Dear “Slow” Marathon Runner
I bet you can’t believe that tomorrow is the big day. The Virgin Money London Marathon 2017. You might be thinking “f**k, that came around fast!” You’re probably a bit nervous, a bit scared and a lot excited, all at once. You might be a first time marathon runner, or you might be lacing up for the tenth time. Funny how the mixture of pre-race nerves and excitement never fades though.
I did London in 2015. It took me well over 6 hours. 6:20ish, I think was the actual time. Not gonna lie, I found it tough. Despite the screaming crowds, the 20 mile mark of a marathon can be a lonely place. Especially when it’s taken you almost 5 hours to get that far and you know that so many runners are already relaxing in the pub and you’ve still got 10k to do. Smile, grin, pat yourself on the back. It’s okay. This is your race.
And that’s my number one piece of advice.
This is YOUR race. You do it YOUR way.
Maybe you plan to run the whole way, maybe you plan to “jeff” from the start. It doesn’t matter what anyone else does.
And my number two piece of advice?
Remember, speed is relative. Especially in a marathon. Stop describing yourself as “slow” in a negative way. What’s slow for one person may be someone else’s dream time. I want to chase down a sub 5 one day. I have 8 minutes to shave off my PB to do that. Some people consider that slow – likely sub 4 runners. But that’s okay. Speed is relative. We have our own goals, we have our own bodies. If you’re delighted with your time, scream it from the rooftops. Own it. It doesn’t matter what it is. Whether you complete it in 3, 5, 10 hours, whatever, if you’re proud of yourself, be proud. When someone says to you how did you do, don’t go “oh, I did it, but it was a bit slow in blah blah blah,” be proud of yourself.
What I’m trying to say is, don’t apologise for your performance.
You’re doing a marathon tomorrow. Own it.
You’re awesome. You’re a hero.
A “slow” marathon runner