My first confession is that my 21km running dream started in 2014. I signed up for the very same “Bengaluru Marathon” in 2014, but I did a no show. Yup a month before the run I lost motivation and quit on my training. I felt so terrible that I stopped running for nearly 6 months.
Training for a 21km is a different ball game, you need around 8-10 weeks to make sure that you are in a good place by the time the run happens. Read here 21km training schedules.
My second confession is that I did not follow my training program. I was 50% regular. I traveled for a holiday close to the race day ( 2 weeks before) at this point I should have been at the peak of my training but instead I was trailing behind.
The Third Confession is that I had never run beyond 13km. I was worried but since I exercise daily I felt confident in my fitness levels and decided to take the plunge and do the run with whatever I had.
You are only as good as your training! My last confession. The run started off good and strong. I cruised the first 1okm, but I knew the real challenges would come later . I experienced my first cramp at 16km. I slowed down by 50% and started drinking more water. Timing was already off by now and I just wanted to make sure I finished the run. 19-21km there was almost no running at all and I limped the finish line. I felt miserable, the clock was ticking and I was so disheartened I would have to finish like this. Post the run was hell, I collapsed in a total mess with severe cramping in both legs and required medical attention. My “high” of completing my first Half Marathon was gone due to all the drama that followed suit.
Life is about the journey not the destinations. So here
- 21km makes you see yourself differently. Add it to your bucketlist
- Anyone can do a 21km the human body does allow it!
- Train, train and train some more – only to avoid very PAINFUL aftermath
- Be committed to your run. Focus on a healthy lifestyle at least a month prior
- Work on strengthening key muscles involved in running.
- Get a running buddy! It really helps to share your pain. And to take a selfie at the start and finish line!
- Running music works! My music carried me to the end.
- Pre-run prep is critical. Try all your gear before hand! Get good shoes, socks, the right clothes will all help to make the run comfy
- Interval training is super!
- Eat right and Don’t starve. Carb load as much as possible
- Bananas & water can change the game while running!
- Keep a check on your electrolyte levels ( carry Electral if required)
- Get someone you love to meet you at the finish line! Best feeling
While I delve deep on how to overcome muscle cramps I know that this is not my last 21km. I will meet you at the finish line running strong and happy in the next one!
Thanks to my sister Smitha for the awesome walkaman ( runaman). Thanks to Jeevak who did not give up on me and dragged my butt to train every week! To Vinayak who signed me up for the run. To my family who met me at the finish line and got me the medical attention I needed! I am so grateful!
(watch out for my post on how to beat runner cramps)