Top 5: Marathon Training – what they don’t tell you (2)


So-o, now that I have my mojo back and some parcels to look forward to, it’s time to think about training again. So here’s the number two instalment of things no-one tells you until you start training for a marathon! (If you missed number one, you can check it out here).



Marathon Training – what they still haven’t told you


1. It is mentally exhausting

Case in point – the meltdown. Enough said? If a good old fashioned melt-down doesn’t cut it, how about the post-long run shut-down?!

Mr The Rake might break up with me if I try another marathon – mostly for this point! (Still worth it ;-)


No smile for you…


2. People give you the ‘look’

Nothing you say is valid any more.

Case study:

Last week, I had my judgy pants on about a lecturer, calling her ‘ultra controlled’ because everything about her is too perfect.

I got the ‘look’ – you know; narrowed eyes, and a ‘that just came out of your mouth’ expression that slides across the listener’s face.

His response?

You run two hours a day and you’re eating a carrot


I just really, really like them!


3. Welcome to a parallel universe

People refer to you casually, as if you can’t hear them.

Yeah, but she’s training for a marathon

This goes back to point 2 – your opinion is no longer valid – nor is your performance. In anything.

Do well on a test? Mental strength. 

Ride fast on a bike? Super fit.

Get out of bed on a cold morning and your friend person cancels? Marathon training – she’s used to it.

Not out of breath walking up stairs? Endurance. 

People have stopped comparing themselves to you – you have reached the realm of ‘beyond’.


Clearly, I have super powers.

Which kind of sucks…because then you have to go and compare yourself to ‘real’ athletes. You never can win!


4. Your risk assessment starts to apply to bizarre situations

I have stopped wearing heels if I know I have to stand or walk for any length of time. I’m sure some of you can relate – imagine having to sit out a race because you twisted your ankle at a party!

Trying on new shoes

The only shoes I need


5. When dramatic things happen to your body, you think ‘no, I’m not an athlete, so that’s not happeni- …oh wait’

Example: Last week when I felt tired, dehydrated and crappy for no good reason, I couldn’t figure it out. Apparently it was lack of sodium and iron. Yet I was in denial.

That couldn’t possibly happen to me, I don’t train enough for th- …oh wait

Turns out, training really stresses your body out – elite athlete or not. Listen to your body, and don’t ignore it when it’s trying to tell you something!


Your Turn!

Anything to add?
If you’ve done a marathon or watched someone go through training (my Mum watching my Dad, for example), what ridiculous things have you noticed?
Have you ever ignored your body and paid for it later?



  1. Hilarious!

    Like anything, the more you do, the more you learn about your body and start to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s not an easy process and I’m still learning 14 years in.

    #4 is SO true! I’ve gotten to the point where I just don’t wear heels…mainly because they kill my feet but also because I am totally afraid of wiping out and hurting myself.
    Phaedra @ Blisters and Black Toenails recently posted Playlist Thursday – EPICnessMy Profile

  2. This is awesome! I can so relate to #1. I remember how surprised I was by how mentally taxing training can be. Still is but I’m no longer surprised :) And “the look”! My husband is king of the look!

    Always worth it!
    Jill @ [Fitness, Health and Happiness] recently posted Benefits of Circuit Training || Total Body and Less TimeMy Profile

  3. Amy Lauren says:

    Okay, the risk assessment is huge! Especially for those of us who are already worriers. Yesterday Clay and I went to a football game and we were walking on a rocky railroad track to get to the stadium (you just have to)… and I’m like crap, what if I trip? What if I twist my ankle? Then I can’t run my half marathon… ahhh! Most people don’t even think like that!
    Amy Lauren recently posted It’s Okay Thursday- September 13My Profile

    • Kate says:

      Ha! That’s amazing. How dare they not provide a proper way to get to the stadium. I can imagine yo taking it really, really slowly, looking down the whole time.

