Deciding to run 26.2 miles continuously is an act of sheer madness to most people. This year, a record 25,000 tickets have been sold for the 1st in person Dublin City Marathon since 2019, which makes this the biggest Dublin Marathon yet. I have completed this marathon on three different occasions, so here are my top tips for making it through what could be one of the best/worst days of your life.
Tip #1 – Make sure you are resting well this week.
The hard yards are done and the muscle memories have been formed. This week is all about rest, good nutrition, hydration and plenty of sleep.
Tip #2 – Beware of your starting pace.
You have trained at a certain pace for the last number of weeks, a pace that your body is now well adjusted to. The start line of a marathon is full of nervous energy and excitement and the crowds are always hyped up to go. A lot of people blow up their marathon in the first 10k by charging out at a ridiculous pace and getting carried away with the energy of the crowd. Know your pace and stick to it and if you are still feeling good coming into the last 5-8km, increase it then, not off the start line.
Tip #3 – Finish with a smile.
Completing a marathon is a HUGE personal achievement, a physical feat only reached by a small minority each year. If you have an unrealistic time goal, that you have not trained for, you are in for a long hard day. However, if you give yourself a bit of room, manage your expectations down a notch or two, you will actually enjoy this challenge far more. This is especially important if this is your first marathon. Slow and steady often wins the day. If you do manage to finish the race with a smile on your face, you will more than likely, be back again next year.
I am, in equal parts, envious and so very proud of anyone doing this on Sunday. It is such a huge challenge to overcome, one that many taking part would have believed to be impossible for most of their lives. A niggling Achilles injury, coupled with moving house has kept me out of this years race, but I will be back, hopefully in 2023 to complete my 4th Dublin city marathon.
This Sunday, the runners own the streets.