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So you got a VLM ballot place. Now what?

So you got a London Marathon ballot place and you've never run that far before. What next?

With all the marathon ballot decisions dropping through letterboxes at the moment, I thought it worth mentioning a few things to help those first timers lucky enough or get in on their way with what to do next from the perspective over here. The reason for writing is that if you did get in and you've never gone 26.2 before, you'll likely have an "oh shit" moment in the not too distant future. Hopefully this will help. It's quite simple really.

Have a purpose for this amazing thing you are about to do.

What do you want to achieve? Be realistic. Get a plan that was built for you, that you can develop, enjoy and build on. Remember that you are an experiment of one so you won't find a plan on the internet for anyone with your biochemistry, work pressures, injury history, running preferences etc etc etc. You get where I'm coming from....

Work hard on yourself.

Running is the by product of looking after yourself as an athlete. Almost all the hard work you have to do to succeed is focused on replacing your routines and habits with the ones a successful runner would have. By deliberately changing your procedures and actions you will change the results you achieve.

Core, stretch, strength, conditioning, massage, self-myofascial release, nutrition, hydration, sleep, yoga, quality run sessions, gait, posture, run efficiency, ditching junk miles.

These are all things we should be working hard on for ourselves and there's a whole host of others that I won't bore you with. Work hard on yourself, look after your body.

Self belief.

If you don’t believe it’s possible for you to achieve what you want, you can work day and night, but you will never succeed. Sometimes, all the distance that seems to be separating you from your goals is in your mind.

If you removed those mental barriers, you would see that you could just reach out and grab what you’ve been pursuing for so long.

As long as you don’t believe that it’s possible for you to have it, you are going to keep creating excuses and distractions. That’s simply because it feels uncomfortable or scary to have something you don’t think you are ready to have, or become someone you don’t believe you can be.

If you removed the negative beliefs about what you can have and become, your reality would change instantly.

So with all that in mind I wish you well and the very best for your marathon training. It will change your life, I guarantee it.

You may get injured along the way, you may have nights when it's dark or weeks when you don't want to run.

If you've put all the above in place however, you're more than likely going to be on that start line in April 2017 having completed your training and feeling well. Plan for success, go smash it.

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