To be fair, some of them were going quite fast.
But most were plodding along at the same pace for a good couple of hours.
Let me back up…
Yesterday was the Brighton half marathon.
There were 12500 runners tackling the streets of Brighton, including a couple of my clients.
I went down there to cheer them on.
And cheer, I did.
Having done a spot of running myself, I hate it when people just do a polite hand clap at the side of the road.
That’s not motivating at all!
You’ve gotta get involved…
Bit of proper cheering, like “Come on, Jimmy!” and if you see a guy dressed as Batman you’ve gotta give some “Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh, BATMAN!”
This helps the runners tremendously, especially those that are struggling at the back.
Anyway, both my clients got through without any dramas.
Although, one did have a teary-eyed finish, I’m told (bless her).
You see, this sort of event is great as a personal challenge, a box tick to say that you’ve done it.
And I’m all for that.
I’ve done 10k’s, half marathons and a full marathon in the Big Apple.
BUT… (you knew there was a but)
None of which did anything for my body shape.
If anything, I was probably more on the podgy side after all the training for the New York marathon.
Oh yes, don’t forget the hours of training.
If you could just rock up and do the marathon that would be magic.
Instead you’ve got early morning runs, late night runs, weekend runs.
God, it’s boring.
You’d think that all this running would be bloody brilliant at burning fat.
But it’s pants.
Not only is it a slow fatburner, slow-go cardio can also make you eat more grub according to the International Journal of Obesity (2008).
There you are putting in the miles, but you’re also shovelling more food in to cope with those extra miles.
So, when I client turns to me and says they want to run a marathon, I’m not exactly thrilled.
It’s at this point that I’ll have to manage their expectations.
Because chances are that they won’t lose much fat whilst training for the marathon.
Certainly not as much as if they did some strength training with other cardio like sprints or burpees.
If that’s okay with them, then I’m okay with it too.
What about you?
Would you be happy running miles and miles for just a few pounds lost?
And if you did manage to burn a few pounds, would you be able to keep up this level of running long term?
So, instead choose wisely mi amigo.
If you want to tick a box to say you’ve done it, no problem.
But if you want to burn maximus fattimus, make sure you’re doing some form of strength training and high-tempo cardio.
And if you really, really like slow-go cardio that’s fine too.
Keep doing it.
Just remember to manage those expectations.