How (not) to prepare for a 16K marathon?
- 5 min read
On Sunday 23 September 2018, the Dam tot Damloop took place. A large group of students from Hotelschool The Hague participated in the run and collected almost 12,000 euros Benekids. Our student Aaron Auping shares his personal experiences, tips and tricks in order to help you succeed in running the Dam to Damloop or any other kind of marathon.
Do you think that running for four to five years consecutively will help? Well, let me tell you; I’ve been running, or well, tried to run, for as long as I can remember but never really had a reason to endure.
Then one day it hit me, I received an offer to organise the sponsorship for the Dam to Damloop. I really love a challenge and thus challenging myself seemed rather appropriate. I knew I wasn’t going to get all sporty and athletic if there wouldn’t be a time goal (yes, those horrible SMART goals actually help…). Overenthusiastically, I signed up for the task and run.
Three months later, I was being a typical procrastinating student thinking to myself “oh, the run is in three months, I don’t have to worry about it yet”. As you might guess, those three months turned into one month and the clock started ticking. Running frequently was still not a weekly habit, and wasn’t that the reason that I got into it in the first place? “What did I get myself into?” I asked myself.
One thing I know about myself, is that responsibility towards others, strongly motivates me to do it. Therefore, I started to be more active in the group chats where everyone was trying to prepare themselves for the run. The “more active” approach helped me to run more often, since it triggered my mind to think about running more and more.
Then the day arrived: I was supposed to run 16KM and I actually never ran that much. However, comparing myself to other students, I found out that I wasn’t alone in this battle of motivation. Apparently, there were many students who did not find the time to train properly. This information lifted a weight of my shoulders, since I knew we were all in the same boat.
The morning of the run I was fit, ready to run and well prepared with a good breakfast. But by looking outside, I didn’t feel like running at all. Somehow the universe wanted to tell me that the excessive rain and cold winds were just some kind of bad karma for not training enough. The run was in a couple of hours already so I couldn’t back out anymore. I went to the meeting point, grabbed my T-shirt and helped handing them out.
We started the run and I felt energised, I remember thinking “all these people are running for their own goals and charities”. It was motivating to see all these runners and supporters even though the weather was terrible. There were DJ’s, live bands and even snacks throughout the whole run. And suddenly, that 16K came closer and closer.
I could swear I couldn’t feel my hands anymore after the run, but I enjoyed every second of it. It didn’t feel like a training at all. It felt like walking through the streets with people encouraging you every second and while doing that raising money for education for children in central America.
I wouldn’t recommend this kind of training or lack thereof for such an event. However, would definitely encourage you to find a group of friends that will lift you up both literally and figuratively to run with.
Written by our student Aaron Auping