Keep on running

Support, determination and self-belief – three critical aspects needed when training for a marathon. This is what I discovered when I ran April’s Brighton marathon – the same week I joined Gravitas Public Relations as an Account executive.

Preparing for the marathon involved 14 weeks of training, and without the support of others, those 26.2 miles would have been a far more painful experience. Running is quite often viewed as a solitary sport, but on the 15th April I gained 15,000 running buddies, plus several thousand supporters. Talking to other runners on the route and hearing people in the crowd call out your name gave me extra motivation to succeed.

Determination to complete a marathon is as, if not more important than, putting the miles in. I’m a believer that running is 10% physical and 90% mental, and throughout my training I constantly pictured myself running through the finishing line. Without determination, you’re simply putting one foot in front of the other, which gets rather boring after a while.

Finally, a dose of self-belief is definitely needed when training for a marathon. When injuries come knocking, you have to look them in the eye and declare that you will beat them. During my training, I encountered shin splints and a troubled Achilles, both causing agony and doubt. But I knew that with rest, self-discipline and a few spin classes, I could complete 26.2 miles safely and happily.

I completed the marathon in 4 hours 27 minutes and with that gained the marathon buzz. But most importantly, what I learnt during marathon training can now be applied to any situation – after all, a little self-belief can go a long way (26.2 miles, to be precise). 

As an extra note, I have raised almost £300 for Cancer Research UK – if you would like to make a donation, you can find my fundraising page at www.runningsponsorme.org/emilycross3

Emily Cross