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7

Right guys and girls, its a week to go!! All those hours of training are about to pay off. At this stage you should be carb loading and getting your tapering just about right with shorter runs. Today’s articles is not going to focus on the race itself, but rather the weeks following the race.

In September, I ran 84K from Tallaght in Dublin down to Electric Picnic in Stradbally. The preparation and anticipation were all I could focus on for the months leading up to the run. It was going to be twice my longest ever run, on my own and into the unknown. As with all events, the build up to the date makes it feel like it is an eternity away. If you are not ready, those dates can creep up on you and catch you unawares. And then it was time. The day before the greatest challenge I have taken on to date.

With only a few hundred yards remaining, I could see Lisa, she was the constant in the journey, ever reliable and there to see me home. The rough stone chippings sent piercing shudders through my already aching muscles. I crossed under the gantry greeted by cheers and applause from event organisers and cyclists alike. I had arrived. 10h30 minutes since my outset and 2 marathons covered.

For the remainder of the weekend, we took in the festival and enjoyed every minute. The high of achieving what seemed impossible gave me the greatest high imaginable. In the days that followed, the joy and elation gave way to an empty feeling. The feeling that there was nothing to aim towards, nothing to look forward to.

With runners of all levels, for those of you who will run your first marathon or race of any distance for that matter, the week before the marathon should be used to plan your next race, your next challenge. You will find the incredible high after the race will fade and having another race to aim towards will refocus the mind and maintain that runners high.

There are some great events around the country in the weeks that follow the marathon. The Clontart Half Marathon takes place on November 21st and your marathon fitness can be used to experience another great race in Dublin

Have you plans for after your marathon? How is your race preparation going? If you have any questions, be sure to get in touch.

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Paddy Ryan
I have been running since I have been in primary school, all the time striving for better times. To date, I have run 10 marathons and 1 Ultra and numerous other races besides. I am focused on running a sub 30 10K and my next goal would be sub 2:30 marathon, all in time. I am also dedicated to helping other runners improve through coaching and advice to help them every step of the way.

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