Road Running

The Tuesday Troll: 10 steps to the best marathon of your life

1) Run more, lots more

It’s these last few weeks, right before your marathon, that count most for accumulating absurd mileage. Never mind what came before, however many 50-mile weeks are in the bag, the time has come not just to increase your mileage, but to make some monstrous jumps. Mediocre training results in mediocre performances, so ramp it up, you lazy git. #fitness

2) Don’t waste time strengthening

Idiots waste time prancing around gyms doing silly exercises with dumbbells and therabands, like some lycra-clad escapee from the loony asylum with a leg-length discrepancy. You know what smart athletes do? They run…a lot. Then they run some more.  They didn’t do any of your fancy exercises back in the 70s, you know, and they were all running faster, so…eh…there. #owned

3) Injury? Illness? Run through them

Sure, they may get worse, but they could also get better, right? Now is not the time to allow a little stress reaction or viral infection hold you back. Run it off, you absolute wuss. The worse the illness/injury is, the bigger sense of satisfaction you’ll get from not allowing it to affect your weekly mileage. In fact, run a few miles more, because your paces will probably have been affected by your sub-par health and hey, even if it all goes wrong, what’s the worst that will happen? Crutches/death aren’t so bad. #findyourstrong

Rocket springs: Eliud Kipchoge obviously didn't wear his shoes much before Berlin, and that worked out fine. Image: PhotoRun

Rocket springs: Eliud Kipchoge obviously didn’t wear his shoes much before Berlin, and that worked out fine. Image: PhotoRun

4) Keep your racing shoes for race day

Sure, lots of people tell you not to try anything new on race day, but we know better. You know that explosive, bouncy feeling you get when you first run in a new pair of shoes? Why waste that plodding around your neighbourhood in training, trying to avoid dogs and local scumbags, when you could be feeling that rocket boost on race day? Just look at the Berlin Marathon: if a 2:04 guy isn’t all that bothered about trying his shoes in training first, then why would you be? You slow fool. #retailtherapy

5) Eat plenty of fresh supplements

No amount of healthy food will make up for it if you don’t have a cabinet full of tablets/powders, so be sure to eat a wide variety of fresh supplements. Buy organic if possible and the widest variety of coloured pills you can fit on your plate. Now, I’ll be the first to admit there’s a bit of a conflict of interest when it comes to scientific studies paid for by sports nutrition companies, but hey, if it’s on TV or in a magazine, it must be true, so swallow them down like a good little boy/girl and enjoy your impending transformation into a Kenyan. #cleaneating

Just do it: earn your money back with a hearty breakfast.

Just do it: earn your money back with a hearty breakfast.

6) Fill up on the hotel breakfast

Yes, I know you’ve been shovelling carbs down your trap by the wheelbarrow for the past week, but damn it, you paid €140 for that hotel room the night before the marathon, so be sure to bleed them dry in return when it comes to breakfast. Sure, you could eat your usual meal, but then what? Reject the pancakes and maple syrup? Walk past strips of glistening bacon which scream your name? Pretend you’re too respectable to have a fourth pain au chocolat? You’re not. Now dig in, you pig. #carboloading

7) Go out hard

It is a race, right? You’ll have been running lots of shorter distances in recent months, so it’s a great idea to bank some time early on when the race feels easy. Before the start, it’s also a good idea to jump forward from your designated pen so you don’t get stuck in a sea of waddlers at the start line. No one wants that. You’re better than them, and deserve to be treated differently. #you’reworthit

8) Listen to music during the race

Look, there’s no way the atmosphere is going to be good for 26.2 miles, and anything supporters shout will probably just annoy you, so don’t be one of those suckers who “takes it all in”. Looking good? I look like SHIT, and we both know it. Almost there? Ten miles is NOT almost there, you unfunny prick. No, what you need is music, playing loudly in your ear, music that makes you oblivious to any crowd support, impervious to any conversations fellow runners might try to have with you, and unaware of any critical instructions from race marshalls. Crowd, schmowd. Haven’t you heard the new Ellie Goulding? Amaze…balls. #amazing

This is approximately how much water you should drink.

This is approximately how much water you should drink.

9) Drink everything in sight

You can’t drink too much. Hyponatraemia? Schmyponatraemia. No one dies from that, right? Drink at every water station you see. Chug that shit down like you’re Bear Grylls and you’ve just discovered an oasis in the Sahara. Electrolyte drinks and gels might help, but they taste like ass, and in the middle of the marathon, no one wants to taste ass. #hydrate

10) Tell everyone about your achievement

Once you cross the finish line, the real work starts. You’ll first want a family member to get a photo with you holding your medal, possibly with your other hand signalling the number one (even though you finished 2,465th). Some obligatory filtering and subtle #hashtags will deliver the success story to your legions of #instagram followers. Take to twitter and spread news of your marathon like you’re Pheidippides himself or a Fox News reporter who’s just seen Donald Trump take a very public dump.

Next, be sure to spam your facebook friends with brag-posts until they actively dislike you and wish you grievous bodily harm. The work doesn’t stop there, though. Consider a 4,000-word blog post, or perhaps even a website dedicated to your achievement. Finally, make sure to tell everyone about your race in great detail, especially those who show little interest or downright disdain for your ramblings. They’re just playing hard to get. They want to know. Everything. #winning

Disclaimer: if you actually follow any of this advice, which you should NOT, please don’t sue us. Just take a good, long look in the mirror. 
shawnacy.barber.of.canada.celebrates.winning.the.335080
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Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy is a freelance journalist, a once-serious, now-retired athlete who writes for a number of international publications in the running industry. He has won two sports-writing awards, the Peter Ball Memorial Award in Ireland and the Wills Writing Award in the UK. Nationally, he previously worked for the Sunday Tribune, Irish Runner magazine and has written for the Sunday Independent, Irish Independent, the Guardian and The Independent in Britain. He is a regular contributor to Running Times, Runner's World, RunBlogRun and the IAAF website.
His banter levels are often poor, occasionally exceptional.

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