‘’I dare you to train for a marathon, and not have it change your life’’ – Susan Sidoriak

I’ve entered the ballot to gain a place in the London Marathon for the last three years now but never succeeded. However, this year is different, and I have finally secured a place to run for the Macmillan Cancer Support group in the London Marathon 2016 - in memory of my cousin who I lost in July 2015 to cervical cancer.


Running has never been a strong point of mine, completing a couple of half marathons over the last few years but nothing I took too serious. However, anyone that knows me, knows that I love a challenge and 26.2 miles certainly is one - whilst also raising money for a charity close to a lot of people’s hearts in one way or another.   


After being accepted in early October I just stuck to my normal weekly training routine which mainly consisted of going to HG3 Fitness three times a week, one 5-6 mile run and hot Yoga – keeping up my strength and fitness up whilst starting to gain some miles on the ground.


Now the 16 week countdown to the Marathon has hit (and the nerves), I am now trying to follow and stick to a ‘First Timer Marathon Plan’. The first couple of weeks consist of building up a base of easy running and time on the feet without fatigue whilst also finding a routine.  I’m currently running two short runs a week, HG3 Strength training one to two times a week and a long run of about 9-10 miles on a weekend. Now we’ve hit the darker months, motivation can lack on the dark, cold, wet mornings but if I want to get over that finish line in one piece, it has to be done and all for a good cause.


I had come across Susan Sidoriaks quote‘’I dare you to train for a marathon, and not have it change your life’’ a few times on Instagram before I had started training and I wasn’t so sure it really would change my life. However, now I have started my full training plan I can confirm that it certainly does change it and for the better (I think) – it’s all you think about!


As well as my training, I’ve cut back on the alcohol (I do usually love a glass of wine/bottle on a weekend) and got my nutrition on track (with the help of HG3 Fitness) to ensure I am fuelling my body enough with the right kind of foods to cope with the amount of miles I am going to be covering of the next few months – something that I’m still getting used to but I am certainly feeling better for it.  


My focus for the next month or so it to prepare for Harwood Half Marathon at the end of February which I want to complete in 2 hours or under and then it will be a case of upping the miles the following 6 weeks to around 20-22 miles.


I will let you know how I get on! 


Steph Thirkill 


To sponsor Steph please go to her Just Giving Page HERE and donate to a great cause.