In Part 1 yesterday Chris Zaremba told us about the events leading up to him tackling his first half marathon and the opening miles. The build up may have been tinged with reluctance and a lack of specific preparation but at least he was taking part!

Here Chris concludes his experience and his debut 13-miler…

However, the pain in my outer leg put paid to that idea and rather grand ambition to go the full marathon distance, and by 18km I was pretty keen to see the finish line for the half – and not run a step further!


I didn’t do any special nutrition preparation for the event

I layed off the local Hefeweissebier for the last day, but I didn’t do any massive increase in carbs either the night before or in the morning, which many entrants would have done.

On the morning of the race I had my usual breakfast of oats with hot water with protein shake, and that kept my energy systems fine for the start of the race and the first half.

Energy boosting foods during the run

For later in the run, the organisers provided high-carb sustenance every 5km from 10km onwards: Powerade and bananas. I took advantage of both these carbohydrate sources at every such opportunity, and found that I never felt short of energy.

running a half marathon_3There were also water supplies at the same points – I will come back to my water problems in a second – and it did occur to me that thousands of discarded banana skins, mixed in with masses of spilt liquid, pounded to a mush by lots of runners who may not be totally focused on each step, was a recipe for more than a few injuries – however, I saw no such mishaps.

One mishap that was experienced was more personal

I had drunk a litre of water on the way to the start and taken a couple of further cups at both the 5km and 10k refreshment points.

The combination of the fluid and exercise meant – how should I put this delicately? – that my time net my personal needs stops would have been about four minutes quicker. Possibly an age-related factor in action here too!

Sweat poured, time for the reward!

Following the event, my usual preferences on nutrition were forgotten as our other reasons for going to Vienna for the weekend took prominence.

For lunch, one of our favourite pubs in Vienna provided me with a meal that contained more calories than the 1700 I had expended in the 2 hours 26 minutes earlier.

But the guilt I felt was zero!

On reflection, I’m pleased I did the run, but I don’t think I really enjoyed it.

Will I do another?

Perhaps, although it will have to be with Jenny as a co-runner again, and also built around an interesting weekend away as compensation.

I am keen to do a full marathon one day, but mainly because I think I should undertake one as part of this fitness life of mine, and also as I’m keen to prove to myself that I can do the distance, rather than the fact that I would actually enjoy the run.

I am big believer that exercise will only make a real difference if undertaken regularly, and any activity has to be enjoyable in order for it to be participated in frequently.

As a result, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to see me on those sub-one hour gym trips and sub-half hour 5km runs for many years from now – but far less likely to meet me on anything of longer duration!

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
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Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans