husband is home from work. Running gives me some mum time and I really enjoy my weekend long runs. I think it’s great for my girls to see mummy challenging herself and keeping fit. I’m running and training with a neighbour of mine, it’s great to have a running buddy to keep each other motivated and push each other’s running abilities! 

Each Sunday evening I sit down with a cuppa and plan my runs for the week around family commitments, holidays and my husbands work. I’ve also had to have a meal plan to make sure I’m getting the right running fuel! I have 2 or 3 rest days a week, then a mix of tempo, interval and hill or easy runs for the other days with a long run usually at the weekend. So far the weather has been pretty tough with snow, ice and rain but I never regret a run and always feel great afterwards. The first mile is always the worst, I’ve learnt to never give up on a run in the first mile! I’m following the plans as a guide and have sometimes dropped a few runs due to slight injuries, illness or family issues but so far training is going well. I’m half way through the plan and things are going to be getting tough with long runs of 18, 20 and 22 miles to come before tapering off for marathon day!

If you want to see if I manage to complete the marathon on May 13th then follow my marathon training on Instagram @mumsgonerunning