Melbourne Marathon Q+As by Akira

This year’s Melbourne Marathon was the first half marathon for Katherine and the first 10 k for me. I asked Katherine a few questions seeing as the half marathon is what many people do and what they struggle with.

How did you feel in the days leading up to race day?

Excited and nervous. I imagined finishing but was nervous at the crowd numbers. This year alone there was about 11000 people doing the half marathon and about 7000 doing the full one

What nutrition advice do you have for first timers?

Do eat a lot of good food. One way to keep track of your food intake is through myfitnesspal. Drink lots of water and finish strong. Eat lots and lots of good carbs in the days leading up to the race. As a female you need lots more iron and fats for hormonal stuff such as periods.

Don’t try anything new a few days before the race due to GI issues and nerves

A lot of marathoners and some halves crash at the end and need the paramedics because they have not eaten enough.

Talk us through about race day morning and the start line.

Getting to the start line at the MCG is hard as there is not much public transport on Sundays. On race day itself there are too many people looking lost as they have not planned ahead. The course map and the start line is up on the website usually a month or two beforehand so people should study this and try and find out where the race will be. In the weeks ahead I would try and do some practice runs so that I know where to go on the morning itself.

Waking up on a Sunday is hard enough as it is. So what I do on the Sundays leading up to the race is train for it on the Yarra trail, taking the train.

I usually try new breakfasts if I can on those Sundays as well as the gels as it is my long run days.

As for the loo line try and hydrate about 1-2 hours before the race and go to the loo at the train station where there is no line. Also in practice try and practice peeing behind the tree and get used to others seeing you.

What are some mistakes that you made in the last three months of training? List everything you have.

I have made a fair few. One was on the timing of the trainings. I have underestimated this a fair bit. Even though I got there I expected too much of myself too soon.

The other one is on money. I didn’t know that there would be so many costs from food, race entry, supplements, clothes and accessories. At one point I nearly didn’t have enough to live on during due to buying all of this stuff for my first race

Speaking of costs how much did you spend on training and everything to do with race day?

Broken down (during the last three months)

Food: $1200

Supplements: $500 (hydration included in this where it was fat burning tea, aloe and other things)

Clothes: $30

Shoes: $30 (normally $180)

Race Entry: $120

Coaching: $60 for a yearly membership.

Editors note: Most of the clothes were given by our good friends and family members hence we didn’t have to buy a lot. And its the same for the shoes. I had one really good pair when I first started.

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