As many of you will know, the yearly Dublin Marathon Novices thread is one of the best things on boards.ie (and in life in general), where all of the agony, joy, heartbreak, worry and satisfaction of doing your first marathon somehow gets a community of runners together on the internet to try and help make it work out more enjoyable than it might have been otherwise, both as a member of a community and also as a runner. The graduates thread traditionally happens soon after the marathon and attempts to keep you all together in a kind of post-club 3AM “all back to my gaff” sort of way. We might lose some people along the way, and it might get messy at times but it’s where the best stuff really happens... wait, what were we talking about again?
Unfortunately for this year’s set of graduates there were no good or available candidates to run the thread and so after much angst and desperation the wise elders of Athletics & Running asked me to look after this year’s graduates
Who am I? I’m a proud 2015 Mentored Novices Graduate and somehow I’ve kept running and posting to boards since then. My own background wasn’t sporty at all, I’m a classic midlife crisis hobby jogger I have benefitted hugely in my life from both running and the boards.ie Athletics / Running community and am delighted to be given the opportunity to
So what do we all want to get out of a graduate thread? Really it’s about keeping the community together and helping each other grow. After your first marathon, you’re probably as fit as you’ve ever been and slightly bitten by the running bug. There are many however many directions you can go: more marathons, ultra-marathon runner, track speedster, mountain goat, cross-country mud lover, speedy sprinter and possibly even a triathlon… person. The race announcer from the Dublin Marathon and Race Series regularly uses this quote from Dr. Seuss before most races which is a little bit corny but also totally true:
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.
Ok, there’s the inspirational quote bit done! Now, what are we going to do on this thread?
Just like Mr. Guappa so expertly did on the Novices thread, I’ll ask weekly questions of you all. I’ll also set a weekly challenge, which will be running orientated. This is a new part of the graduates thread, and hopefully it’ll work out The purpose of the challenge is to maybe try one or two new things out or explore areas related to running. The challenges won’t be anything too difficult and are not mandatory at all, but it should add a little bit of fun, variety and comradery to the thread. Finally, we should all be following some sort of structured plan and telling each other how it’s going. I will be recommending KSU’s 2016 graduates plan which is designed exactly for this purpose. I think it’s a great plan as it’s time based, rather than orientated around distance. The plan has an initial base building which is ideal for building back up after a marathon. There is some solid progression in it and will bring most runners along, and there are also race distance specific plans to follow after the base building phase. If it’s not for you or you have some other ideas of a plan to follow, then by all means do you want to do but do let us know what you’re up to and how it’s going. Whatever you do, it is important to retain structure and consistency, as these are the fundamentals of improving as a runner.
The graduates thread is also a good opportunity to ask questions. I won’t have all the answers, but will help out where I can. Other graduates are also very much encouraged to give their own answers and I’m sure that other folks from the boards running community will drop in with their wisdom too. I recommend taking advantage of the thread and community at large, as it’s an amazing opportunity to learn and grow as a runner, as well as contributing back to the community. There’s no such thing as a bad question, or answer, here.
Finally to kick things off, here are a couple of questions for you all to answer in the thread.
1. Do you have any goals over the next few months? What are they and why?
2. What would you like to get out of this thread?
p.s. it’s totally ok to participate in the thread if you aren’t a Dublin City Marathon 2019 graduate. No matter what your background, do feel free to participate fully. It might be a bit weird if Eliud Kipchoge showed up and started asking some questions and posting his weekly updates, but if you’re not him then it’s all good.
p.p.s congrats to skyblue46 on correctly guessing the next mentor. Who's gonna be next year's Novices mentor?