Running My First Marathon
Since I took up running, I have always had the desire to run a marathon. Early on in my running career, it became clear that this may not be a possibility due to constant running injuries and the words of podiatrists and physiotherapists ringing in my ears. However, like any running junkie, I wasn’t going to be put off easily. I was fortunate enough to read an article about ChiRunning in Runner’s World back in 2006 and the idea of running as a skill was opened up to me.
I took some ChiRunning lessons, bought the book and DVD and I was hooked. I started practising and very quickly I realised that this was the answer I had been looking for.Running without injury became a tantalising prospect. I also discovered that it wouldn’t happen overnight. You can’t just expect your body to undo the habits of many years and start moving the way you want it to, so I began to understand the principle of gradual progress and was reminded that patience is a virtue!
I’m now three years into my ChiRunning practise. The journey so far has been truly rewarding, there have been setbacks along the way but nothing that couldn’t be resolved by revisiting my running form. The orthotics and heel raise and the big thick cushioned running shoes are long gone, replaced by soft minimalist racing flats suited to a midfoot strike. The hip, back and hamstring injuries of old are a thing of the past. I have more flexibility and no recovery is required after running. This year my form has continued to improve and has enabled me to enjoy running longer distances, so the dream of running a marathon re-surfaced.
Two things happened that will help to make that dream become a reality. I was always keen on a Spring Marathon but the London Marathon never appealed to me. So when the inaugural Brighton Marathon was launched earlier this year, due to take place the week before London in April 2010, I entered. At around the same time, Danny launched his Marathon Training Programs, and I had a training plan!
I will follow the Beginner Marathon Training Program and as it’s a 24-week plan, my training starts in early November, so watch this space. I have always respected the distance and I am well aware that training for a marathon will provide many challenges never mind running the race. However, I have ChiRunning to help me and as long as I keep listening to my body, I believe I can do it.
As a student and teacher of ChiRunning, I am well practised at body scanning ‘on the fly’ but I’m looking forward to going back almost to the beginning again, following the program and focusing on one or two focuses in the form phase for the first 8 weeks. It’s the beauty of a practise, always learning, always improving.
Wish me luck!