If you’ve been keeping up with this blog post, then you’ll know that not only have I managed to rope Dom into his first ever marathon, but also – his second! I’ve not only managed to convince him to take part in the Paris Marathon (14 April), but thanks to the Holiday Inn, we also have been gifted places in the London Marathon, just two weeks later (28 April)! I’m hoping that the fact that both marathons take place in April is actually a great thing (I hope) – as we only have to go through the 3-4 month period of marathon training once!
You can keep up to date with our training journey on the #RestAndRun hashtag and website: https://restandrun.holidayinn.com
So – in order to chart our journey to London properly, we thought we’d start with sharing a bit about us and our running history:
What got you running?
- Elin: I got into running as a weight loss tool – I had essentially gained the “freshman 15” and found that running burned the most calories of every exercise. So I started running. My dad runs a lot, and in 2013, a hip injury meant that he couldn’t run for a while. I felt awful and promised to run a marathon with him if he got better. He did, we ran the Geneva Marathon in 2014 and we’ve been running since! Paris and London will be my 6th and 7th marathons, respectively.
- Dom: In short, I met Elin. My dad had tried dragging along on runs for years but I managed to resist but unfortunately this tactic didn’t seem to work with El. It all started with a very disjointed 3km walk/jog and now I find myself actually loving it!
- Elin: The bigger question is why not? London is one of the 6 majors and probably one of the most well known marathons in the world (alongside New York!) I’ve had the privilege of running London before, in 2016, and I’m incredibly excited with the opportunity of giving it another go! The crowds are the best I’ve ever witnessed for a marathon, and the spirit of London truly does carry you!!
- Dom: Unlike Elin, I can’t see myself running 5 or 10 marathons, but if I’m only ever going to run a few, it would be silly for one of them not to be London. I’ve been a spectator at the London marathon for the last 3 years and it’s such an amazing day – the atmosphere is incredible and I think I’ll be drawing upon every last cheer to get me over the line.
What are the pros and cons of running?
- Elin: In terms of cons, I can find running quite tough at times – but I guess you could say that about most forms of exercise! Pros? I find it a great de-stressor, especially after a long day / week at work! It gives you the mental space and time to think and work it through while sweating it out. I also love the sense of achievement that comes with running races – and that’s not just about the medals, but the feeling you get when you cross the finish line is honestly not something that can be beaten. Why else would people keep going back for more??
- Dom: The only real con with running is that it’s difficult – and if you have to get up early for a long run, it can be quite a battle to get your foot out the door. But once you do get going and make it through a 3 hour run or a half marathon or a 10km PB, that feeling of achieving something really challenging is amazing. I never thought I’d be one to talk about the runner’s high, but I’ve been converted.
How do you find the time?
- Elin: Both Dom and I work full time, so usually we leave the house before 8am and get back at 6:45 at the earliest. During the winter months, I find training in the dark difficult (especially early mornings – Dom is wayyyy better than me at getting up!) so we’ve had to work our way round it. We tend to train three times a week, with two during the week (running between 5-10KM from work to various train stations) and one longer one at the weekend. So far, so good!
- Dom: I like planning well in advance which days during the week I’m going to run. I’m usually fairly good at sticking to a schedule so if I’ve set that date aside, I’ll make sure I finish work on time to fit in any runs I need to do. It does have to be a little more regimented than I would like because of pesky work, but if it’s important, you can make time.
What is your training schedule like?
- Elin: When coming to marathon training, we didn’t want to go too lightly and end up shooting ourselves in the foot! So we looked a few up online, and soon discovered they weren’t for us. My dad is our trainer, pretty much – he’s run 34 marathons to date, and averages 3:45ish at the moment. He’s incredible! So we used his guidance and found that three times a week (as above) works for us and our schedules.
- Dom: Disclaimer – I know nothing about marathon training. I just look to El for guidance in this department and run when I’m told to. We’ve definitely been a lot more structured with our training compared to the last year or two, and it’s already feeling like it’s paying off!
What are you most excited about?
- Elin: completing them! Two marathons just two weeks apart isn’t something that should be taken lightly! But I’m really excited to get them done, to feel the crowds and really soak up the atmospheres! You really can’t beat the feeling of achievement that comes with running a marathon – so two in two weeks will be doubly rewarding (and exhausting…) Plus – celebrating with bubbly and carbs will be first on the list!!
- Dom: There are a few aspects of both marathons that I’m really excited about! Obviously the adrenaline that comes with crossing the start line and the joy of crossing the finish line are two parts of the race that I’m sure most people are looking forward to, but I’m also really excited about being a part of two massive races with big crowds that will be cheering me (and a few other runners) all the way round! I’m also a big fan of bridges and architecture in general, so running by historical landmarks and across famous bridges in Paris and London is definitely something I’ll be looking forward to.