The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Your blogger's chosen sport (and yes, it was a conscious choice) is long-distance running, including the Dublin Marathon in 2004 and the 2007 Paris Marathon last April.

So, just a quick word of support for any CLUAS readers taking part in the Dublin Marathon 2007 on Monday (a bank holiday for you, but not for us in France - our day off is next Thursday, 1 November).

And if our encouragement isn't enough, you can always follow the example of rock's greatest marathon runner, Joe Strummer - the Clash singer ran in two London marathons (see picture evidence below right) and (like your blogger) the Paris Marathon, the latter in 1982 during his 'disappearance' in April of that year.

By now you'll have done all your training, but there are still some valuable tips to bear in mind for this last weekend and the big day itself:

  • I fought the wall: Joe Strummer running the London Marathon in 1981...Try to relax and get plenty of sleep tonight and Saturday night. Chances are you won't sleep at all on Sunday night with all the excitement, nerves and getting up in time for the early start to the race.
  • Drink plenty of water this weekend, during the race and afterwards. Don't drink too much in one go - a little water regularly is much better. It goes without saying that you should stay off the beer this weekend - alcohol and caffeine are diuretics (in plain English, they make you want to go to the toilet and lose all your body's water).
  • Eat a good, solid, healthy meal the night before - this will be your fuel for the race. On Monday morning have your usual breakfast (unless it's Jack Daniels over cornflakes) around three hours before the start of the race. Yes, this means getting up at the crack of dawn; no one said the marathon was easy.
  • To avoid cramp, a lot of seasoned marathon runners take a couple of bicarbonate of soda tablets just before the race. Your chemist will have some. Glucose tablets are also a good source of energy during the race. Eating solid food during the race isn't a good idea unless you think you'll be longer than 4 hours.
  • Rub some Vaseline between your toes, on your inner thighs, nipples and shoulder blades to...and again in 1983. prevent very painful chafing. An ordinary T-shirt will get soaked with sweat, weigh you down and chafe you - try to wear a running singlet or a breathable running/sports top.
  • Arrive at the start in good time. In the hour before the race you should jog for five minutes to warm up your muscles.
  • Make sure your number is displayed clearly on your front (not on your back!) so that the course photographers can take some excellent pictures of you in athletic action.
  • During the race, make sure you take a bottle at every water station, and have a drink even if you don't feel you need it. By the time you're thirsty it's too late - you're already dehydrated. This weekend, practise drinking while running. There are two actions involved - first, fill your mouth with water; second, swallow. Not as easy as it sounds. The water/feeding stations are usually slippery underfoot, so be very careful - watch out for those orange skins!
  • If you feel unwell during the race, slow down or stop. There's no shame in finishing the marathon by walking.
  • You'll ache for the following couple of days! The best remedy is to keep active - swimming is probably the best and least painful way to recover. Laying up in front of the television will only make the pain worse.
  • Have someone at the finish to meet you - and celebrate with you! It's really motivational to know that there's someone waiting at the finish line for you.

The Dublin Marathon always attracts large numbers of supporters along the way, especially through Dolphin's Barn and Rialto (where it feels like those crazy mountain stages of the Tour de France). The sense of accomplishment afterwards is immense.

Good luck - and enjoy the marathon!

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Nuggets from our archive

2002 - Interview with Rodrigo y Gabriela, by Cormac Looney. As with Damien Rice's profile, this interview was published before Rodrigo y Gabriela's career took off overseas. It too continues to attract considerable visits every month to the article from Wikipedia.