  4. jenna says:

    i haven’t trained for a marathon, but i think that you make really great points! i think ppl just dont understand why runners train for marathons, 10ks, triathalons, or whatever because they cannot relate to it, and they don’t care to understand it either, so they end up being judgemental of the training. hang in there and keep doing your best! you will be great!! spa love!

  5. Glenneth says:

    i have so much respect for anyone training for a marathon (or even a half-marathon). my boredom sets in at 2 miles (walking). i cannot imagine running 26.2 miles. i don’t even drive that much in a day. enjoy your sunday! spa love!
    Glenneth recently posted Let’s Play 25 Questions.My Profile

  6. Liz says:

    You have turned into some strange being from outter space. OOOOOHHHHHH…. I always know I am going to have a good laugh when I read your blog. You are the first alien that I am following to the marathon finish line. It has been very interesting so far….and inspiring. :)
    Liz recently posted Fantabulous Day # 143 – Mystry Fruit You Say? LycheeMy Profile

  7. Mindy Artze says:

    Thank you for posting this. I am training for a half and my achilles is really starting to bug me… I think I need to figure out what is wrong… no more ignoring it… :(
    Mindy Artze recently posted Last chance for #WomenHalf giveaway!My Profile

    • Kate says:

      Thanks Mindy! The biggest lesson I learnt was that it’s worth getting it checked out asap – the longer I left it the longer until I was running properly again, and the longer I spent in treatment. Just don’t take the first opinion as gospel – if they day ‘don’t run’, it’s worth getting another look at it. Good luck! xxx Looking forward to seeing that half recap :-D

  8. These are very true. I totally make my risk assessments based on my running and where I am in my training cycle. Mountain biking? Well, nothing too technical; I would hate to fall right before my 20 miler (which I did, btw).

    One thing I noticed was that during training I am sore all the time. But sore in a good way–knowing your muscles are getting stronger and stronger. Something I didn’t expect about that? I miss that soreness when I am NOT training!

    Nice post.
    Lisa (Mom to Marathon) recently posted Our Fit FamilyMy Profile

  9. When I’m training for a marathon I guess my body is super tired. I started snoring during training! My hubby said it drove him nuts! Now that I’m only training for a half…no snoring. But marathon training starts the beginning of October so he may be moving into the guest bedroom lol!
    Mindy @ Road Runner Girl recently posted Runner Spotlights #5My Profile

  10. You are so right about the risk assessment. When you have come so far everything is about that marathon.
    Abby @ backatsquarezero recently posted Football Frenzy: Weekend WorkoutMy Profile

  11. haha…ur sense of humor is as awesome as ur running legs! :) great points, and i so feel u on the constantly going from 0-1,0000000 in ur head every time a little niggle or pain comes up, “omg, wat the heck is that?!?! wat if i can’t run tomorrow, wat if it turns into something crazy serious and i can’t run for even longer than tomorrow?!?!!” end of the world type stuff, u kno. ;) hehe

    • Kate says:

      Oh my goodness yes! Last night I ate pineapple, and I got a scratchy throat, and I freaked thinking I was getting a cold, and the last week of trainng would be ruined… Mr The Rake had to explain that it was just the texture of the pineapple. Freak. Right here.

  12. Crazy Tan says:

    I love this site! Kate, you are one of my new inspirations … and i have done three marathons before ..

    Mindy, what’s the Disney marathon?

    • Kate says:

      I am so glad you like the site! You have a lot to teach me, so let me know when you have the inside knowledge ;-) . I’ve asked Mindy to get back to you – let me know if she doesn’t. I would love to run Disney one day, it looks like so much fun.

    • The Disney Marathon is just what it sounds like! A marathon at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida! The race course goes through all 4 of the parks…Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom! It’s an awesome race with all the Disney characters thoughout the course! I can’t wait!!!
      Mindy @Road Runner Girl recently posted SPIbelt Review and Giveaway!My Profile

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