Having strong, agile feet is essential for everyone, not just runners. Strong, conditioned feet are not only important for runners and walkers, but they help your balance which is so important as we get older. That’s why we include foot agility exercises in all of our courses, from Up & Moving to 5K all the way to the marathon.. And beyond, if you fancy trotting across the desert!
If you’re not familiar with The Stork, here’s Julia’s instructions on how to do this super simple but mega effective exercise. It only takes ten minutes per day. You can do it anywhere – standing in the queue at the coffee shop or in front of the television. And take comfort in knowing the elite athletes are doing it too!
Happy Friday, good folks! Two quick items of news for you today…
If you missed out on our Spring courses (the runners are doing beyouuutifully, by the way!), we wanted to let you know that our Summer 5K will begin Monday 2 June and our Summer 10K will begin Thursday 5 June.
Registration for both courses will open on Tuesday 27 May. If you want to make sure you secure your place, you can jump on the list and we’ll send you an email right before registration opens.
We’re late to the joy of square photos, but Up & Running is now on Instagram, with running inspiration and travels galore. Are you there too? Give us a shout, we’d love to snoop at your corner of the world, too!
Last year when U&R alumni Paula G and Paula P a.k.a. “The Paulas” ran the Roma-Ostia half marathon, the seed was planted in front of the Trevi fountain for them to run a marathon. We looked at an international race calendar and decided right then and there on Marataò Barcelona.
I hadn’t thought about running with them but I knew that if I was in Spain it would be really hard to watch that stream of runners without wanting to be a part of it all. So I signed up for marathon #34.
You’d think that after so many years of running and numerous marathons that the excitement would have worn off, but I still get butterflies in my stomach while I pin on that bib number.
This was the first marathon for The Paulas and I’d trained them both. While there was a lot of advice I could give them for race day, there were a few things that they’d just have to learn for themselves on the day. It’s a very individual process since, well, we’re all different! But here are my 7 best tips for rocking that 42K…
We rented a gorgeous apartment on Placa Catalunya and it was so much fun being together, like a grown-up slumber party. I was excited to be running with The Paulas but I was even more excited that we’d have U&R cheerleaders along the route. We actually saw them twice, plus I saw an athlete my husband trains at the 35th km and that gave me a huge thrill. I’ve only run one marathon where I went all by myself. Believe me, you don’t want to do that!
I am a huge fan of race expos. I savor the picking-up-my-bib-and-chip process and looking at the running and triathlon specific booths. Barcelona had huge expo with personalized pacing bracelets and loads of new products. Desigual has come out with a women’s running line! But after we left the expo and strolled back to the apartment, I was done for the day. I know so many runners that go to big city marathons, do a tour of the city by walking from museum to monuments and are then dead tired the morning of the race. Chill. Remember, you’re here to run a marathon!
Marataò Barcelona had an 8:30 start so we counted backwards:
We had plenty of time to do everything and even though I’m pretty sure The Paulas felt like we got there too early, in hindsight I think they enjoyed the relaxing moment together before the start.
I knew that the marathon would to be more difficult than usual since Sunday’s forecasted temperature was 23°C/74°F. For marathon running that is hot! Paula nP lives in Dubai and though she’s used to high temperatures, the effect heat has on your body after 20 miles can be pretty devastating. I reminded them that their final times might not be as good as they hoped but that it wouldn’t be anything they could control, just how the dice rolled that day. The race course was relatively flat, but had a lot of steady slight uphill grades, including a punishing final one mile uphill. Remember to adjust your expectations… and enjoy!
If you’re planning on finishing the marathon in 3:30 or under you can do a ten or fifteen minute slow run warm up with a few stretches. Anybody that runs slower than that can get away with some gently stretches and a little walking around. Save your energy for the run!
Paula G and I used the restroom one last time (birthing two children apiece will do that!) before the start so by the time we lined up we were pretty much at the back of the pack. We started off slowly and kept reigning ourselves to ensure we didn’t waste precious energy and fuel. Yet when we looked at our race statistics afterwards we passed about a thousand runners during the race. I can guarantee you they had all started out too fast. Never, ever start out a marathon too fast. If you want to speed up, feel free to do so in the last 10km!
As I made my way towards the finish line and realised I’d miss going under five hours by one minute, I reminded myself that this was not my “A” race and that it was just a practice for Ironman Zurich in July. So I stopped, took out my camera and stood for a minute taking a few photos before crossing the finish line. I had just run my thirty-fourth marathon and wasn’t that amazing enough in itself?
More exciting news! We have a brand new swanky video, which explains to the world what we do here at Up & Running in one minute flat.
Thank you for all your good cheers for the Up & Moving launch last week. The Moving movement is growing by the day and now my mission is to coax more of you out of Lurk Mode on the Forum! Hehehe.
And finally, countdown to Spring courses – ONE WEEK TO GO! We start next Monday for the 5K, Thursday for the 10K. Come along and join the (sweaty) (but totally rewarding) fun!