Ok – welcome to the first (and obviously riveting) edition of ‘The Professor’s Corner’. As we’re in the middle of our marathon season special it seemed only fitting to put the Prof to the test with marathon based questions. Answers have been transcribed for you below – Nikki
Q. I missed a week of my training plan – am I going to be ok?
Yes. One week won’t make a difference as long as you have tried to keep to your training plan. Many online plans are put together not expecting the runner to follow it 100%. Unless you are a pro-athlete like me, the chances are that life will get in the way sometimes. The only alternative is to give up working and find a human that will feed you whilst you spend most of the time sleeping and some time practising speed sessions around the house – I find 3 am is a good time for this as everyone is asleep and not in your way. Unless they wake up and seemingly try to join in whilst chasing after you telling you to go outside. Don’t go outside – it makes them work harder chasing you.
Q. I haven’t run more than 10-15 miles in training. Am I going to be ok?
Well it depends on your definition of ‘OK’ and also your level of fitness before you started. If you have never run more than 15 miles (and marathon day is going to be your first attempt at anything over 15 miles) then you should just be aiming to get round and expecting it to be a painful experience. If you’ve run a marathon before and you know what you’re in for, then you’ll probably be fine. It’s still likely to be uncomfortable unless you’re a bit of a lucky cat. The Prof is aware of one or two runners in SJ that have gone into marathons with little to no training (but a high level of fitness) and have fluked their way round in almost PB times. They might say that it wasn’t a fluke. Prof disagrees.
Q. My marathon is just weeks/days/hours away and I am injured but I still really want to run. What should I do?
Don’t run. If you have a place for London you can defer it to next year. It’s really not worth it. You risk long term injury and a miserable day. No one enjoys a DNF and you will feel cheated. Rest, recover properly and come back flying. A few weeks out is better than months or years. There’s always another marathon and there are too many cameras at London to catch you walking.
Q. Should I run with a cold?
Yes – as long as all the symptoms are above your neck. Change your target time to allow for a little extra and check behind you before blowing any snot rockets! Anything below the neck don’t run. My human tried to run a half marathon with a cough once and ended up with a two week chest infection. It was awful. No one went out to buy me any Go-cat biscuits.
Q. What should I eat during my marathon?
Whatever you’ve trained with. If you haven’t been training with anything then I strongly recommend Go-cat biscuits.
Q. Will I be on TV?
No. Unless you’re in fancy dress. Or walking.
Q. I’m now thinking of doing the race in fancy dress. What would you suggest?
Don’t. Unless you want to go as me and quite frankly why wouldn’t you?
Q. This is my first marathon – what sort of goal should I aim for?
Aim to finish and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.
Q. Can I stop?
Q. Even if I am injured?
I’ll allow it – please stay sensible and don’t give the paramedics any work. We’d like them to be bored all day!
Non-running related question of the month:
Q. What do you think of BBC1’s “Poldark”?
It is one of the dullest programmes I have ever tried to watch. Plus there seems to be a dog featured in quite a few episodes. I don’t like that dog. He’s always very smug. Like a rubbish version of Lassie. I don’t like Lassie either. He is also a dog. But he also tries to help humans – like me. But not as good.
Nikki’s note – Please keep your questions coming in and we will try to publish answers once a month. Good luck! 6 days to go.